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Re: Jury Duty
Old 10-19-2006, 03:33 PM   #21
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Re: Jury Duty

Interesting this should come up now. I am scheduled for Federal jury duty in Nov. At least in this district we have that -call in the night before to see if you're needed the next day-- system

I'm kind of looking forward to it since it's something unusual to do that might even be fun and/or educational. But not like a job where I'm stuck with it.

I forgot about the "group dynamics" thing! The very thing that drove me into early retirement!
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Re: Jury Duty
Old 10-19-2006, 03:47 PM   #22
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Re: Jury Duty

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cool Dood
That's just silly. I said the vast majority of laws, in order not to include the laws against actions that actually harm victims. You just named most of them in one sentence, and how many laws would you say apply to you in your jurisdiction -- a hundred thousand? a million? ten million? A tiny, tiny number of laws are good, and the rest tend to be more harmful than the activity they're supposed to prevent.
I'm not the defender of every law ever written. There are some dumb laws, and some that cause harm. But to say that the overwhelming majority is dumb and harmful is plain wrong. While I thought you might be engaging in some hyperbole in your original post, you claim otherwise. I’ve got to call you on that statement.

But, we’re talking about jury duty experiences here, so let’s confine the discussion to that arena. And I think I’m correct in assuming that we’re not talking about contract law. That leaves criminal law.

From our past postings I think it safe to assume that we don’t necessarily agree on all aspects of drug laws. And even though I don’t agree, within the four corners of this particular discussion I am going to say “let’s decriminalize all narcotics, drugs and marijuana” – just to keep from travelling over ground covered elsewhere.

So what does that leave? Here are the laws that –once you exclude the civil stuff – will result in trials in which you might be called upon to the decider of fact. (I included Texas because I don’t know where you live and I am familiar with the laws)

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode18/usc_sup_01_18_10_I.html

and

http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes/petoc.html

Since only a ”… tiny, tiny number of laws are good… it should be a simple matter for you to pick out a few of the bad ones. Have at it.

Just to save you some time and trouble I’ll cover a couple of probable areas here and now.

Prostitution – I would be in favor of legalizing prostitution on one simple condition – if it could be made safe for all participants. If you think that is already the case then come visit me and I’ll take you to the grave of some prostitutes who were murdered by their pimps, or to the local safe-houses where women who were rescued after being forced into the sex-industry might tell you how “victimless” it all really is.

Gambling – I’m all in favor of it, with yet another minor provision. Finding a way to keep gambling addicts from spending other peoples’ money. Few things sucked more about my last job than fielding calls from people who complained about their spouse gambling away all of the family’s money and now the kids are going without food and they're being evicted from their home.

Private consensual sexual activity between competently consenting adults (other than prostitution). Go for it dude (or should that be Dood)?

If you exclude the things I’ve already taken off the table, that leaves about 95+% of criminal law still on the books. I’m interested in knowing what laws you find so objectionable that you would bring you to violate your oath as a juror and engage in nullification.
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Re: Jury Duty
Old 10-19-2006, 04:24 PM   #23
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Re: Jury Duty

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cool Dood
That's just silly. I said the vast majority of laws, in order not to include the laws against actions that actually harm victims. You just named most of them in one sentence, and how many laws would you say apply to you in your jurisdiction -- a hundred thousand? a million? ten million? A tiny, tiny number of laws are good, and the rest tend to be more harmful than the activity they're supposed to prevent.
Cool Dood is a bit hyperbolic here, but I agree with his basic premise
and you all will too when you are charged with some nutty
infraction. If you live long enough it will happen. Guaranteed.

JG
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Re: Jury Duty
Old 10-19-2006, 04:31 PM   #24
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Re: Jury Duty

My dad was called once. Got off for health reasons. He took one look
at the "pool" of potential jurors and decided if he was ever charged he would ask for a bench trial.

JG
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Re: Jury Duty
Old 10-19-2006, 04:42 PM   #25
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Re: Jury Duty

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr._johngalt
My dad was called once. Got off for health reasons. He took one look
at the "pool" of potential jurors and decided if he was ever charged he would ask for a bench trial.

JG
I don't think you can judge everyone by their appearance. Every person in the jury with me on the murder trial was intelligent and very diligent in their duties.
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Re: Jury Duty
Old 10-19-2006, 04:47 PM   #26
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Re: Jury Duty

Leonidas, thanks for the serious reply. It'll take me a little while to get back to you, so I just wanted to post to let you know that I am working on a response.
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Re: Jury Duty
Old 10-19-2006, 06:05 PM   #27
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Re: Jury Duty

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick
I don't think you can judge everyone by their appearance. Every person in the jury with me on the murder trial was intelligent and very diligent in their duties.
Well, I'd have to say I find that surprising.

JG
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Re: Jury Duty
Old 10-19-2006, 06:11 PM   #28
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Re: Jury Duty

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr._johngalt
Well, I'd have to say I find that surprising.

JG
Why? Have you been on a jury that was not that way?
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Re: Jury Duty
Old 10-19-2006, 06:40 PM   #29
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Re: Jury Duty

I usually get summoned every three years or so. My panel was cancelled a couple of times when I called the night before. I appeared once with another gentleman only to find out they forgot to notify us of the cancellation...... I appeared a few of times but was not picked after a few hours. I served on two 6 juror panels in a DUI case and a child molestation case both were one day trials. we acquitted the accused in the DUI case but convicted in the second case.

By the way all members of the jury in both cases were diligent and thorough.

