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Old 06-03-2008, 05:55 PM   #21
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Your retired. What else do you have to do Al.
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Old 06-03-2008, 06:14 PM   #22
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I don't know if this is always true, but here, the gas excuse wouldn't fly. Their answer is "We pay mileage cost" (I think it was something like .40 a mile, so it probably doesn't even cover gas these days, but trying that excuse won't get you anywhere). I heard people trying it when I went to my orientation day before my jury duty started... and it was basically shot down.

The "time cost" you might be able to use though.

-d.
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Old 06-03-2008, 10:18 PM   #23
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I've been called for jury duty twice in my life; the first time right after (something like 3 days) after I gave birth to my daughter. I called and explained my circumstances and they cancelled my summons.

The second time I got the summons, I went and had a similar experience to T-Al's at first. Sat around in a large room for several hours with a blaring TV before getting called to the courtroom with a group of potential jurors. The case we were being considered for was a domestic violence case, so there were lots of questions to the potential jurors about their own experience with domestic violence. I was somewhat taken aback by the number of people on my panel who were the victims of (or knew others who were victims of) domestic violence. Then the lawyers threw out the fact that the victim in this case was the husband; the wife was the accused. Several of the potential jurors said that they'd have problems dealing with a case like that. I couldn't think of any reason fast enough, so I wasn't excused.

I was selected for the panel and told when to return for the trial (several days later). Got to the courthouse that morning and sat around in a different room for several hours...waiting. Then a court clerk came in, escorted us to the courtroom where we were seated in the jury box, but there weren't any lawyers, defendant or accused. The judge came in, thanked us for our willingness to serve and excused us as the trial was cancelled. He didn't explain any further. The next day, I read in the paper about a local homicide/suicide case where the husband killed his wife and then himself and from the details in the story, I think it was the same couple.

If called, I'd go again.
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Old 06-03-2008, 11:23 PM   #24
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I've experienced the full range, from sitting in the holding pen for a half-day to being selected for a high-profile criminal trial that lasted over a week.

One of the things I did during the slow times of the selection process or the trial was to scan the audience and guess how the people I saw lived their lives or - during the trial - how they might be related to participants. For example, I pegged several old guys watching the courtroom testimony as "retiree out for some cheap entertainment".

So I say "go", as a service to your fellow juror candidates. Spotting a guy with a touch of gray hair - one carrying a trombone case and wearing sunglasses and a "surf's up" t-shirt - would have been very mysterious and entertaining. Especially if I suspected he was a little drunk...
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Old 06-03-2008, 11:57 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Be sure to convict the guilty b@stard and hang his @ss.
The company that my Dad worked for did pay their employees for jury duty.....they gave them the time off with no problem, but would pay them for that time. So the first time my Dad got a summons, he went down there and asked them "Who do I get to find guilty and send to prison today?" They told him he shouldn't talk that way, because guilt or innocence was yet to be determined. His reply was "I'm missing out on 8 hours of pay today, and I have a family to support. So some poor SOB is gonna pay for it!" He was dismissed, and never called upon again.

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Don't show up at all... What do you think would happen?
In our county they issue a warrant for your arrest whether the summons was received or not, and you get to go see a judge about it, and explain it to him/her. It's stated in bold red print on the jury summons.
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Old 06-04-2008, 12:57 AM   #26
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Every year? Around here, once you serve, you don't get called back for at least 4 years. I was called when I was 19 and again at age 24. My mom was shocked as she hasn't been called once in 50+ years. I'm expecting another one anytime now as it's been just over 4 years. I went both times. The first time, after sitting in a room for about an hour, they said the trial was cancelled and we were excused with "time served". The second time I made it past the first cut and had to go to the court room but was eliminated early in the final process. Every year seems a little too often but i'd still go unless there was a serious legitamite reason not to.
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Old 06-04-2008, 01:29 AM   #27
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I always thought that they should just have it a volunteer since there are so many that seem to LOVE doing it.

I guess it might skew the outcome of cases if the same people keep serving but then again there are people who really want no parts of jury duty.

