Amendment VIIn all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense. (From Cornell University Law School]
Amendment VIIIn suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law. (From Cornell University Law School)
Jury duty, like voting, is one of the most basic duties of American citizens. To the extent that we take this duty seriously and serve with care and fairness, our justice system has a chance of working reasonably well. I realize there are people who don't want to serve on juries - their lives are busy and they feel they can't take the time. But if I were the defendant, I'd sure hope that people like me would have filled out their forms and not tried to get out of this remarkable part of our judicial system.