It's difficult to be a juror — you must take time off of your daily routine, sit in a courtroom and listen to hours of often-boring legalese. After the trial, you find yourself in a room with other strangers where the fate of one or more lives rests with your decision. This can take days, and even weeks.
And for Walnut Creekers, there is the added task of traveling to the Contra Costa Superior Court in Martinez.
So to ask jurors to find and pay for parking might seem a bit out of line. Presently, jurors who receive a parking ticket in Martinez will have it forgiven by the courts.
But lately, there is a move to have that reversed. , when the subject of new credit card-reading meters were being discussed. Mayor Rob Schroder agreed, pointing out that the jurors in Walnut Creek courtrooms are required to pay for their own parking.
Merchants have long decried the unfairness of having their customers required to pay up at the meter or face expensive parking fines, while jurors take up precious downtown spaces for nothing. Others say that jurors are serving an important function in our society, are being exposed to downtown businesses they otherwise might not see, and should get a break.
What do you say? Should jurors have to pay for parking in Martinez? Tell us in the comments.