Jury Duty Experiences

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Doctor Q, Jul 17, 2004.

  1. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #1
    I'm on Jury Duty this coming week. Maybe they will call me for an interesting case. Maybe not.

    Who has had interesting experiences while on jury duty?
     
  2. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

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    #2
    I sat on my arse for two weeks, kept getting bounced to reserve, then got an arms smuggling case, very interesting seeing some very dangerous men in lots of trouble...

    Hang 'em all. ;) :D
     
  3. Dros macrumors 6502

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    Jun 25, 2003
    #3
    I was on a wacky case. A man and woman were driving to a motel so they could engage in carnal relations. They couldn't wait, so pulled into a parking lot at a 7-11 and went at it. The clerk called the police, and when they came both the man and woman appeared very drunk. Because there were no bottles in the car, it was obvious that they had driven while drunk.

    The man took a breath test and failed, but once at the station, the woman claimed that she had been driving. At that point, several hours later, she passed a breath test.

    One funny aspect was that the woman came dressed like a Victorian school teacher, in order to show she was not the drunken slut the case was portraying her as. Unfortunately, the jury all felt the case could not be made against them given the evidence, even though it was pretty obvious that they were driving drunk.

    The jury experience was irritating. One woman kept saying how the man was sneezing when questioned, and so probably had allergies, and that allergy medicine can make you appear drunk even when you aren't. We kept having to explain that the fact he was drunk was not a point of contention - he failed the breath test and admitted to drinking. But she kept coming back to it, like she was thought she was Sherlock Holmes or something with her keen inferences. Most of the people couldn't make a logical argument to save their life.

    The defense lawyer did all these things during the selection to, I guess, hypnotize us into thinking the defendent was innocent. He asked each person to say, "I presume the defendent is innocent" as if hearing that over and over would implant that into our brains.
     
  4. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #4
    My last Jury duty experience was the just the week after 9/11. I am usually excused from jury duty because I'm a nurse. My previous was a Special Grand Jury and that was because my name was picked out of a hat. We were investigating Medicaid Fraud. My service lasted one year.

    The above case was a murder trial. Each time they excused a jury it surprised me that I was remaining. The trial lasted 3 days. They took us to the crime scene with full police escort. Our jurors couldn't decide on guilt or innocence. I didn't decide on guilt right away either. Those for innocence had valid points. We sent a message to the judge that we were dead locked. It was just enough the the defendant pleaded guilty. It was sad, had a bright future ahead at 18. :(

    We get called for jury duty every 3 years here in Boston. So I'm due again this Fall.

    I'm sure that you will find it an enlightening experience, good luck. ;)
     
  5. MoparShaha macrumors 68000

    MoparShaha

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    San Francisco
    #5
    Well Doctor Q, we're in the same boat. I'm going in on Monday as well. I'm only 21, and this is the second time I've been called. Last time, my group number wasn't called, so I didn't have to go. This time I wasn't so lucky :(.
     
  6. kevin49093 macrumors regular

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    Feb 27, 2002
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    Colorado
    #6
    I served as foreman...

    My only experience with Jury Duty was in Michigan. The case involved a man who entered the back door of a Burger King at closing time. He stabbed one guy in the neck and then put everyone in a cooler and took the manager to open the safe. He got away, but it was pretty obvious who did it (bragging to friends).

    Because everyone else was scared to step up, I became the foreman. Had to tell the judge "guilty" on the different charges. It actually only took us about ten minutes to decide it.

    The most interesting thing about it was that the Judge came to talk to us after it was all over. He told us that this was the third strike for the guy, and he would be going away for a long time. He alo said that there was a bunch of evidence that they could not tell us, but very strongly pointed to the defendent. I thought it was strange that teh Judge pretty mucvh came out and told us that the he also thought the guy had done it.

    I am glad I sat on a jury. Would do it again without complaint.
     
  7. Doctor Q thread starter Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #7
    Judges will often talk to jurors after a trial; they have no reason not to, once the case is over. In your case, it was probably reassuring. Lawyers, both prosecution and defense, may want to chat with jurors too, since this helps them assess how their cases were viewed from the jurors' point of view.
     
  8. JesseJames macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    When they start deliberating, jump to your feet and scream "YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!!".
    Repeat this whenever you feel like it.
     
  9. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #9
    Yes, that is correct Doctor Q. It happen in the case that I mentioned above. Both the defense and prosecution came in to thank us for our service, they realized how difficult it had been. Our judge was female very business like, but friendly and fair. She came into the jury room for about 15 minutes to explain exactly what happened. Aware of the difficulty that we were having. Acknowledged that the defendant did the right thing, he had pleaded to a lesser crime and would get 20 years.
     
  10. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

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    Nov 5, 2002
    #10
    kind of weird, but i have jury duty on monday too
     
  11. 5300cs macrumors 68000

    5300cs

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    #11
    I had jury duty once when I was in Boston a few years ago. I sat around in a room the whole day. I didn't really plan ahead, so all I had were the manuals for Aces over Europe and 1942: The Pacific Air War GOLD in my bag. Man, I read those cover to cover.

    We saw a video about how it was our civic duty and all that, told by people with big 80s hair and 70s audio (sounded like Charlie Browns teacher talking.)

    Then at the end of the day, we were all taken into a court room and told that because we had even showed up, the people on trial that day had decided against a jury trial. The bailif thanked us and said that if there were a shortage of jurors, a lot of people will request a jury trial in the hopes of things being delayed and eventually thrown out.

    I live in Japan now, so no jury duty (can't vote either.) When I get back home though, I'll join without complaint.
     
