Yesterday, I performed my civic duty by standing in line, waiting in a room, and explaning to a judge why I couldn't perform my civic duty.
Yes, I was called to Stockton for jury duty today, and it was a fail. On my part.
Judge William Morris gave a stirring speech in Department 14 of the superior court house in downtown Stockton, invoking patriotism, civil responsibility and the guarding of our democracy to encourage prospective jurors not to offer phony claims of "hardship" to get out of jury duty.
So it was with trepidation that I stood up and told the judge that I couldn't afford going without pay for the two weeks the trial was scheduled for.
It was the truth, but it didn't make me feel any better.
Serving on a jury and supporting the criminal justice system is one of the most basic requirements of citizenship in the United States, and the more people who shirk that duty, the worse the system is.