I have to say that I enjoyed the experience when I served and I wouldn't mind serving again if called.
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Re: Jury Duty
Old 10-19-2006, 07:09 PM   #30
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Re: Jury Duty

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick
Why? Have you been on a jury that was not that way?
Nope! Hopeless polemist and misanthrope.

JG
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Re: Jury Duty
Old 10-20-2006, 08:21 PM   #31
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Re: Jury Duty

I've been called twice. Got picked the first time. About a 1 day assault trial, very junior DA. We acquitted, and would have been out for 5 minutes if I hadn't stalled us a little bit. It just didn't seem right to be done that fast.

Second time, I lasted long enough to hear some of the questions they were asking potential jurors. "If a person had a previous back injury, and then was drinking beer and fell off a hot tub at a friend's house, would you assume any back problems were because of the first injury?" That trial sounded like fun, but I didn't get picked.

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Re: Jury Duty
Old 10-20-2006, 08:54 PM   #32
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Re: Jury Duty

Is there any evidence that the rumour is true: They don't want educated people or people who think too much on juries?
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Re: Jury Duty
Old 10-21-2006, 04:18 PM   #33
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Re: Jury Duty

Quote:
Originally Posted by razztazz
Is there any evidence that the rumour is true: They don't want educated people or people who think too much on juries?
I have picked juries in civil trials and I certainly would not want it that way. Since I generally represented large corporate defendants being sued by individuals or smaller companies, I wanted jurors who would use logic and reason, rather than emotion, to arrive at their decision. I wanted a juror who would not say, even subconciously, "well, he is injured and the big corporation can afford to pay, so I'll find for the plaintiff." Instead, I wanted someone who could listen carefully, process the information, obey the court's instructions and render a decision that was consonant with the facts and the law. I also wanted people who could make their own decisions and were not easily led. Finally, I preferred people who thought that life was something you do, not something that happens to you.

In my state, we have individual voir dire (the process by which potential jurors are questioned). That means just the lawyers and one potential juror at a time are in the courtroom. Usually the judge is absent unless there is a dispute. The lawyers can ask virtually any questions they want. One of the questions I usually asked people was if they had any bumper stickers on their cars and, if so, what do they say. I also asked people what were the most recent books they had read and what they thought about them. And I asked people what they felt had been the most important factors in getting them to where they were in life.

It was a very interesting process to participate in. Often, the people who on the surface looked to be good for your side (or bad) turned out to be just the opposite after you questioned them more extensively. Once, I was defending a lender against a mom and pop rental car company. The rental car company had defaulted on its loan and the lender declared a default and repossessed the cars. The rental car company alleged that the lender had agreed to work things out and that the repossession was wrongful. One of the potential jurors was a loan officer at a local bank, who I initially thought would be great for my side. However, when I asked him how he liked his job, he said "not so much anymore". I asked why and he said that the bank had just been taken over by a larger out of state bank. Under the previous ownership, he had much more flexibility to work out problem loans with troubled borrowers, but the new owners were taking a much harder line and going to foreclosure almost immediately. He was greatly upset by this development. He could have been faking just to get out of jury duty, but, if so, he was a great actor, because it surely did not seem like it. Fortunately, the other lawyer realized I could probably get him out for cause if we bothered to call the judge back in the room and agreed to let him out, so I was not forced to use one of my limited peremptory challenges, but I would have if necessary.
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Re: Jury Duty
Old 10-21-2006, 05:14 PM   #34
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Re: Jury Duty

I get called once per year. There are 128,000 people in this county. Let's say there are 60,000 eligible for jury duty. I can't believe they go through 1000 jurors per week. Can someone explain why I get called every year?
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Re: Jury Duty
Old 10-21-2006, 05:55 PM   #35
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Re: Jury Duty

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
I get called once per year. There are 128,000 people in this county. Let's say there are 60,000 eligible for jury duty. I can't believe they go through 1000 jurors per week. Can someone explain why I get called every year?
Nope, but I do know your complaint is quite common.

JG
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Re: Jury Duty
Old 10-21-2006, 06:24 PM   #36
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Re: Jury Duty

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
I get called once per year. There are 128,000 people in this county. Let's say there are 60,000 eligible for jury duty. I can't believe they go through 1000 jurors per week. Can someone explain why I get called every year?
1000/wk is just 200/day. A jury pool is big (at least in DC). 200 jurers would only cover about three panels.
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Re: Jury Duty
Old 10-21-2006, 11:12 PM   #37
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Re: Jury Duty

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Can someone explain why I get called every year?
You must be taking up the slack for me. I haven't been called since 2003...
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Re: Jury Duty
Old 10-21-2006, 11:32 PM   #38
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Re: Jury Duty

I have never been called in almost 40 years of adult life. Maybe I do not exist?
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Re: Jury Duty
Old 10-22-2006, 03:39 AM   #39
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Re: Jury Duty

Problem i have with jury duty is everyone in that court room is making big bucks except the most important people, the jurors.

getting a lousy 40 bucks a day on a case that lasts more than a few days is a real hardship for most people.

most companies dont pay for jury duty service, including my own.

i think most people would find jury duty interesting ,they just cant afford to do it.
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Re: Jury Duty
Old 10-22-2006, 05:47 AM   #40
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Re: Jury Duty

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
I get called once per year. There are 128,000 people in this county. Let's say there are 60,000 eligible for jury duty. I can't believe they go through 1000 jurors per week. Can someone explain why I get called every year?
Every state has a different Jury duty system. Where I live you can only be called once every three years even if your panel is cancelled. This of course does not apply to fedreal courts.

I have been one of the lucky ones who gets summoned every three years. I am due to get a summons soon it has been 2 years and 8 months since I served.
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