Jim
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Old 06-04-2008, 06:26 AM   #28
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Regarding the blasting television sets that make reading difficult/impossible: I suggest bringing along a pair of ear plugs. That's what I do when I take my car in for servicing (same stupid television in the dealer's waiting area).

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In our county they issue a warrant for your arrest whether the summons was received or not, and you get to go see a judge about it, and explain it to him/her. It's stated in bold red print on the jury summons.
Of course, I have no idea what the actual practice is in your county. But I suspect that you may be confusing what the summons says could happen, with what actually happens (in most cases, nothing at all).

With all of the other demands upon public resources, tracking down reluctant jurors is very, very, very low on the priority scale.
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Old 06-04-2008, 06:42 AM   #29
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My older sister served on a grand jury for one day a week for six weeks and came away with the same conclusions as dgalbraith100 - don't people have anything else to do besides commit crimes.

The one time I was called for jury duty was an exercise in governmental absurdity. There I was, a 25-year police officer summoned in a criminal trial with my case folder in one hand and a jury summons for another trial in the other. They continued the criminal trial because of the remote possibility that I'd have to serve on the jury. Of course I couldn't be on the jury, because I'd known and worked with three of the state's witnesses for 20+ years. So they paid me my salary plus the jury pay to sit on my butt the whole day.

And they didn't even have a loud TV.
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Old 06-04-2008, 07:02 AM   #30
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I was only called for jury duty once - the decision making process was the most interesting part
It was in NYC.
The crime - stealing coins from clothes washers in the basement of an apartment building.
Superintendent saw the criminal run away, police picked him up in a bar a couple of hours later.

In the jury room.
A 19 year old women put on walkman headphones and pushed her chair away from the table when the discussions began. - she said she would go along with what the group said.
A woman said the guy was guilty because he looked guilty - like her son did when he got caught.
A woman said he was not guilty because she did not think he could hold the knife in his belt the way the police said - she was later shown how it could be done.
Others noticed marginal things that other people had to deal with before moving on.

The system worked because the people were basically good harted and wanted to to the right thing. I wondered how much effort it would have taken to change the verdict from guilty to not guilty.

I say go for it.
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Old 06-04-2008, 07:03 AM   #31
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I had my daughter reply to the notice, "He is retired and living in North Carolina".
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Old 06-04-2008, 07:36 AM   #32
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Your retired. What else do you have to do Al.
I'd rather be called for JD while gainfully employed. Not as a retiree. I'm way too busy now, e.g. at this moment I'm sorting new photos of my granddaughter. This might take all morning, then check on the ice maker, then on to the beach...
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Old 06-04-2008, 08:56 AM   #33
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Like Walt, I have minimal chances of ever actually being empaneled on a criminal jury, but I almost made it once. The defense attorney's freaked out when they found out what I did for a living and they called for a "reshuffle" of the veniremen to try and get me way down in the pack so they didn't have to waste a strike on me. I came out #1 and they had to use their last remaining shot at a reshuffle and they succeeded that time.

As we were standing out in the hallway getting moved around into our new positions some of the other cattle veniremen asked the bailiff what was the deal?

One of you folks has got the defense team sweating bullets this morning.

That alone made the trip and the bad coffee worthwhile for me.The second shuffle moved me to number 30 something. The defense table was smiling by the time my end of the line walked back into the court room.

I always show up for JD, even though I know I won't make it to the final cut, and usually don't get past the cattle call in the morning. If I ever did make it on a panel I know I would be a hard sell on innocence, but I know that mistakes do sometimes happen. I'm not going to fall for some of the magic tricks that lawyers for either side like to try and fool juries with. I've already seen all the rabbits that they like to pull out of their hats.

Some people see jury duty as a pain in the butt, but all I see are real people whose futures are at stake. They deserve reasonable and attentive jurors deciding their fates. Not just the people who weren't smart enough to come up with a good excuse to get out of the process.
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Old 06-04-2008, 01:19 PM   #34
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Al, I agree with getting it over with before it gets really inconvenient. I'd go as soon as ordered unless you'd already bought plane tickets (or unless the surf was really big).

