Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently showed up for jury duty and while no one realistically expected the mayor to be compelled to serve, he at least showed up and did his civic duty. According to news reports, the Mayor even watched a film called, “How to Be a Juror,” while waiting to called.
The example the Mayor set is one everyone should follow. Yes, jury duty is an inconvenience but it is one of the most important duties we have as citizens.
Sadly, too many people disregard jury duty and look for ways to get out of it. Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch has long been advocating reforms to increase jury participation but the Illinois General Assembly continues to ignore the need for meaningful jury reforms.
We need to do a better job of incentivizing jury service but until we get there, the example Mayor Emanuel set serves as a reminder that jury service is a duty of all citizens – even mayors. If showing up to serve for jury duty is a priority for the mayor of the third largest city in the country – shouldn’t it be a priority for us all?