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IPFS News Link • Political Theory

Wheels of Justice: Jury Duty

•, Restoring Truth

Allowing free speech threatened democracy. Addressing vote fraud threatened democracy. Limiting aid to Ukraine now threatens democracy. I'm sure I've left a few things off the list.

But if you really want to know what threatens democracy, look no further than your nearest big-city courthouse. One need only spend a day in jury duty to know that the marriage of folly and vice has spawned a population of citizens who view America not as the land of opportunity, but as the land of opportunism.

I recently had jury duty, which is more akin to a community service sentence than a Jeffersonian rite of citizenship. My short experience there suggests that things are worse than democracy's defenders think. Our threat may actually come from an enemy within—the litigious masses that drag our greatness down.

The downtown Atlanta courthouse puts some visuals to this theory. Outside, its drab surroundings are marked by the scenes of municipal blight. Inside, all sorts of lawsuits and trouble make their slow rounds on the wheels of modern justice.

The first thing one learns as a juror is that half of the day will be consumed with inefficiencies. When I arrived for duty, the courthouse was packed with potential jurists. After an 8:00 check-in, 10:30 arrived with jurors still planted in the plastic waiting-room chairs, but now armed with knowledge gained from Covid-related announcements.

Perhaps a few hoped for a spot on the notorious Young Slime Life (YSL) case— a showcase of the criminal lives of Atlanta's celebrity rappers. As it turns out, that trial was temporarily adjourned when one of the defendants gave his associate, Young Thug, a Percocet in full view of the courtroom; so much for adjudicating thug life.