Auuuuuughhhhh. I now understand why people really loathe jury duty.

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Cygnet, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Okay, I've got a summons for some big federal case. I don't know the details, only that it's supposed to last six months and they're pulling potential jurors from several counties in Arizona. Must be big, is all I can say.

    I was supposed to report, by phone, this weekend. The case starts in January. I guess to confirm I'm a living, breathing person I have to call in, though. Over THANKSGIVING weekend. Their IVR is nonfunctional, it doesn't give me any information -- it just hangs up when I plug in my juror number.

    Fortunately, I noticed, in small print, I could log in on the web site. So I do, this morning, following their directions. Note the jury summons I got VERY SPECIFICALLY stated I was NOT to report to the courthouse, just call in.

    Guess what?

    After I plugged my number in, this morning at 7:30 AM at my desk at work, it informed me I am now being required to report to the courthouse.

    Today.

    At 1 PM.

    To fill out a questionaire.

    :flame:

    They are giving me 6 1/2 hours notice to report to court or they'll issue a bench warrant. To fill out a questionaire for "case specific information." It's 55 miles home and 60+ miles to the courthouse. I had planned to work today. Overtime. I am NOT dressed for court. (I think I'm just going to show up as I am and they can deal with the jeans, penny loafers, and sleeveless shirt.) I'm sure my boss is just thrilled. It's one of our busiest days of the year.

    And it's the day after FRIGGIN THANKSGIVING WEEKEND!

    How many people, I wonder, are still on vacation? Same day notice -- even a weekend's notice -- is just not acceptable. How many people don't have internet access? Or no ride? They're pulling people from as far away as Yuma and asking them to report to downtown Phoenix -- it's a couple hundred miles.

    Grrr. So I have to drop everything and drive to the courthouse. Today.

    I am beginning to get really hostile to this whole idea.

    Leva
     
  2. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Guess what?

    Part of jury duty is standing around in case they decide they need more jurors.

    I have decided that jury duty is like taxes. Nobody WANTS to do either, but it makes the system run. And, a sleeveless shirt is fine, I saw some guys in paint-spattered overalls. Nobody cared: we all lined up and were handed papers to fill out.

    Clear weather and good driving!
     

  3. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    .................Once , the lawyers figure out your IQ is above 70 , which is baseline mental retardation, which means that you're capable of a high level of Abstract thought , and you can separate BS from factual information the defense will probably strike you from his list anyway . I believe each side has a certain number of "strikes" that they can utilize without having to furnish a reason . Have fun and IF you do get picked make them furnish you Blueberry bagels for breakfast cause your doctor "prescribed" such . fordy... :viking: :happy:
     
  4. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

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    Do you want to get on the jury?

    If not, you might try wearing your Clint Eastwood t-shirt... I'd try the Hang Em High one first, or maybe one of the Dirty Harry ones...

    I've found that when answering questions that if you let them know you have zero sympathy for lawbreakers, you're quickly dismissed.... :rolleyes:

    Now, if you want to take potentially long periods away from work, for little or no pay, to fulfill your duty, good for you...

    I've volunteered before for jury duty, in the dog days of summer, when it's 100+ outside...to no avail... they usually wait till I have my hands full with 'stead work and an extra outside paying job, before they'll choose me... :(
     
  5. kenuchelover

    kenuchelover Well-Known Member

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    Don't worry about the clothes, especially for a questionaire.

    As for the jury service itself, if the accused ARE guilty, and ARE convicted as a result of your jury service, it'll be worth it.

    I was foreman on a murder trial once.... the SOB was guilty, no way around it. Evidence ranged from SOLID motive, to the victim calling out the killer's name just before he was shot, to a HOST of unexplained irrational behaviors (skulking around, hiding certain things he'd done, etc) on the part of the accused that only made sense if you assumed he was planning to commit the murder.

    But.... one of the jurors, a clean cut looking type who WORKED in law enforcement (prison guard), and who had SWORN to the judge that he'd be totally impartial...... in the midst of the trial let his hair down & flatout stated that he'd NEVER vote for conviction, no matter the evidence. He was black (as was the defendant, and the victim) and claimed he'd been falsely accused of an offense by a prison inmate, and thus "knew how easy it was for a black man to be falsely accused & falsely determined guilty". He ADMITTED to us (during final deliberations, too late to replace him, as we'd already lost several jurors for personal hardship reasons) that he'd never intended to vote for conviction, irregardless of what he'd told the judge about being capable of being impartial.

