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 Jury Duty Stories View next topic
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darthkittenlover



Joined: 19 Jul 2005
Posts: 5828
Location: Los Angeles, CA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 3:48 am Reply with quoteBack to top

This is the place for your jury duty stories! Thew, I know you have a good one, but it's already in a thread somewhere. You should put it in here too!

The last time I actually had to go to jury duty, I was working a night shift and had to drive across town to the courthouse, THEN afterwards drive in an hour and a half of traffic to work for 6 more hours. (My boss graciously let me leave 2 hours early.) On Day 1, I was preliminarily selected for the jury, and had to report back on day 2 for continuing juror selection. I was NOT looking forward to a proposed 2-week trial.

I know that, to get out of serving, you're supposed to make the attorneys think you won't be objective (a.k.a. the "By the way, I hate spics" strategy), but they never gave me a chance! They never asked me if I was a racist or anything, it was just "raise your hand if you have a personal connection to the defendant", etc. All collective questions.

I should make clear that I don't mind serving on a jury in principle, it was just that the prospect of 2 weeks of basically working double shifts was REALLY not looking attractive. So when I came home after Day 1, I was determined to get myself dismissed on Day 2.

I did it by making a nuisance of myself. When they asked if anyone would have trouble giving a police officer's testimony the same weight as any other citizen's, I knew the correct answer was no, but I said yes. "I would hold a police officer to a higher standard of truthfulness." But as the day dragged on, I wasn't given much opportunity to stand out as a potential troublemaker. So, I had to go all the way.

I requested a sidebar.

At the end of the questioning period, the judge sent the other jurors out, and it was just me, the judge, the poor meek defendant, and the attorneys. It was a domestic-violence case, and I confessed that I'd have a hard time believing there was any other explanation for a battered wife than that her husband beat her up.

When the defense attorney said, "But would you concede that she might be faking it?" I knew that if I could just get out of here, I would be dodging an ugly, two-week-long, depressing bullet.

Luckily, the strategy worked! I was excused and some other sucker took my place. Now, your stories!

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Careena



Joined: 05 Sep 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:42 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I remember the last time I had jury duty. The room was so hot and miserable. The deliberation seemed to go on forever, and I felt like I didn't even have a name, just a number. Things seemed so clear, and I could see the issue in...well...black and white.

In the end, I came to understand that my initial verdict was tainted by my inherent racism.

Also, Henry Fonda was there, and his ass looked great. And the guy who was the voice of Piglet.
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discogoatrider



Joined: 05 Sep 2008
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:09 am Reply with quoteBack to top

For some reason I have never been selected to be a jury member. Perhaps they do not select people who are in college?
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realbadger



Joined: 05 Sep 2008
Posts: 1
Location: Hollywood, California

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:38 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
<< I have jury duty today. I'll be bringing my pens and paper and will hopefully be drawing the day away in the waiting room, rather than being selected to serve on a jury that would wreck my upcoming convention schedule. >>


As much as I'd actually love being on a jury, I'll/I'd never be selected, at least, not if I told the truth.
You can be booted from jury duty in a heartbeat, if you want.
It is a 99.999999999999% probability you'll be with a corrupt judge.
Here's all you do and this is not a joke...
Judge [among other questions]: Will you follow my jury instructions?
You: Your Honour, I promise to follow any and all of your jury instructions that are in alignment with the Constitution for these united states of America.
Judge: Thank you for your time, Mr. Malki !, your services will not be required.

No exaggeration: no joke.

If you fall into the "raise your hand if you have a personal connection to the defendant" problem, raise your hand at that point.
When called on, say, "I wanted to clarify if you believe in Jury Nullification and/or if the judge's instructions will be in alignment both with the Constitution for these united states of America and with the Fully Informed Jury Act."