  12. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

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    #12
    well i had mine today. I sat there for 3 hours, and they let us go at lunch. I got my check for $17 and was on my way. my observations are noted on my website but nothing really strange happened.
     
  13. Doctor Q thread starter Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #13
    Here in Los Angeles, you are called for jury duty for a particular week. You can easily change to another week, i.e., postpone it if you have trouble with the particular week that they picked for you. Then it works as follows:

    * On Sunday night, you phone an automated system that tells you whether to report for duty Monday. If not, you do so again Monday night to see if you need to report Tuesday. And so on until Thursday night, calling to see if you need to report Friday.

    * If the answer is no all 5 times, you are done with jury duty.

    * If they call you one of the days, you go to the court building and wait to be called for a case.

    * If you are not put on a case your first day, you are done with jury duty.

    * If you are put on a case, you are on jury duty for the duration of that case, which could be one day or could be more than a week.

    * They give you a token payment, barely enough for a bus ride one way, and they encourage you to donate it back instead of accepting it at all.
     
  14. Neserk macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

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    #14
    I"ve always wanted Jury duty. Never have been called yet. Husband's been called several times. Go figure.
     
  15. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #15
    I was put in the jury pool for a federal capital murder & drug trafficking case and must have made the shortlist, because I was called back for a more intense solo interview with just the prosecution, counsel and judge in the room.

    Alas, I was tossed because of my very limited Catholic appetite for capital punishment.
     
  16. FriarTuck macrumors 6502

    FriarTuck

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    Chicago area
    #16
    I've been called for jury duty a few times, voir dired (questioned by attorneys and/or judge before selection) twice. The first time, they bounced me as soon as they learned my profession (shhh... don't tell anyone... I'm an a-t-t-o-r-n-e-y). The second time, they didn't bounce me for that. And they asked me all kinds of questions about my family members and what kind of work they do/have done, but they forgot to ask me whether I myself had ever worked as a prosecutor. I have. But hey, I know cops lie too, so I had no problem being unbiased.

    Anyway, guy was driving drunk, got popped, must have been a multiple-time loser b/c he was headed for jailarity by the time we were done with him. Deliberations took all of 10 minutes after an all-day trial.
     
  17. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040

    MongoTheGeek

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    #17
    The closest I ever got to being called for Jury Duty was my parents got a letter for me 7 years after I moved out of state...

    Noone would want me on a jury though.
     
  18. Doctor Q thread starter Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #18
    A guy I knew got called for Jury duty when he was a college freshman. Since he was a student, he was told he could postpone it until his status changed. When asked how long that would be, he wrote "10 years" since he was planning to go to grad school and get multiple degrees. As it turned out, he didn't go to grad school. I wonder if they ever caught up with him again for his long-postponed jury duty?
     
  19. krimson macrumors 65816

    krimson

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    Democratic People's Republic of Kalifornia
    #19
    i've never actually had to "serve" on a jury. back when i was still a student that was a good enough excuse to get you out. Now it isn't so much.
    The last time i was called.. 2 yrs ago, they extended the "1 day" service because the court I was assigned had already filled all the spots they needed, so we all went home around 12pm, BUT we had to go back to another court the next day.

    So we get there in the morning, and around 1pm, i was feeling pretty good and was getting ready to go home, then I get called to this domestic disturbence case. I answered the defense attorneys questions, and she asked that I be excused.

    that's pretty much it for me.. except for the other times i spent sitting on my rear reading Cosmo.. hahah...
     
  20. seamuskrat macrumors 6502a

    seamuskrat

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    New Jersey USA
    #20
    I have been called 4 times here in Los Angeles.

    The first two times, I called and was told to stay home.

    The second two times, I got called in the first day, and was promptly removed from the jury pool.

    Apparently, working in public safety as a paramedic/firefighter tends to make criminal cases toss you out. Both times it was for a criminal case, and the defense tossed me out.
     
  21. Doctor Q thread starter Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #21
    Do trial lawyers routinely accept or dismiss jurors based on (apparent) intelligence or level of education? If a case is tricky (say an Enron-related trial), would they prefer smart jurors because there is a complicated case to present, or would they prefer people less trained at logical thinking who might be easier to sway? Would prosecution and defense always have opposite opinions about this?

    If I was on trial, I'd want a stupid jury if I was guilty and a smart jury if I was innocent!
     
  22. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040

    MongoTheGeek

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    #22
    Partially. Lawyers who are good at pleading emotion tend to go for people who are easily swayed by emotion. Additionally defense attorneys go for jurors who resemble the defendant and prosecution attorneys go for people who resemble the victim. Additionally certain people tend to be more law and order types. If you go in with a Bush button the defense will try to find an excuse to excuse you. If you go in with a Kerry then the prosecution will try to find an excuse to excuse you.
     
  23. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #23
    Your system sounds similar to ours Doctor Q. Except that we are required to show up on the day designated. We don't get paid till after the third days. Most companies here will pay your full salary. At the VA I had to return what the court paid me, it seemed only fair. I think that the defense and prosecution goes more on professions that anything like doctors, lawyers, ministers, and nurses.
     
  24. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

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    #24
    thats why everyone needs to wear a shirt that says "3rd party" or "Perot 04"
     
  25. Crikey macrumors 6502

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    Spencer's Butte, Oregon
    #25
    You got to see heroes of the people, who had devoted their lives to delivering to ordinary citizens the means of defending themselves against the depredations of the state? Cool!

    If I ever get jury duty, it'll be some horrid traffic accident or divorce case.


    Crikey
     

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