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View Poll Results: How Often are You Called for Jury Duty?
More often than once per year 3 2.88%
About once per year 3 2.88%
About once every two years 10 9.62%
About once every three years 13 12.50%
Less often than once every three years 55 52.88%
Never 20 19.23%
Voters: 104. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-25-2011, 02:01 PM   #21
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I have served 3 times. The first time was in 1987 when I was 24 years old. I got on a case (shoplifting) and we convicted the woman, a middle-class, 39-year-old housewife and mother - not your typical shoplifter - it was at least her 3rd conviction and the judge told us she would finally do some jail time instead of getting probation again.

The second time was in 1996. We were still in the jury selection process late one afternoon when we learned the next morning that the defendant had taken a plea in the drunk-driving case. I had to return to Central Jury the next day but was done after that.

The third time was in 2007. It was a civil case and the two yakkety trial lawyers took all day to go through nearly 30 potential jurors to find 6 plus two alternates. Luckily, I was among the 5 or 6 of the original 30 who were never questioned. I was dismissed from further jury service at the end of the day.

I was also once sent a potential juror questionaire in late 1986 or early 1987 from New York County (Manhattan) but I had moved out of NYC several months earlier. The big case which was about to occur around then was the Bernie Goetz subway shooting case - I sometimes wondered if I would have gotten on that case because I was out of town when that story first broke in late 1984 although everyone soon knew about it in the next 2 years.
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Old 02-25-2011, 02:06 PM   #22
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Called and sat on a jury once in about 1985.
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Old 02-25-2011, 03:13 PM   #23
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I hesitated to answer because it's been a looooooong time since I was called. Oh, well, I went ahead and jinxed myself.

I used to get called frequently in the early 1980s. I was usually dismissed when they asked me what I did for a living. Logical people are not usually wanted by defense attorneys.
We just might pay attention to the facts.
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Old 02-25-2011, 03:14 PM   #24
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My only time called I randomly sat down next to the most famous (or infamous) defense attorney in our state, practically. He is so well known that having him as your lawyer makes most people say that so-and-so must be guilty.

The fact that even HE was called to jury duty was proof that they certainly don't pick and choose before sending those notices in my hometown.

Needless to say, he was quickly dismissed during the "say your name and profession" part, but then again, so was I. It did kinda give me the willies, though, just to think of sitting next to him (like so many murderous folks have done over the years).
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Old 02-25-2011, 03:21 PM   #25
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In Texas (at least in College Station), all you have to do if you are going to be out of the country is to respond telling them so. No proof is required. That is an acceptable excuse, and one that my ex-husband used many times because he was a seagoing man. I often responded for him if he was unable to do so himself. No fine was imposed because a response was sent.
Thanks for this. Our son will be picking up the mail each week so hopefully he will spot a jury summons and let me know.
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Old 02-25-2011, 03:31 PM   #26
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I was never called for jury duty during the 8 years I was in the military, but I did participate in a court martial. I was a member of a line-up where a witness (flown to Florida from Thailand) was asked if she could identify the Air Force Captain she saw shoplifting at the base exchange. She picked him out and he was found guilty.

He got a dishonorable discharge for shoplifting a cassette tape. Stupid, stupid...
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Old 02-25-2011, 03:32 PM   #27
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Alan, my experience has been similar to W2R's. If you let them know what the situation is well in advance of your summons date, no problem.
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Old 02-25-2011, 03:34 PM   #28
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The one time I was examined for possible inclusion on a jury, there was a question about jury nullification -- essentially, would I vote contrary to the judge's instructions and (hence) contrary to the law. Sort of hoping it would get me excluded, but being honest, I said yes, if I thought that otherwise there would be a miscarriage of justice. But I wasn't excluded for that, since (I guess) I was the only potential juror left in in the courtroom, and the judge just looked resigned and put me on the jury.
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Old 02-25-2011, 04:30 PM   #29
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I was never called for jury duty during the 8 years I was in the military, but I did participate in a court martial. I was a member of a line-up where a witness (flown to Florida from Thailand) was asked if she could identify the Air Force Captain she saw shoplifting at the base exchange. She picked him out and he was found guilty.

He got a dishonorable discharge for shoplifting a cassette tape. Stupid, stupid...
I did some stuff with the JAG whien I was in High School and it was interesting to listen to the various cases that they talked about after the fact. One was a full bird colonel who put together a gift box with a fake door to see if he could get away with shoplifting from the PX. He didn't.
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Old 02-25-2011, 04:35 PM   #30
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Logical people are not usually wanted by defense attorneys.
We just might pay attention to the facts.
It really depends. Sometimes people are convicted because people don't understand what really are facts and what may be mistakes. And some people think that just because a person is arrested they must be guilty.
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Old 02-25-2011, 05:08 PM   #31
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I used to be called once a year but always got excused since I was a nurse but I haven't been called in twenty years .
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Old 02-25-2011, 05:49 PM   #32
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I've gotten the notice several times, but on all but one occasion, a call the the provided number the night before told me I was not needed. I actually went in once and was excused during voir dire before a single question was asked.
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:12 PM   #33
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Since moving here, twice in the last 6 years, before that, never. We are going to England for 6 months in a couple of weeks time so if I'm called again I won't be able to attend, so not sure if I'll be fined or something.
If someone is checking your mail and you get a jury notice, you can reschedule. There will be a number on the notice for the Central Jury Room (or something like that). Call and tell them you'll be out of town. I've always found them to be accommodating. Just don't show up. They don't like that in the big cities. In San Antonio, people who didn't show up got a visit from the local constabulary. Not a good thing.

