Darnell Dockett from the Arizona Cardinals provided hours of entertainment to his twitter followers this week by posting tweets while serving jury duty…or so he would have us believe. The tweets included mocking comments about the attorneys, the judge, the defendant, parking in a handicapped parking space and ordering pizza. After further investigation by the media, Maricopa County confirmed Dockett was not serving jury duty, indicating it was most likely an elaborate hoax.
The disrespectful comments continued all day, entertaining many but also serving as a terrible role model to his fans. Dockett represents the Arizona Cardinals and acted immaturely and disrespectfully toward the justice system, not to mention that he was probably in contempt of court.
The Reality of Responsibility
Serving on jury duty is an important civic duty that should be taken seriously. Defendants who are standing trial have the right to a fair and impartial jury who devote all of their energy and focus on the facts of the case to reach a non-biased and just decision. The jury process is one of the most integral parts of the US justice system and citizens are expected to act with integrity and respect during the selection process and while serving on a jury. The attorneys from both sides as well as the presiding judge spend hours in what is called “voir dire,” where the pool of jurors is narrowed down to 12 individuals. These final 12 are selected because they are the least prejudiced or biased people from the larger jury pool, or “venire.”
Jury Duty is No Joke
Hoax or not, Dockett showed us all what not do to when selected for jury duty and hopefully his fans don’t follow suit if they are ever selected. As an attorney, I rely on those jurors to pay close attention to all the facts of the case and to make the most impartial and fair decision for my clients. Everyone should be respectful when they are summoned for jury duty, because no one knows when they could rely on a jury’s decision.