    As a result, we had a hung jury, wasted LOTS of taxpayer money, and an SOB who'd murdered his own cousin for a house & property he'd felt should have been his.... walked free.

    That took two weeks out of my life. For a conviction (or even just an HONEST juror in that guy's place), I'd have been happy to spend several months on the trial.

    On the other hand, I really sympathize with the financial burden.... ESPECIALLY if the trial drags on a while. We don't pay our jurors a fraction of what it costs them. I now lean towards the idea of "professional jurors", trained professionals (smart, & EDUCATED re types of evidence & any flaws thereof) who are paid a decent salary. Trials woudn't run on so long due to juror incomprehension (prosecutor overkill), we'd not have people walk due to ignorant or biased jurors, we wouldn't put our citizenry to personal expense & imposition, AND we might (due to savings on the trial length & fewer wasted trials) even save money in the long run. The jury system we have was designed in an era of short, simple trials with minimal evidence..... they're outdated today.
     
  6. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

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    I would not mind going to jury duty, at 46 I have never served on one.

    I would sit and play with a shoe-string making little hand-mans nooses.

    LOL
     
  7. albionjessica

    albionjessica Hiccoughs after eating

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    I had almost the same situation, but I was 8 hours away at college. Had to call them up and explain, and even then they said that since I was still listed as a resident of my folks' town I had to be there. I just used up the pardon thingy and changed my permanent address to my college town.
     
  8. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I got a letter from my boss that said I would not be paid for my jurty time, that and a note from me that I couldnt afford 4 weeks off work make me a heartship case. No jury..


    They scary part is, How many people are tried by a jury of people who were not smart enough to get out of jury duty.
     
  9. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    Somewhere along the process they are going to ask you something like "Is there any reason why you cannot be objective in this case" or "Is there some reason why you cannot judge this case by the evidence provided" or something like that.

    Just look square in the attorney's eyes, (or whoever is asking this question), and tell them. "He's guilty as sin. Well, you can just tell by looking at him that he did it. I don't need to listen to one word of testimony. I'm a good judge of character and this guy/gal just reeks of being guilty. Yep, that's MY verdict, and I'll give it to you right now. Guilty".

    You will be out of that office so fast that your head will spin.

    Once I was being interviewed for a "drunk driving" trial and they asked me if I could be objective and I told them "Nope, I think all drunk drivers should be strung up by their nuts". They dismissed me immediately.

    Donsgal
     
  10. Caelma

    Caelma Well-Known Member

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    Usually if you call and explain harship or other issues they will excuse you and put you on the list for the next time around.

    What I put on my last questionaire, well lets just say I have never been asked again :happy:
    I was honest though :D
     
  11. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    I've been called up three times. The first we had one trial and it was a civil one that was tedious. Took a little over a week. I was chosen as jury foreman which I really didn't want to do but I got roped into it. My fellow jurors were all pretty difficult and frankly stupid except for one other guy. These people didn't listen to the evidence or anything they just wanted to find for the plaintiff based on their feelings. The evidence would clearly show something but they would ignore it and tell everyone how they felt about the poor plaintiff and everything he had been through. It was like trying to explain to a bunch of 8 year olds why they can't eat 2 pounds of chocolate for breakfast. You spend 20 minutes explaining it thoroughly to them and then they ignore what you said and wail "But I want it!" I seriously considered getting hammered before I went to the courthouse in the morning. Took 4 freaking days to reach a verdict. We should have been out of there before dinner on the 1st day. I did get chewed out by the judge. When he asked "Mr. Foreman has the jury reached a verdict?" I was quite tired and a little punchy and before I realized what I was saying I replied "Yeah, finally." To say he was unhappy would be an understatement. I was read the riot act and the word contempt was mentioned.

    The next time I had to show up a few times but we never did anything. Just had to show up. No trial or jury selection.

    The last time there were two trials. These were criminal trials, one a capital case and I really wanted to be on the jury. Unfortunately I was the wrong race for both trials. Whitey - especially male Whitey - need not apply.
     
  12. kuriakos

    kuriakos Well-Known Member

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    That works pretty well, but just be careful not to go too far. I've seen judges hold people in contempt for stunts like that...they got out of jury duty but spent the day in a jail cell and had to pay a fine instead.
     