Out here, in the deep boonies of Texas, the clerks really don't care whether or not you show up as long as they have enough bodies for a pool. There's no punishment for noshows.
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:28 PM   #34
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I was called 4 times. Three for the state and once the Federal. I asked to be excused twice, which was granted. The federal has you call in the night before for 2 weeks to see if they need you. I was asked to come in on the last day. I waited and they sent us home before noon. I actually went back to w**k in the afternoon.

The last time I was called I was selected for a DUI case. The judge told us that the case would be decided that day. We started in the early afternoon and were done by about 6pm.

The defense asked the officer why he did not remember something and his answer was "brainfart".
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:36 PM   #35
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I've lived in Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida and Indiana and have never been called in the 34 years I've been registered to vote.
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Old 02-25-2011, 06:41 PM   #36
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Every other year here for the last eight years. I just finished my week's duty today without being chosen to even appear at the court house...Oh well.
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:59 PM   #37
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Probably every 4 years on average. I have been selected twice.

The more interesting case involved 20-year-olds in a love triangle that was settled with a tire tool. All three of the principals got on the stand and lied their a**es off testified, but at the outset we didn't know that would be the case.

First we heard medical testimony and "I'm pretty sure it was Johnny who jumped me" stories from Mike, the pretty-boy who was the recipient of the blows. (Fun fact of the day: a tire tool can leave a perfect crescent-shaped bruise across a man's back.)

To our disappointment, the prosecution's case took the rest of the day. We all went home wondering whether we would get to see or hear from Mike and Johnny's true love.

Imagine the anticipation that had built up overnight. The next morning, after all kinds of delays and false starts, at last we heard the magic words..."and the defense calls to the stand the most desirable woman in the entire world ...Julie"!

Well, just from using my keen powers of observation during Julie's long walk to the witness stand in high heels, it was clear that this girl had the skills to break some hearts. But after about two minutes of hearing her attempt to answer the attorney's simple questions, my fellow jurors and I were working hard to keep from laughing or rolling our eyes. Not a good witness.

I distinctly remember glancing over at Prosecution Exhibit 1 on the table and wondering whether Johnny was figuring he had swung the tire iron in the wrong direction on that fateful summer night.

Julie closed up her testimony by standing up to show the jury the engagement ring on her left hand and attempting to convince us that she was looking forward to a lifetime of wedded bliss with Johnny "just as soon as the trial is behind us." (Johnny's eyes and body language were saying something a little different, however.)

Fortunately for us, the prosecution had located the one sober person at the party who had no strong ties to Julie or one of her knucklehead beaus. In fact, she was the only witness in the whole trial who seemed to have a lick of sense. We the jury gave great weight to her "Johnny just took that tire tool and started whupping the hell out of Mike" testimony.

After deliberation, which mostly consisted of an hour or so of entertaining juror re-enactments of the juiciest parts of the testimony, Johnny was determined to be guilty. Unfortunately for Johnny, the tire-iron shaped bruise meant it was a felony conviction.

We heard from Johnny during the punishment phase. Despite a remarkably selective memory about "a group of hispanic men I didn't know" moving in Mike's general direction - and what seemed to be a superhuman power to pretend he didn't notice that Julie was sitting in the front row - he managed to convince us that he was basically a good kid who made a dumb choice. We didn't send him to prison.
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:28 PM   #38
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Harry, that was great!

I was on a murder jury. This 40-ish guy met a woman at a bar and took her to his apartment. At one point she said "no", to which he took great umbrage. And a baseball bat. The details at this point are pretty gory, let it suffice to say he wrapped her body in a bedspread and dumped her body.

The police were at the scene the next morning, unwrapping her bloodied body, and one of them noticed a piece of paper stuck to her leg. It was a magazine label, complete with name and address, of..... the guy who did the deed.

The bad guy was pretty shocked surprised when they knocked at his door. As far as most of us were concerned he should have received life in prison (the death penalty was not on the table) instead of 40 years. But, there were a couple of women on the jury who said he had an unhappy childhood felt sorry for him.
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Old 02-26-2011, 03:02 AM   #39
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I have never been called, which is fine with me.
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Old 02-26-2011, 05:14 AM   #40
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I've lived in Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida and Indiana and have never been called in the 34 years I've been registered to vote.
In Texas, valid driver licenses, active voter registrations, and property tax rolls are used to put the warm bodies in the potential jury pool.
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