Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Jury duty - right and responsibility

Editor’s note: This is the first of two stories planned regarding jury duty. Please see next week’s Western Nebraska Observer for more information.

Let’s talk fundamental rights.

One right guaranteed to Americans is the right to a trial by jury. This is written into the United States and Nebraska Constitutions.

Our justice system depends on citizens to serve as jurors and make important decisions in court cases. Kimball County Clerk of the District Court, Deb Diemoz, wants to remind residents of the importance of service.

Diemoz would also like to reassure residents that, although it may seem frightening, jury duty can be an educational and enlightening peek into the real workings of our justice system.

Jury duty is unlikely to be as exciting as watching an episode of a favorite television series but one is bound to walk away with a greater understanding of just how the law works.

Jurors serve not only their community, but the country as well and jury duty holds a most esteemed position in the history of democracy. Jurors deserve to be honored and thanked for their service.

The power of a juror is great, and that power is to be exercised with care. It is the obligation of a juror to see that justice is done, while remaining mindful that the jury is designed only to bring to trial those who are accused, but also to protect those who are innocent.

“I have several upcoming jury trials and I would like to remind everyone that there are just two ways to serve your country – in the military or on a jury,” Diemoz said.

Some may wonder how a juror is picked.

A State of Nebraska computer generates a master list compiled from voter registrations, driver’s licenses and identifications. The Jury Commissioner mails questionnaires out and once those are returned, the Commissioner does one of three things.

Marks as non-deliverables

Selects qualified and acceptable

Excuses those who meet the required criteria by State law

When a court has set a jury trial that court requests a particular number of jurors and the state system electronically selects that number of jurors. Summons are then mailed to the qualified and acceptable potential jurors.

Diemoz asks every citizen of Kimball County to help serve justice in Nebraska and in Kimball County by supporting your jury duty for Nebraska’s courts.