Letters to the Editor

FW court respects jurors

Every week in the Federal Way Municipal Court, cases that cannot be resolved by an agreement between the parties are scheduled for jury trial.

Court staff must prepare the files. Attorneys must prepare their defense or prosecution of the issues and facts of the case and schedule witnesses. And the judges of Federal Way Municipal Court — Judge Michael Morgan and Judge David Larson — must review the issues of law involved in each case.

All of the preparation, however, would be for naught if one piece of this scenario is missing: The jurors.

The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that "In 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.” This right is also guaranteed by the Constitution of the State of Washington.

Without jurors, the court would not be able to go forward with a trial. Jurors are an integral part of the American justice system. Government of the people, by the people and for the people requires that we be judged by our peers. The only way for that to occur is with citizens willing to act as jurors.

May is traditionally the month set aside to express appreciation of jurors, although we at the court appreciate jurors every month of the year. The receipt of a jury summons is not always a welcome event, and service on a jury panel often involves personal sacrifice. The compensation is miniscule, the waiting periods are often long, and the trials are often tedious and demanding. But it is your willingness to serve as jurors that assure the continued existence of the fundamental right to a trial by jury that we are privileged to enjoy in this country.

The court is able to rely on the consistently excellent performance of the staff, attorneys and judges, and we take this opportunity to express our appreciation of their dedicated work. We also extend our gratitude to all of the jurors who have served in the Federal Way Municipal Court this past year and extend the same to all future jurors.

Rae Iwamoto,

Court Administrator, Federal Way Municipal Court

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