Once you're there I'd take the law & order approach. Tell the inquisitors that you don't think a DA would waste your time with "reasonable doubt" and that you think anyone who shows up in front of a jury is probably guilty. Explain that you owned your own business, have your own home and a loving wife and a daughter, live a frugal green lifestyle, and take a very dim view of drugs, alcohol, & crime.

If that doesn't fly then tell them that you're ER'd, you love all the "CSI" shows, and you have nothing better to do all day than listen to the testimony and ask questions. Tell them you couldn't possibly make up your mind on an issue unless you'd thoroughly explored all aspects of it, with appropriate redirects and other questions. Tell them you're hoping to be elected jury foreman. If you're really lucky then someone will note of your name and make sure that you're dropped from the "random" selection.

Except for the "CSI" part, this strategy worked well for spouse & me when we were appointed to courts-martial and admin discharge boards. Her nickname was "The Terminator" and mine was "Hammer".

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Of course you have to dress the part so some extent. You don't have to look like a street person but it'll help if you don't shave for a day or two and leave your Sunday-go-to-meetin' clothes at home.
Have you been paying any attention to Al's portrait photos? Those are unretouched!

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Your retired. What else do you have to do Al.
Bite your tongue.
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Old 06-04-2008, 02:26 PM   #35
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A 19 year old women put on walkman headphones and pushed her chair away from the table when the discussions began. - she said she would go along with what the group said.... The system worked because the people were basically good hearted and wanted to to the right thing.
Apparently not everyone!

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I wondered how much effort it would have taken to change the verdict from guilty to not guilty.
Wonder no more! Get thee to a video store, and rent 12 Angry Men.
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Old 06-04-2008, 03:54 PM   #36
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Apparently not everyone!

Wonder no more! Get thee to a video store, and rent 12 Angry Men.

I should have added that the guy on trial would want her to participate - she did after that.
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Old 06-04-2008, 04:28 PM   #37
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I served on one case. Domestic violence. The other one I got out of it. The one case I served on took all week. But hey that 10 $ a day was sweet spending money!!
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Old 06-04-2008, 06:46 PM   #38
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Regarding the blasting television sets that make reading difficult/impossible: I suggest bringing along a pair of ear plugs. That's what I do when I take my car in for servicing (same stupid television in the dealer's waiting area)....
Yeah, you would think that would be the way to go; and I have noise reduction earphones now, and good earplugs. BUT, the way it works at my local courthouses is, you really have to listen for the constant announcements, in case they call your name to go to a courtroom or that you are excused or can go to lunch or take a break. A day in the jury assembly room very much resembles a day at w*rk in a low level office job.

Last time they sent me a summons, I responded, "oh no, thanks, it's been less than 12 months"; haven't heard from them since and it's coming up on another year. Guess I should watch for their return address like I await the IRS stimulus check notice. Makes little difference, their office or mine.
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Old 06-04-2008, 08:55 PM   #39
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Yeah, you would think that would be the way to go; and I have noise reduction earphones now, and good earplugs. BUT, the way it works at my local courthouses is, you really have to listen for the constant announcements, in case they call your name to go to a courtroom or that you are excused or can go to lunch or take a break.
I wouldn't worry about it. Just make sure that you check in at the start, and then sit back, read your book, and quietly mind your own business.

If you do miss an announcement, 'they' will either not worry about it or will eventually send some lackey to find you. And cultivating an image of absentmindedness is highly desireable, in the circumstances.
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:28 PM   #40
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Don't show up at all... What do you think would happen? You didn't sign for your jury summons, so who's to say if they sent it to you or not? I personally know of several people who throw out their jury duty notices, with the rest of the junk mail...
The sheriff showed up at my rental house once looking for me. Apparently, I'd received several jury notices there, which my tenants just tossed because, duh, I didn't live there.

Seems the judges in the area got pissed that so few people were showing up, and started a dragnet to round them up.

My tenants explained that I was the owner, not an inhabitant, and the sheriff left it at that. But if I get a summons at my house you can be sure I'll answer it.

Apart from the possible consequences, I just think it's the right thing to do. Yes, it's a royal pain, yes they treat you like crap, but as they say, "freedom isn't free."
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