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You open the mailbox and you see it, that yellow cardstock with your name on it summoning you for jury duty and all you wanna do is scream, NO! A lot of people cringe when they see the jury duty summons and hope and pray that it doesn't inconvenience them in some way. Just the thought of having to go sit in the courthouse downtown really makes some people's blood boil, they get so mad just holding that yellow card.

Believe it or not, I'm not one of those people because I do want to serve on a jury at least once. A few weeks back I received a jury duty summons in the mail requesting my presence in the Central Jury room inside the Smith County Courthouse on Valentine's Day at 8:30 a.m. I did what was requested of me and showed up ready to serve.

I hadn't been called upon for quite a while, so I was pleased to see that they changed the check-in process in Smith County. It was much smoother and more convenient. Once the paperwork was complete I had a choice to either accept the $6 per day pay that came with showing up or donating it to one of the charitable organizations they had listed. I was feeling generous Monday and donated my jury duty pay to a children's organization they had listed.

Others had chosen to accept the $6 pay. As I was sitting there in the pews along with 200 other people I began wondering why is jury duty pay just six bucks still? With the inflation rate being reported at a recent record high of 7.5% so far this year, why hasn't jury duty pay gone up too? I mean minimum wage right now is $7.25 per hour and many places are paying well over the minimum wage to attract employees.

I know that raising the pay for potential jurors is going to cost the county additional money, but at the same time as everything is going up, so should my jury duty pay! I mean my time is worth a little more money now too. It's just something I was contemplating while I was sitting there holding the number 13, of 23, waiting to be called upstairs to go through the voir dire process. But the case was settled and we were dismissed.  That's as far as I've gotten in the process so far, holding on to a number.  I'm just waiting to go upstairs!

I don't mind jury duty and look forward to someday being selected as a member of a jury - at least once - and when that day comes maybe I'll make more than $6 a day and end up donating it to a charitable organization that can put it to great use.

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