Roles and Responsibilities of Citizens on a Democracy After reading Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham jail” and “Citizen Responsibilities,” there are three concepts that describe the roles and responsibilities of citizens in a democracy. The three concepts are, voluntary laws, mandatory laws, and just and unjust laws. Voluntary laws are duties that are not demanded by law, the best example would be voting. The right to vote is a duty as well as a privilege. It’s important for citizens to vote in elections to make sure that the democratic, representative system of government is maintained, which means that the people have a say in their government. People who do not vote in elections are giving up their say in the government. Mandatory laws are duties that are required by law, some examples are obey laws, pay taxes, and jury duty. Laws are rules under which a society or community is governed. Regardless if you are a citizen or not, you must obey federal, state, and local laws. Police officers and courts make sure that the laws are obeyed.
If a person breaks a law, there is a penalty or punishment, which is is dependent on the serverity of the punishment. Taxes are required payments of money to the government. Taxes are necessary because they pay for things that most people could not pay for by themselves, such as fire protection and schools. The different type of taxes are federal, state, property, excise, social security, and sales tax. Each type of tax pays for different public programs and seervices. Jury duty is a law in which you may be summoned for jury duty and you must serve as a juror. A jury consists of twelve people who are selected to hear the evidence of a civil or criminal trial, they also decide whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty. Just and unjust laws are based upon moral.
Citizens has not only a legal, but moral responsibilty to obey just laws. Although, people also have a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. A just law is man made code that squares with the moral law, and and unjust law is a code that is out of law with the moral code. A just law uplifts human personality, and an unjust law degrades personality. Citizens have a responsibilty to ablige by the federal, state and local laws. Although some laws are not mandatory, there are very few voluntary laws. Some laws may be unjust, which then citizens must rely on their own personal moral to make the correct decision.