  13. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    i was called twice for jury duty. once i was an alternate on a case that was dismissed, or something. the other time, it was a civil case and i sorta wanted to be on the jury so my eyes followed the attornies' every move as i listened to everything that happened. i was not selected. they trully did pick out the mentally inferior and those who had the ability to sleep with their eyes open.

    if you want to serve, look uninterested. if you hang on everyword that is said, they will see you are a thinker and pass you by.
     
  14. cowboy joe

    cowboy joe Hired Hand

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    Been summoned for Jury Duty 3x in the past 8 years. Never walked in the courtroom the first time...they had enough jurors. Interviewed & was dismissed 2nd time. Interviewed & selected for a jury last August. Major murder for hire trial...lasted 6 1/2 weeks. Bring a book to read if you are selected. Because of the type of case, we weren't allowed to bring a newspaper or any type of radio. Not much to do when you are sequestered in the jury room which is most of the day. We were only in the court room about 1-2 hours / day.

    It felt good to be part of the justice system but there were some down sides. I wasn't reimbursed for the $8 / day parking or the extra gas. No buses from my neck of the woods & too far to ride a bike. Doesn't seem like much but cost me over $250 in parking between the interview process & the trial plus over $100 in gas. Put a real strain on my finances.

    The second downside was work. Yeah, legally excused from work but no one was handling my job so stuff wasn't getting done. Boss kept calling & leaving messages about needing this or that done. Ended up going in after jury duty almost everyday to handle the 'has to be done' stuff.

    Almost forgot...don't know about your neck of the woods but they play for keeps in New York. They called the role about 15 minutes after we were suppose to report. Bench Warrants were printed for those who failed to appear which were, in turn, handed to the bailiff to bring to the Judge for a signature. Ah, the swift hand of justice...
     
  15. palani

    palani Well-Known Member

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  16. dmckean44

    dmckean44 Well-Known Member

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    The key is not to go overboard like in the example. Just picking out some attorney in the room and saything something like "I don't like that guy, he just rubs me the wrong way." would work a lot better.
     
  17. Ana Bluebird

    Ana Bluebird Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm 58, have always been a registered voter no matter where I lived, but have never been asked to be on a jury. What's with that? My husband was asked once back in l975 when he was in medical school. They immediately excused him and he has never been asked again. Too much education must put you way down any list, I guess.
     
  18. rickd203

    rickd203 Well-Known Member

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    :lonergr:

    You may get better results if you find the number of the court clerk from the phone book and call to explain your situation. I had a similar situation in June 2004 except that I just forgot to go (brain fart :eek: ). I called the clerk (apologizing profusely) and asked if could be given another chance to appear. She actually thanked me for having the decency to call and gave me a whole year extension for my next date to appear for jury duty.

    I went in last June and was an alternate on a trial that lasted one week. It was one of the most unbelievable experiences of my life. The case was aggravated assault between two prisoners at a local state prison. The assault happened in the middle of the night when the two prisoners were locked in their cell. There was no possible way for anyone else to have committed the assault.

    The victim was so badly beaten that he was on total life support for several months. He is permanently paralyzed and will be on ventilation support for the rest of his life. The accused defended himself. The trial had to be stopped several times because he was not familiar with proper court procedure. His only defense was that somehow the victim caused these extensive injuries to himself!!! There were times when the prosecutors had to struggle to keep from laughing because his defense was so absurd. I'm sure they thought that a guilty verdict was guaranteed. I think they were probably as stunned as I was when the jury came back with a NOT GUILTY verdict!!! :confused: :stars:

    According to the newspaper reports, nobody on the jury had a real good reason for voting not guilty, they just voted without giving it much thought. So if any of you are thinking about beating someone so bad that they spend the rest of their life in a hospital bed, be sure to ask for a change of venue to Connecticut.
    :viking: :viking: :viking:
     
  19. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I got more information about the case -- unfortunately, I can't talk about it, but it's expected to last six months. Jury selection is in January. I'm ambivalent about being selected; it won't be a financial hardship for me because my employer will pay me for the time, though it might be hard on my department at work. And it's not really a case I want to be on a jury FOR, for a variety of reasons that I also can't discuss. Grrr.

    I was called for a pool a few years ago -- wasn't selected. One of the other potential jurors showed up wearing Star Wars pajamas. He also wasn't selected. :rolleyes:

    Leva