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Revamping the Jury System
Old 10-18-2018, 11:21 AM   #1
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Revamping the Jury System

Re-Vamping the Jury System

People (OK, many people) complain about how the jury system operates. Iíve noticed that lots of potential jurors try to get out of serving--or at the minimum go into it with a negative, sometimes hostile attitude. Any ideas how the jury system can be re-vamped so it is more appealing (or, at least less noxious)?

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Old 10-18-2018, 11:23 AM   #2
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You speak of "the Jury System" as if there is only one. In my state alone, there are several.
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Old 10-18-2018, 11:26 AM   #3
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Any ideas how the jury system can be re-vamped so it is more appealing (or, at least less noxious)?
Let people "serve from home" electronically.
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Old 10-18-2018, 11:28 AM   #4
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start paying jurors $500 a day
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Old 10-18-2018, 11:34 AM   #5
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Now we’re talking sense.
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Old 10-18-2018, 11:49 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by joeea View Post
You speak of "the Jury System" as if there is only one. In my state alone, there are several.
OK, let's make up a special plate just for: joeea, how you would you re-vamp the several jury systems in your state?
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Old 10-18-2018, 11:52 AM   #7
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I've been on several juries. The most common complaint I hear from prospective jurors is that "they have to be at work" - so we should compensate jurors accordingly
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Old 10-18-2018, 11:58 AM   #8
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Only ask us to serve on a jury within 15 miles of our home.
Move the courts to safe neighborhoods so I don't risk my life running the gauntlet of crime to get there and back each day of duty.
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Old 10-18-2018, 12:04 PM   #9
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In many areas they have made changes to the jury system that have improved it. Where we lived until recently, for example, if you were called for jury duty you could freely change the date within a range of several weeks. That was helpful. Also, if you went and didn't get picked by a certain time of day (I think the morning) you could leave. Also, there was a number you could call before you arrived to see if you had to appear. If they had called more people than they needed then your service would get cancelled.

Those are big improvements over how it was 30 years ago when you were called for several days and had no input on scheduling at all.

All of that said - I do think that paying people more money would help. Either a larger fee (often it is not enough to cover parking) or tying it to your pay. Another possibility would be to require employers to pay for jury duty up to X number of days. The long trials are an issue. When my son was in school, one of his teachers was a juror in a main Enron criminal trial. She was gone for a very long time. I am not sure how that worked financially.
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Old 10-18-2018, 12:07 PM   #10
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start paying jurors $500 a day
+1

I appreciate the value of a jury and it's service, but when they only offer to pay me $7 or $8 for a day's service (mileage), well, that doesn't even cover the cost of lunch and/or parking. Make it worth my time (and others) and I think we'll see less squirming out during the selection process.

I do sympathize with self employed folks who can lose a lot of money if they miss a few days of work (no employer "jury duty" pay for them).

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Old 10-18-2018, 12:11 PM   #11
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I thought Amendment XIII abolished slavery in 1865

  1. Don't schedule people for jury duty without regard to their own lives. It's insulting and ridiculous in a free society to dismiss citizens' priorities as irrelevant compared to making it convenient for the almighty government.
  2. Don't waste people's time by ordering up a hundred of whom only twelve will end up serving.
  3. Compensate them properly.
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Old 10-18-2018, 12:18 PM   #12
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I have never worked at a Co. that had less than a week of paid jury service should you be called. I always show up whenever summoned.

I have no problems with serving at all.
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Old 10-18-2018, 12:24 PM   #13
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Yeah, seems pretty straight forward, if jurors provide value, compensate them monetarily for every hour they are there. The municipality is then incentivized to not waste people's time, and people are then incentivized to go. Everyone is taxed appropriately to cover the cost, and as they serve duty periodically they get the money back, it's a wash, but no poor sap gets stuck serving for 2 months all the while unable to earn a paycheck. And of course the types of jobs that don't include jury duty coverage as a perk are often those that pay the least, meaning those who don't get covered for their time are those least able to afford it. Boggles the mind that this hasn't been fixed already. Maybe because old people vote, and old people have time, so they don't see it as a problem that they should pay more taxes to solve?
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Old 10-18-2018, 12:25 PM   #14
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Let people "serve from home" electronically.
Haha, right. Most of those people will be multi-tasking - watching TV, napping, playing video games. Anything but minding the trial.
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Old 10-18-2018, 12:46 PM   #15
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One person mentioned having employers pay employees for jury time served. Rather than penalize employers for the court's inability to populate juries, why not have the serving jurors paid through a Juror Fund Pool that consists of court fines collected through the court system? (I mean, where does all that collected fine money go anyway?)
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Old 10-18-2018, 12:48 PM   #16
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Haha, right. Most of those people will be multi-tasking - watching TV, napping, playing video games. Anything but minding the trial.
Hey, they may be watching Judge Judy or reruns of Perry Mason during that time!
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Old 10-18-2018, 12:59 PM   #17
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Haha, right. Most of those people will be multi-tasking - watching TV, napping, playing video games. Anything but minding the trial.
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Hey, they may be watching Judge Judy or reruns of Perry Mason during that time!
Not if they follow the same process my recently-completed online driver's safety course followed. Intersperse in the proceedings a question related to recent testimony and allow only 30 seconds to respond. Failure to correctly answer the question the first time would require the juror to view a video the testimony related to the question again. Then a second question would be asked and failure to correctly answer that question would result in a second video review session. Failure a third time would be considered contempt of court, with appropriate penalties.

With convenience comes consequences....
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Old 10-18-2018, 01:01 PM   #18
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start paying jurors $500 a day
+1

Retired or working this would do the trick. I would add 'whether you're dismissed'.

As an adder, I live a mile from the Superior courthouse but often will be told I need to appear 40 miles away at another courthouse, in the crappiest neighborhood, where there's no parking and my odds of ever seeing my car again are 50/50. (joeea...you know where I'm talking about!) No thanks.

I've been called perhaps a dozen times in my life but have never been able to serve; always dismissed due to a high profile family connection. Another waste of everybody's time.

So: Pay people and make it worth their while, don't send them a hour drive away when they could walk to court, don't call them knowing they can't serve and....stop making it sound like this is some sort of wonderful privilege when, as it now stands it's just a Royal PITA.
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Old 10-18-2018, 01:06 PM   #19
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How about "Professional Juror" as a career. To become one, you would have to pass a series of tests and interviews to prove that you're objective, rational, and good at processing information and drawing conclusions, i.e., highly skilled at finding the truth.


Tongue-in-cheek, of course. Among other things, the lawyers who know how to navigate our system (where the objective is winning rather than finding the truth) would never go for it. But I can imagine a different world with a different value system where what I propose would be better.
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Old 10-18-2018, 01:07 PM   #20
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Some ideas:

Hourly workers - compensate them their actual pay because they aren't getting paid if they aren't working. Include tipped workers in this. A waiter can't pay rent if he has to be on a jury for a week.

Childcare issues, others with hardships, lack of transportation, small business owners (less than 5?) - provide an application/exemption process that keeps you out of getting called for 18 months or so, so those with legit issues don't even have to come to the court and explain this.

Retirees: Revisit the age exemption (in FLA I believe you are out of the pool if you're over 70 - maybe allow an opt in for those that would still want to serve?)

Volunteers: Allow all ages to volunteer for annual service or something like that, with a minor increase to pay perhaps. If I was going to get $100 per day, now that I'm ER'd I would go far more willingly than when working.

Offer choices: Grand Jury or trials with potential sequesters should pull from a pool that is willing to do that, vs. the average 1-3 day trial.
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