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Guilt-Free Pleasures of Jury Duty

July 29, 2001

I realize that it's not fashionable to say anything positive about jury duty, but as I wind down my 10 days of jury service in Santa Monica I can't resist outlining my own contrasting experience to those published (letters, July 21).

Long lunches (usually at least 11/2 hours), unlike lunchtimes at work, which often involve a quick bite at my desk; plenty of time to catch up on my reading; meeting interesting people of all ages, races and backgrounds; seeing the legal system in action, in all its splendor and/or boredom; if chosen for a jury, learning intricate details of events with which I normally would have no contact; ending the workday at a decent hour, unlike many of my employer-related workdays; performing a valuable service to the best of my ability--and hoping others would afford me the same effort, time and commitment if I were to need it someday; taking a guilt-free afternoon nap; and, after seeing the expense, stress, twisting of truth, upheaval of lives and uncertain outcomes in court cases, I am reminded why I do not want to be arrested and/or involved in a lawsuit--and that makes it all worthwhile.

Rick Penn-Kraus

Los Angeles

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