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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 02-26-2011, 05:37 AM   #41
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I don't know if this is right, but last time I reported I ask about all the folks that did not seem to show up. The clerk said there was really nothing they could do about it as the notice does not go out registered mail, and there is no way to prove you got it.

Here in Bossier City, they do send the notices by registered mail, and if you don't show, the judge sends the deputies to bring you in. When I was at the courthouse along with about 200 other potential jurors, when the clerk of court called your name, if you weren't present, the judge instructed the sheriff to go get you.
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Old 02-26-2011, 07:32 AM   #42
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In 56 years, I have never been called. I have no idea why...
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Old 02-26-2011, 11:55 AM   #43
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I was called for jury duty once. At the same time, I was also a police officer working in the Fraud Section, and had a trial scheduled the same day in another courtroom. I went to the jury room, explained to the clerk there who I was and why there was no chance I'd be on a jury, and was told to report anyway.

Talked to the State's Attorney for the case I was supposed to testify in, and showed the jury summons. He gave a big sigh, and said the jury summons took priority, so I went on to the jury room, with a large accordion file containing my fraud case under one arm.

Sat around there for a hour or two and was called to the courtroom, knowing full well there was a zero chance I'd be placed on a jury. When the judge asked if any of the jury pool members knew any of the witnesses or investigating officers I indicated that I did, since I'd worked with four of the officers for 20+ years. Still, I didn't get dismissed until the judge, who I'd also known for 20+ years, asked if I would believe the testimony of the officers over that of the defense witnesses. Well, yeah, duh.

It really would have been an insult to the intelligence of the court to claim otherwise.

And by the time I was freed up from that ring-around-the-rosie, the case I'd called to testify in had been continued because I wasn't available. So they paid me for an entire day of pointless sitting around. What a waste of tax money.
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Old 02-26-2011, 12:06 PM   #44
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They claim that you should not get called until 3 years have passed since the last time they gave you the opportunity to earn $6/day.
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Old 02-26-2011, 02:31 PM   #45
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Twice in the nine years since I've become a Hawaii resident. Never from Florida during the previous 20 years, mostly because I was rarely in that state.

The first time we were waved off by the phone message the night before.

The second time we needed to spend two days convicting a guy of possession of 0.24 grams of crystal methamphetamine. From the testimony (and the frequent defense objections) it was clear that the defendant had done something else that evening to piss off a whole bunch of police officers, but apparently this was all that they could make stick.

I was the last juror chosen, perhaps because the lawyers had run out of peremptory challenges. I really tried to follow my personal philosophy of "show no leadership" but we were sent to deliberations at 3 PM with a warning that if we couldn't figure it out within the hour then we'd have to invest a third day of our lives. We gathered in the jury room and spent 15 minutes not picking a foreman, at which point I cracked under the time pressure and volunteered for the job. Then I spent the next 30 minutes showing a couple of indecisive jurors where in the 30+ pages of judge's instructions it said we were allowed to convict the guy.

I donated my $30/day + mileage to Project Meth.

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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...
You would think that all those Air Force captains would look pretty much alike...

Oh, the JAG manual investigations I've done over the years. My favorite (in retrospect but not at the time) was the 18-year-old who thought there was just iced tea in the eight Long Island Ice Teas he drank. At a bar. In a state where the drinking age is 21. He didn't last long in the submarine force.

The worst were the investigations & administrative-discharge hearings at a Mainland command near a major military medical facility. Because of the hospital, the staff included a number of active-duty sailors who had been diagnosed HIV-positive and were pretty much stuck at commands like that until they left the service (unlikely with that "pre-existing condition") or retired. A significant minority of them were more focused on their bucket lists than on long-term planning so the investigating-officer business was brisk.

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I actually went in once and was excused during voir dire before a single question was asked.
Is that because of your military service or your law degree?

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The more interesting case involved 20-year-olds in a love triangle that was settled with a tire tool.
The only thing missing from that story is the sentence "Here, Bubba, hol' ma beer and hand me thet thar tar arn!"

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They claim that you should not get called until 3 years have passed since the last time they gave you the opportunity to earn $6/day.
I fear that it's annually here, and once you're in the "served" database...
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Old 02-26-2011, 02:58 PM   #46
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They claim that you should not get called until 3 years have passed since the last time they gave you the opportunity to earn $6/day.
Theoretically that's true in Texas. **However** San Antonio has six distinct courts and each jury call is independent of the other. I was in a jury pool three times in one year because they were all different courts. Traffic court was the most fun. We enjoyed the long line of people trying to wiggle out of negotiate their penalty without a jury trial. At the end of a very long day only one jury was seated. The defendant took one look at the jury and decided he was totally screwed it was best to quickly accept the plea deal and get out of there. I was surprised the plea deal was still on the table; but, what the heck - it was a nice afternoon to sit in a downtown pub and have a cold beer.
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Old 02-26-2011, 03:08 PM   #47
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I donated my $30/day + mileage to Project Meth.
$30 a day? Wow... it's $6 a day here and no mileage!

