Thanks for filling a unique function

This week, a group of people performed a solemn duty. They were the jury in a drug trial.

There’s an old joke about leaving your fate in the hands of 12 people who aren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty. But anyone who has shared the responsibility of serving this key role in our society has a different view of the task.

That’s because, no matter how much we try to eliminate gray areas of laws that spell out the difference between right and wrong, no matter how many pages of legalese are used to define it in black and white, justice still can come down to a group of jurors doing the best they can to determine guilt or innocence.

And most people who perform that duty realize why they are selected from a pool of registered — and not just eligible — voters. People who take the time to make an informed decision on political issues are smart enough and committed enough to handle the job.

So, thanks to those who carried that burden this week, and those who have served previously.

And remember: If you don’t vote, you might get bad government. If you do vote, you might get bad government and jury duty.