A shame I wasn't aware of this in time to lend you a hard copy Jury Handbook booklet you could noticeably hold, which also would have you Out Of There if/when they see you reading it.
An online version of the hard copy booklet I have is here:
http://geocities.com/Heartland/7006/rulebook.html

<Badger>
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Raziel Lafleur
Friend to Man and Beast alike


Joined: 22 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:46 am Reply with quoteBack to top

i would actually be really fascinated to be on a jury...but they're such dicks about it. they pay you like, five dollars a day, and you either have to take off work, or like malki ! said essentially work a double shift, if you work at night.

that being said i actually dont have a good jury duty story...i got called up for it once, but i just got like, a number and i had to call each night to see if they needed me and at the week they still didnt need me, so my jury duty was served! i lucked out.

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cgov



Joined: 05 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 10:20 am Reply with quoteBack to top

My first experience on a jury was for a personal injury case. The plaintiff's lawyer had a really bad rug that emitted a pinkish hue under the mercury lights of the courtroom. It was the defendant's attorney first courtroom case. Defendant's attorney sipped out of a Big Gulp cup throughout the trial. Stinkin' trial took 5 (FIVE!) full days. Ambulance chaser a-holes.

My second time being called I had to go down to criminal courts in Chicago, which is attached to the Cook County Jail. It was the single scariest place I have ever been. When we were waiting to be questioned for a murder trial we potential jurors were seated in an aquarium like room made of bullet proof glass so we could see into the courtroom, but wouldn't get shot. There were no doors on any of the stalls in the ladies room - so we had to team up to go pee. And that was just being a juror - scared me straight. Well, I was terribly law abiding before that, but you know what I mean.

I was called for Jury duty about 8 million times the 6 years I was in LA, including getting a summons for Federal Grand Jury, which required one week of service a month FOR A YEAR. I cannot stress this enough, if you ever get summoned for Grand Jury, do what I did and get yourself knocked up - because it took several letters from my Doc to get me out of showing up for that.
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The DL



Joined: 26 Mar 2005
Posts: 3875
Location: The greatest Democracy on Earth you low-life commoner

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 11:02 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I also would find it really interesting to actually be on a jury. The one time I got jury duty though I had to get up at seven in the morning to go to the courthouse so that they could tell me the case had been settled.

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stoodert



Joined: 15 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 11:54 am Reply with quoteBack to top

cgov wrote:
if you ever get summoned for Grand Jury, do what I did and get yourself knocked up - because it took several letters from my Doc to get me out of showing up for that.


Pretty sure you have to be "almost to term" knocked up, because the jury orientation guy (who gives all the first time jurors a run-down of how it all works) said that even being pregnant isn't really enough anymore to get out of it.


I got summoned for jury duty a few months ago and Lance Ito was the judge presiding over the case.

That was pretty cool.

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Sam
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Joined: 17 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 11:56 am Reply with quoteBack to top

cgov wrote:
My first experience on a jury was for a personal injury case. The plaintiff's lawyer had a really bad rug that emitted a pinkish hue under the mercury lights of the courtroom. It was the defendant's attorney first courtroom case. Defendant's attorney sipped out of a Big Gulp cup throughout the trial. Stinkin' trial took 5 (FIVE!) full days. Ambulance chaser a-holes.

My second time being called I had to go down to criminal courts in Chicago, which is attached to the Cook County Jail. It was the single scariest place I have ever been. When we were waiting to be questioned for a murder trial we potential jurors were seated in an aquarium like room made of bullet proof glass so we could see into the courtroom, but wouldn't get shot. There were no doors on any of the stalls in the ladies room - so we had to team up to go pee. And that was just being a juror - scared me straight. Well, I was terribly law abiding before that, but you know what I mean.