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The only thing missing from that story is the sentence "Here, Bubba, hol' ma beer and hand me thet thar tar arn!"
You must have strong Southern roots somewhere in your background.
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Old 02-26-2011, 03:48 PM   #48
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You must have strong Southern roots somewhere in your background.
The Navy taught me enough foreign languages to procure the necessities of life almost anywhere in the world...
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Old 02-26-2011, 04:58 PM   #49
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When I was in Houston I was called obnoxiously 3 times a year for a number of years. In fact, is was so bad that there were a number of us at once jury call who, also, had the same amount of times to be called.
I have no idea if we were on a "suckers list" or what, but it did eventually stop.
You were on a suckers list. The folks who programmed the Houston jury summons used a random number generator that was flawed plus they used the same seed for every run, so they always got the same list of people whenever they needed jurors.

This was eventually figured out and fixed. All my computer science buddies laughed about this at the time, since it succinctly explained why they were always being called up for jury duty.
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Old 02-26-2011, 06:05 PM   #50
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Been in Ohio more than 30 years. Think have been called more than 5 times: sometimes registered mail, twice county sheriff personally delivered notice.
Most had been dismissed when I called; 1 dismissed after I showed up; 1 was jury selected before they got to me.
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Old 02-26-2011, 06:37 PM   #51
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Once in 51 years. Not sure why so seldom.
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Old 02-26-2011, 06:39 PM   #52
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You were on a suckers list. The folks who programmed the Houston jury summons used a random number generator that was flawed plus they used the same seed for every run, so they always got the same list of people whenever they needed jurors.

This was eventually figured out and fixed. All my computer science buddies laughed about this at the time, since it succinctly explained why they were always being called up for jury duty.

Great story. How come this never happens for publishers clearing house lottery winners.
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Old 02-27-2011, 12:01 PM   #53
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Just to add to one of my JD stories when I got on a case the first time I served back in 1987.

It was a bit topsy-turvy at times. I appeared at Central Jury on a Monday and my name was finally called in the afternoon to report to a small room. Once there, we were told we would be bussed to the nearby criminal courthouse which was a relief for me because I worked in the insurance industry and felt that would hurt my chance to get on a civil case.

I was the 6th juror seated for the shoplifting case (6 jurors plus one alternate) and we were told to report the next morning at 10:30 AM, something I liked because it beat getting up at 7 AM to get a train to go to work. The drive was only about 10-15 minutes and we had reserved parking once we got on a case.

That first day (Tuesday), the prosecution presented its case. The next day was Veterans Day so the courts were closed. I went back to work. The next day, Thursday, we get there and the judge tells us the case cannot continue that day or the next day (Friday) for undisclosed reasons. (I found out later that the defense lawyer may have had a back injury but I never did find out.) We got credit for a day of jury service so I was free for the rest of the day. I had to return Monday for the case to continue.

I then went back to work Friday, surprising everyone there again because I was still "on" jury duty. I told them I would not be in the office the following Monday.

On Monday, the defense presented its case before we broke for lunch. The judge told us we jurors would be treated to lunch in a nice eatery even though we were not yet in deliberations because of the way we had been jerked around. Isolated in a dining room, we played a joke on the court officers with us to be "pretending" to discuss the case even though we really weren't.

After lunch, we heard closing arguments, deliberated for about an hour and convicted the woman. Afterwards, the judge brought us into his chamber and told us about her past of repeated shoplifting charges and would be be doing some jail time. He also told us that the defendant's friend who testified on her behalf and had a subsequent shoplifting arrest herself but not with the defendant appeared before the same judge on that charge!

After the judge released us, the ADA, a young man in his 20s like me, asked me to give him a critique of his performance. He also gave me some insight about why he chose certain jurors (he wanted educated people) and why the defense lawyer kept the few eligible women off the jury (he wanted inexperienced shoppers who could buy the defendant's BS story). However, I was an experienced shopper, unlike the ADA and my fellow jurors who were mainly older men, and in the deliberations I was able to punch a big hole in the defendant's story which convinced a wavering juror into convicting her.

