Author Topic: Jury duty. Hooray.  (Read 2337 times)

Offline MisterPL

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Jury duty. Hooray.
« on: October 22, 2003, 03:48 PM »
I love serving my country, especially if I get to sit in a comfortable chair without guns going off around me. That's a plus.

I got to sit in on a criminal trial for two days last week. We convicted a guy of Simple Assault, Mutual Consent. Basically, two guys got into a fight at work. One guy got hit once in the head and has complained of headaches ever since. (I smell a civil trial around the corner.)

Jury selection was a hoot. There was a Math teacher who decided she could never convict anyone beyond a reasonable doubt. (Dismissed.) One guy who said he'd ALWAYS show bias in favor of a cop because of their jobs to uphold the law. (Dismissed.) And another guy claimed he didn't believe in this system and removed himself from society years ago. (Keep going, buddy. We're still finding you.)

While I considered wearing my Jedi robes, I decided I'd rather have the time off from work for a change of scenery rather than show up as a headline on News of the Weird. Besides, I dig a good argument.

Of course there was none. The prosecuting DA had a terrible case and the defense had a WORSE case. It was pretty entertaining to see so many witnesses impeach their own testimonies one after another. The only two who got things straight were the two dudes in the fight. While they never agreed on who was the aggressor, they both said there was only one punch thrown to the head.

The judge even did a spit take while drinking her goblet of water.

Fun times.

Anyone else serve on a jury?
Post sober.

Offline dustrho

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Re: Jury duty. Hooray.
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2003, 09:45 PM »
I was summoned to jury duty only once.  I had to obviously take the day off from work to attend the thing, but when I got to the courtroom there was a note on the door.  The note said there was a settlement, so I wasn't needed there anymore.  Talk about a big waste of time.
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Offline Darth Kenobi

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Re: Jury duty. Hooray.
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2003, 09:59 PM »
My first time on a case was a car accident where a person ended up being paralizes from the neck down.  The case had a whole bunch of plantiffs (Main Vicitm, Main Victim's wife, two secondary victims, and the drvier of the truck who is also a defendent) and defendents (Driver of truck, Employer of driver of truck, Contractor using truck company).  Bascally the roll off truck was head east on the freeway lost a tire causing it to lose control, go towards the center of the freeway, losing its container which flies into the westbound lanes hitting one car (driver had moderate injuryies) and then it spills its load which helps the Main Victims guy's car filp over breaking his neck and injurying his co worker.  I was one of the alternate and ended up being the only one left after the case.  The jury verdict was to give the plantiffs around 10 million or so, minus the driver who was in the truck.

Some interesting things that happen while the case happened:
Jury member got into a car accident outside court in which her van flipped.  
An attorney being yelled out by the judge gfor throwing something towards a witness.



Offline Scott

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Re: Jury duty. Hooray.
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2003, 10:17 PM »
I've served...

I was on call for a week, sat there for a day and got called up to be part of a murder trial.  The company I work for is small and there was no way I could have sat through 30 days+ of testimony.  I was scared crapless though that I was going to get picked.  They made us fill out a questionaire ahead of time.  I was interviewed on the witness stand by both lawyers and I was dismissed...

But not from duty, I had to go back down the next day andI was called for another case.  This was a rearend in which the rearendee was claiming whiplash and permamnent disablement and the whiplashor was saying he was faking.  He wanted $450,000.  We agreed to pay him $2000.  Not sure if that even covered his legal bills.  He was not very convincing on the stand, he had a sleazy lawyer and the defense just ripped him apart...he was out playing softball, was able to lift weights, had a job a roofer, think any of those were the cause of his cronic back pain?

Offline Mikey D

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Re: Jury duty. Hooray.
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2003, 07:31 AM »
I served once during college of all times.  It was an assault and attempted rape case.  This scumbag had a list of charges against him a mile long.  Everything from assault with a weapon (many times over, the weirdest "weapon" being a hot cup of coffee) to breaking and entering to the aforementioned attempted rape.  I think, when all said and done, he had 15 charges against him.  I sat through three days of testimony and then got picked as an alternate.  Boy was I pissed.  After three days of mindless dribble, I wouldn't even be allowed to convict the person.  Still I had to show up and ended sitting in a room with the other alternate doing nothing for a day and a half.  The jury convicted the felon of 9 of the 15 counts.
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Offline Scott

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Re: Jury duty. Hooray.
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2003, 11:39 AM »
Talk about a coinky-dink

I got a jury summons in the mail last week...it also said I had missed my first scheduled summons and if I didn't respond I was guilty of a misdemeanor

So I got nervous, then I noticed it was from my former county and I since i moved out of there in January I was exempt

Seems my mail didn't get forwarded which I am not too happy about

So...looks like I dodged the bullet :D

Offline Snively Bandar

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Re: Jury duty. Hooray.
« Reply #6 on: November 5, 2003, 02:14 PM »
Jury duty.  Blah!

I've received a number of summons over the years, but have usually talked my way out of them, since I didn't have the time or money (yes, money) to serve.  It's obviously an integral part of our country's judicial system, but I really don't like how they "force" it on people.  I know a number of people who tried to get out of it, but couldn't, and wound up losing money from not being able to work, or missing important school lectures/deadlines/tests/etc.  Doesn't seem fair.

I only got officially called into the jury pool once, long ago.  Sat there for the day as they went one by one through most of my peers sitting with me.  I had my excuses/biases/prejudices all ready to go based on the case, if they did call me up.  But I was one of the very few who didn't get called to the front for whatever reason.

