Jonathan Richie BW.tif

As you may remember, I almost died in my car a couple of weeks ago, thanks to an inattentive driver. When I got home following that ordeal, I got quite the shock when opening the mailbox.

There was an envelope in there, along with a stack of propaganda saying a particular politician is evil, with the Burnett County Clerk of Courts’ sent address.

Inside that envelope was a jury questionnaire with about ten questions to answer so the county could decide whether I am the right choice for a juror.

The questions were similar to those on any form you fill out for the government.

  • Are you a U.S. Citizen?
  • Do you understand English?
  • Are you over the age of 18?
  • Do you have a disability that would exclude you from being a juror?
  • Have you been a juror in the last four years? If so, where?
  • Have you ever been convicted of a felony? If so, is your sentence complete?

Those kinds of questions on one side, then on the flip side, asked about my marital and employment status.

I wrote that my occupation is “Journalist” and that my employer is “Burnett Co. Sentinel.” The next set of questions asked if I was a part-time resident, if I was a seasonal worker, or if I had any plans to go back to school and become a student.

All of those questions were answered “no.”

A letter with the questionnaire said the county is trying to save money, so I had to pay for postage.

No biggie, I have stamps.

Do I want to serve as a juror? Not really.

Do I have a choice? No.

I would prefer not to serve as a juror but if the county tells me it is my civic duty, guess what? That’s what I’m doing. I don’t plan on doing anything bizarre-like cover myself in blood and yelling meat is murder. I also don’t plan on saying anything ridiculous; like all sex offenders should have their genitals removed.

The letter accompanying the questionnaire explained that people are chosen randomly based on information from the Department of Transportation. I think the reason is because I live so close to the courthouse.

They wouldn’t have to pay too much in mileage.

It would be an exciting story to cover. I cover crime for this county, so there’d be nothing like real experience sitting in the box, having attorneys do their best to try and get me on their side.

But for now, I’ll sit back and relax and wait for the county to let me know if I’m worthy enough to serve.

Gotta question? Gotta tip? It’s easy to contact me, give me a call at 715-463-2341 or shoot me an email -

See ya next week.