The next day I returned to work and life went back to normal.
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Old 02-27-2011, 01:59 PM   #54
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I have been called for JD in May

It's my third or fourth time in 36.5 years since turning 21. I'm thinking that I'll come prepared: A portble rocking chair, knitting, and a shawl. Then I'll sit there cackling and murmuring "guillotine them".
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Old 02-27-2011, 04:40 PM   #55
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My jury calls have been patchy. Almost annually during the 90's, and then only a couple times in the next 10 years. I was called for grand jury once and served a 6 month term. The summons was delivered by the local sheriff! When everyone called did not show up, the judge sent the law after them. It was a very interesting experience and I learned a lot.
Once I was called and seated in the jury waiting room next to one of the judges from our county as well as one of the defense attorneys. That lets you know it is random....
For some reason I get picked often when called.
I have served on one civil case, 1 burglary with weapons, 2 DUI's (one with a death involved) one child custody (the saddest one), and a robbery/cocaine case. The common denominator on them all was the frightening ignorance of what is supposed to be a jury of our peers. Each time there were a few people who understood the law, listened to the case and applied logic in reaching their decision but the majority of the panel was unable or unwilling to do this. Truly frightening.
I know how OJ got off! The ridiculous reasons why some people choose guilty or not are staggering to me. One woman was going to let a DUI off because she did not want the man's family to have to bear the shame....two men on grand jury wanted to no bill a peace officer just because he WAS a cop and one the men's son-in-law was a cop. Luckily 10 out of 12 differed and he was eventually convicted of the crime.
I have come away from all this believing that we should all serve to the best of our ability when called because there needs to be SOME smart people left in the jury pool, not just the ones too dumb to get out of it! And you or yours might be in need of an intelligent jury someday.
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:42 AM   #56
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Theoretically that's true in Texas. **However** San Antonio has six distinct courts and each jury call is independent of the other. I was in a jury pool three times in one year because they were all different courts. Traffic court was the most fun. We enjoyed the long line of people trying to wiggle out of negotiate their penalty without a jury trial. At the end of a very long day only one jury was seated. The defendant took one look at the jury and decided he was totally screwed it was best to quickly accept the plea deal and get out of there. I was surprised the plea deal was still on the table; but, what the heck - it was a nice afternoon to sit in a downtown pub and have a cold beer.

From what I understand... most plea offers are good up to when the jury is coming back with a verdict... better to have a sure thing than a possible loss...

The jury can be a crap shoot... my last jury I was on I knew we were hung in the first 5 minutes... it was an armed robbery... I was the forman and was going through the charge... trying to get the easy stuff out of the way... we all agree he was robbed, check... we all agree it was at this location, check, we all agree there was a gun... check.. WHAT You do not? Why, there wa zero testimony that there was not a gun.... well, all you have a good day... I started to read my book.... wasted the rest of the day and the whole next day...
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:33 AM   #57
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Been called for jury duty twice in 30 years, but never for the trials I wanted to be on....
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Old 02-28-2011, 12:24 PM   #58
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You were on a suckers list. The folks who programmed the Houston jury summons used a random number generator that was flawed plus they used the same seed for every run, so they always got the same list of people whenever they needed jurors.

This was eventually figured out and fixed. All my computer science buddies laughed about this at the time, since it succinctly explained why they were always being called up for jury duty.

Good my guess was confirmed, thanks LOL!

Amazingly, the mere 7 years I just spent in Illinois got me one jury duty request which I got out of cause I was taking care of an elderly dementia'd mother. Someone really wants me to serve on jury duty I think.
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:44 AM   #59
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I don't know if this is right, but last time I reported I ask about all the folks that did not seem to show up. The clerk said there was really nothing they could do about it as the notice does not go out registered mail, and there is no way to prove you got it.
Jenny now lives in Kansas City, so when her jury duty summons came recently (here in California), I ignored it to see what would happen.

Today she got a letter (here) that says (paraphrased): "You didn't appear. Please use the space below to explain why." Scary language about contempt of court, fines, imprisonment, and capital punishment appears at the bottom.

I guess I'll let them know she moved, but it would be interesting to see if things escalate if I ignore this mail also.
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Old 03-10-2011, 07:09 PM   #60
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I usually get a notice to jury duty about once a year. And I also think that I am on some kind of sucker's list. If they are getting the names from the vast pool of vehicle registrations...then about half the people driving cars in SC must not be registered. The last time, I gave notice in writing that I was going to be out of state and was excused. We had plans that week and was worried it would make us break our reservations. But, they sent notice 2 days before leaving saying I was excused. PITA.

However..I don't think I would make a very good jurist. I think most lawyers want a jury that has people that are fairly young, pretty liberal and side leaning, and easily swayed.

And I hear a good felony on your record will make them leave you alone from now on...
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