I was called for Jury duty about 8 million times the 6 years I was in LA, including getting a summons for Federal Grand Jury, which required one week of service a month FOR A YEAR. I cannot stress this enough, if you ever get summoned for Grand Jury, do what I did and get yourself knocked up - because it took several letters from my Doc to get me out of showing up for that.


that's a pretty impressive first post

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:27 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

the one time i had jury duty the judge was asking me the questions and as i was answering them i was like "shit i can tell hes going to pick me" because the correct answers are pretty obvious

so the next question was "would you take the word of a police officer over a citizen?" and i said yes and got the hell out because the case was for a dad that raped his daughter and i just didnt want to be part of that

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famousperson



Joined: 05 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 1:00 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

This is a non-jury story:

I was tapped for jury duty twice when I lived in Chicago in the eighties. On the form letter I got in the mail, there was a section with reasons why you didn't have to serve. Each time I checked "full time student" (which was true) and was never called for active duty.
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Sam
Captain of Flowers


Joined: 17 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 1:45 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

what is with all the first posts in this thread

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The DL



Joined: 26 Mar 2005
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Location: The greatest Democracy on Earth you low-life commoner

PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 1:49 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

This thread is linked on the front page of Wondermark which is obviously drawing a lot of people.

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thew



Joined: 25 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:21 am Reply with quoteBack to top

what's the scoop Malki ! ?

did you get picked? serve a day? still serving? play the nuisance card again?

if companies were required to give you full pay like government employees get then jury duty would be the best thing ever

pretty stupid that it all falls on the juror. doing your civic duty shouldn't mean losing hundreds and thousands of dollars in missed paychecks

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Salazar



Joined: 27 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 3:02 am Reply with quoteBack to top

It's illegal for youe employer to not pay you if you are on jury duty in australia!

I did Jury Duty a few months ago, and got picked for a case. They have like 150 people turn up, and then they pick your name out of a hat (really, well a box), and then they take like 30 people up to the court as the jury pool. Then when they find out if anyone is connected to anyone in the case, and those people are excused. Then they pick names out of a hat again, and you have to walk in front of the defendant, and either the defense can object to you any time before you sit down.

I was picked for a civil case, which only have juries of 6 people. They pick 12 names out of a hat, then each side gets to cross off 3 to leave 6.

The case I was on was about workers compensation, and they ended up settling by the end of the first week, so I have no idea how much money the guy got, but he seemed happy enough. The whole thing was pretty interesting. I was amazed how often we got sent out of the room. We never got to hear any witnesses other than the plaintiff.

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darthkittenlover



Joined: 19 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 4:07 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Many employers pay for a certain number of days of jury duty (back when I had a real job, it was two weeks/10 days).

What happened this time was, I went to the courthouse at 8am and was prepared to sit there all day long, but at about 8:30 they made their long string of announcements and ended with "Anyone who wants to request to be excused due to business or financial reasons [such as an employer that doesn't pay for jury duty], come over here." So I went over there and filled out a form and a very nice old man gave me his large-print book on battles of WWII to use as a writing surface.

Then we went to a courtroom and one by one talked to the reediest-looking judge imaginable -- I mean like someone took Christopher Lloyd and wrung him out like a washcloth then stretched him through a cheese grater. Some of the people he excused, some he didn't. Some who claimed they had plans or trips or vacations coming up, he made pick a date when they didn't, and assigned them to come back then.

He called me second-from last in our group, and I gave him the schpiel about being self-employed, sole proprietor, traveling for business all the time, blah blah blah. He really tried to guilt-trip me -- "Is there anyone else that can help you with the business? What about later in the year? What about the week between Christmas and New Year's, you won't be shipping merchandise then" -- but finally he did excuse me, and I was still able to go put in a full 8 hrs. at my current day gig. (I wouldn't have minded the jury duty if not for the day gig. And travel plans)

Anyway the whole experience left me feeling strangely embarrassed. The judge really made me nervous in a way I'm not used to being, and I felt scolded for shirking my civic duty. I seriously don't think I would have been able to outright lie, if I had wanted to. I guess I have a conscience!

anyway, excused is excused! So, yay.

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Boorishly P. Foundry
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:27 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

And now an innocent man is going to prison because of it.

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darthkittenlover



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 5:04 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Are you saying that the people who don't try to get out of jury duty are self-selected for being conviction-happy?

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