I recently received a jury duty notice. Apparently the last time I refused jury duty didn’t leave a lasting impression. It is possible that that was because of the somewhat enthusiastic language that I used. Therefore, I am putting my refusal in a family newspaper to see if I can refrain from being quite so blunt and accurate in my assessment of the Santa Cruz County legal system, and why I will never participate in it.   

Some years ago, my sister-in-law was killed by an off-duty Border Patrol agent who was also a member of the local Metro Task Force. Even though he was operating a motor vehicle with no registration, no operator’s license, no insurance and a blood-alcohol content of .157, he wasn’t even arrested. In fact, it was months before he was even charged with a crime.  

Then, after being subjected to our loss, my family and I had to witness the Santa Cruz County legal system up close and personal, for two-and-a-half years. We became aware that three things drive the legal system here: sleaze, corruption (the good ol’ boy network), and unbelievable incompetence. 

I will never participate in the legal system here. I would have to lower my standards too much to do so. I happen to have had parents who taught me better than that, and I will not denigrate their memory by doing so.

Dave Rollins

Patagonia

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