I still saw a lot of crap that I felt was unfair, as other people tried to get out of it but couldn't.  Mothers who had no one to watch their children but were forced in, students who couldn't afford to miss classes, people who couldn't afford not to work.  Of course, they do (or at least did) compensate you with mileage and a buck or two a day for service.  That's fair.   ::)

Then I heard shortly after that, a correlation (possibly a direct one) that jury duty summons were selected out of registered voters.  I read and saw a number of things discussing the correlation, and it seems to be very true.  So guess what?  When I moved after college, I never registered to vote in my new area (had been registered in college though).  Haven't been called since.  Coincidence?  I don't think so.  I didn't even get around to voting most of the time anyway, so no major loss there.

But I'm not trying to encourage anyone here not to register to vote, because that would be unpatriotic.  Get out there and do your civil duty, of voting and being on jury duty!  Just not me.   :P

Offline Matt

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Re: Jury duty. Hooray.
« Reply #7 on: February 4, 2009, 01:38 PM »
Bump.   :-\

Offline Jesse James

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Re: Jury duty. Hooray.
« Reply #8 on: February 4, 2009, 02:06 PM »
At the moment it'd be a nice break from reality for me, but if you don't want to go you've definitely got my sympathies.  :(
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Offline knashdx

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Re: Jury duty. Hooray.
« Reply #9 on: February 4, 2009, 03:33 PM »
I actually didn't mind my Jury duty.

Hennepin County (MN) draws a pool of 250-300 each week. They serve for 2 weeks. First week you have to be in the main court house and there is a pool of cases that COULD go to a jury trial each day (100-150). Of those only a handful if any actually go to pull a jury. The second week if you are not on a jury you get to go to call in status.

My first week I was pulled for a trial day 1. After an hour I was not picked to be on the jury (because I go to a Chiropractor [ case was a guy suing his insurance over unpaid claims]). So I webnt back down stairs and waited to be pulled again. Didn't get pulled again till the end of the day on Wednesday. They sent us home since they were going to go through 50 people to get a jury and it was 2 PM and not enough time in the day. So I get back to the court house on Thursday and then find out that the 2 parties settled after they sent us home. If I hadn't been pulled I would have been able to go on phone in status as there were no Friday cases and a light load on Thursday. So I got to sit there all day on Thursday.

The entire time I was there and doing nothing I read a bunch of Harry Potter books (nearly 4 [Azkaban - 1/2 Blood]) while I was there as they didn't have internet connection for us to use. 2nd week was call in and I never had to go back. I got a 1 hour lunch and my work paid for my time as did the state for my milage and $8 a day for meals. The weather was nice so I got to go exploring around in down town Minneapolis and eat at different place each day.
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Offline BillCable

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Re: Jury duty. Hooray.
« Reply #10 on: February 4, 2009, 03:48 PM »
I almost missed Celebration 2 because of jury duty.  There was a big murder case in the county.  The jury selection took almost two days.  When I was about tenth from being interviewed, they announced that they had picked the jury, and we now choosing alternates.  Now, knowing the trial was going to happen during C2, I did a ton of research on the case to bias myself.  I worked for a newspaper, so I just read all the articles.  This would easily have disqualified me from service on the regular jury.  But for alternates they're much less strict.  So I was sweating bullets.  The other nine people ahead of me went in for their interviews.  I was called to go over and sit at a chair near the entrance to the room to wait my turn... very spooky... it was like a stone staircase down into a dungeon.  I sat there for maybe 30 minutes.  Then I was informed that the last alternate spot had been filled and I was free to go.

Funny thing, though... reading the news reports I was sure the guy was guilty.  100% certain.  But it turned out the news reports were all flawed, because the people who actually committed the crime were the people feeding info to the press.  So the guy on trial ended up going free, and his associates were arrested.

I wouldn't have a problem serving if the trial wasn't scheduled during an event like that.  I didn't go to Celebration 1, so this was just huge for me.  PSWCS was setting up a booth.  And I was on the cusp of missing it entirely.
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Offline Matt_Fury

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Re: Jury duty. Hooray.
« Reply #11 on: February 4, 2009, 07:17 PM »
I've been summoned for jury duty a couple of times, but have been exempt due to my military service.  (The jury would've been in NY and I'm stationed in Colorado.)  I have sat on a courstmartial board though.  Fairly interesting to see the process, but the case was kinda boring...I also don't like wearing full service dress...much prefer the comfortable flightsuit.
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Offline john todd

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Re: Jury duty. Hooray.
« Reply #12 on: February 5, 2009, 12:02 AM »
when i was in college i got summoned a bunch of times, but all i had to do was check student and send the card back in.  since then i have only been summoned twice.  once they made me sit around for hours then sent me home and told me to call in every day for a week to see if i had to come back. i guess my name was never drawn again.  the 2nd time, i got pulled into a stalking case.  practically everyone had some kind of story where they felt like they had been stalked before too and were all excited about it, so i figured all of those people would be dismissed.  so when i was given the chance i told them i didn't feel stalking was a real crime.  i was not selected.  i wouldn't mind being on a jury, but not for some kind of BS about your ex-BF driving by your house too much.

Offline Darth_Anton

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Re: Jury duty. Hooray.
« Reply #13 on: February 5, 2009, 09:33 AM »
Great line I heard on TV recently:

"I will not put my fate in the hands of twelve people who are too dumb or too lazy to get out of Jury duty."
"Snark is the idiot's version of wit."

Offline BrentS

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Re: Jury duty. Hooray.
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2009, 11:07 AM »
Bumping this thread as its my turn to serve my country (county?)

I was summoned to Lake County, IL Jury Duty this week.  I've had my number called to the jury pool today and now I'm sitting in the courthouse waiting for orientation.  We'll see if I actually get selected to a Jury or not.