I guess I'll answer my own question... Jury duty is not pointless in and of itself, but I don't think it's more effective in getting justice done than what the general public thinks. The process of compulsory duty trivializes it as well.
The problem I have with jury duty is that no matter how hard they try, most people don't know how to make decisions without some sort of bias. A judge also has his/her biases, but they have the experience of taking what's presented in court and make an informed decision without an apparent bias. Sure, there's a thorough screening and training process to find the most seemingly open-minded jurors, but like with any job, you don't know how they'll perform when they're actually on the case. Personally, I dread jury duty not because I think it's a waste of time, but because 1) the responsibility is a really big ask and 2) what if you were deliberating amongst jurors who really were comprised of a few incompetent bottlers. I'm not sure how it ever came to pass that society thinks that the average person can make difficult legal decisions, but there you go.
Then, there's the idea of "forced" jury duty. On my summons, it says I could be imprisoned if I didn't register by phone within 5 days of receiving it. What if I was out of town on business or vacation? I'm sure the court would understand why any response would be late, but it's still ridiculous to "threaten" some kind of punishment if by any unfortunate circumstance, I didn't respond promptly to registration.
...and then, there's stories like Dan's, which is all too common. Cases being dismissed because the lawyers pressed the judge for a decision or dragged because lab tests are late... or those assigned to cases who have to wait for hours before screening. Such a silly, inefficient process.
It's kinda like the Old Cafe - http://fbc2.freeforums.net