Monday, November 18, 2019
Trials and Tribulations
In all seriousness, today we'll find out if we're being called in for jury duty here in the great state of Texas, where we've Made Capital Punishment Great Again.
On two previous occasions, we've almost served. During questioning for the first, we were asked if we'd had any negative experiences with lawyers and, because we were under oath, we had to testify truthfully that we'd been lied to and screwed by pretty much every lawyer we'd ever met, with the exception of our maternal grandfather whose tombstone accurately describes him as the "Last Honest Lawyer." Oddly, we were dismissed.
The next time, we were actually seated in the jury box and ready to go...but the defendant took one look at the 12 good and true citizens waiting to pass judgment, perhaps noticing the tiny bit of anticipatory drool on our personal chin, and decided to cop a plea with no testimony.
Whether we make the final cut this time remains to be seen, but per the cartoon above, we really do wonder if lawyers should ask potential jurors whether they've been watching the Schiff hearings. Because if they have, they'll either have a complete misunderstanding of how justice is supposed to work, or they'll know exactly how justice is supposed to work but will have come to the conclusion that the system is too corrupt to actually function.
Still, we believe in the jury system and won't do anything to get out of doing our duty. Because first and foremost, this is a nation of rights...and if we weasel out of serving, we'll lose our precious right to bitch about the cesspool of modern Justice.
Posted by Stilton Jarlsberg at 12:01 AM
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Let's hear it for jury nullification, Stilt!!
I've long entertained the idea of professional jury members.In my notion, being one would require a bachelor's degree, with emphasis on procedure, rules of evidence, the Bill of Rights, civil law, and whatever else they do in court. Hopefully, such a jury would be able to see through lawyer tricks. I could be wrong about this, but as I understand "a jury of one's peers," it means a jury of citizens in good standing, so that would be a requirement as well. I'm sure there are legal reasons this can't be done. And, like the TSA employees, you'd end up with a bunch of people who didn't already have better jobs, which might not be the best material. So there's that.
Last time I was almost called to jury duty, during voir dire, they asked me if I knew any cops, and I told him my nephew, now a FiBBIe, was a New Orleans homicide detective. They asked me what I did for recreation and entertainment and I told them I was a political blogger.
The defense attorney asked me what position I took when I write, I told him I lean forward slightly in my chair! A couple of rounds later and they decided I wasn't jury material!
Just tell them you're an outspoken blogger. And if the attorneys are in on the joke, they'll ask "Outspoken by whom?"
I'm probably overdue, as it's been a while since I was last summoned to waste half a day or more cooling my heels in the juror pool. I once made it into a courtroom, where prospective jurors were questioned by attorneys. The problem there arose when the defense attorney asked prospective jurors if they wanted to serve on the jury.
All of them answered affirmatively. But when he asked that of me, I answered honestly: no. That stunned him; I wasn't following the approved script. So he asked why I was there, and I replied that I'd received a summons that threatened penalties if I didn't show up. Stunned him again.
Apparently, honesty gets you removed from jury selection.
I do not make an acceptable juror. The prosecution does not want me because I am a Libertarian and therefore believe there is no such thing, by definition, as a "victimless crime".
On the other hand, the defense will disqualify me because I not only believe in Capital Punishment, but wish it to be extended to the automatic castration of rapists and child molesters.
I sat in a jury box once. It lasted for about 5 minutes, then I was dismissed. In Virginia, because I am a sole proprietor, I am always released from jury duty.
I've been called for jury duty so many times I can't remember. Counting 2 SPCM boards while in the Navy, I've actually sat on 7 juries, 5 guilties, one hung, and one which never went to deliberation 'cuz the defendant took a plea deal after the first day's testimony.
One of the guilties was a vehicular manslaughter, one was a drug pusher, and one was a DWI/Evasion/Resisting/Drug possession case. The hung was a local cop accused of brutality (victim lost an eye resisting arrest), and had already been tried twice and came out hung. This time it was in federal court for some unexplained reason, and we weren't even told about the two previous trials.
While I was teachin at the university after USN retirement, jury duty could have really disrupted a lotta stuff for me, especially around mid-terms and finals week. So I began answering the voir dire questions dancing around politics with, "Well, I voted for George Wallace, twice" and the defense always sent me back to the waiting room.
Donno why my name came up so many times (at least 8 since I moved here to Pensacola in 84). Some guys never EVER get called. But now the city has an age cut-off . . . don't call people older than 75. Bummer, 'cause now that I got so much time, I'd kinda like the opportunity to go have some fun now and then.
For jury duty, I have heard that if you carry a Bible that you get rejected because you are considered some sort of religious nut. I live in California.
Last time I was on a jury, we just walked into the courtroom, the lawyers got one good look at me and decided to settle. Go figure. ;D
Go dressed as Exidor (Mork and MindyTV show), casting glances about the angels flying around your head. That would worth a shot if trying to avoid. But if you are attempting to serve, that should probably be avoided.
If 'A jury of your peers' means equals, then the jury should be those like the defendant. So if a person is being tried for, say, bank robbery then the jury should consist of bank robbers. Or something..... When can you tell if a lawyer is lying? When his lips are moving!!!!
The last time I was called to jury duty I was immediately elected foreman because "the white boy was reading a book so he must be smart." Five minutes into being sequestered after hearing all the testimony, one of the others (a guy in a thousand dollar suit) told us all that he would go along with anything we agreed to as he had to get back to work. Immediately another business man-type and a woman said the same thing, so the young single parent mother on trial was down to the remaining nine of us to decide her fate. Her crime? Shoplifting two (2) pairs of brightly colored socks that had been in a large bin of kid's socks on display in a Sears store that were at kid level so as to catch a child's eye. She had several purchases she had paid for but Sears decided that she was a criminal because of $3 worth of kid's socks found in her bag that weren't on the receipt store security examined. Once we had heard all the testimony and were sequestered, as quickly as I could convince the others that it was HIGHLY likely the kid, not her, had picked them up while she was shopping and dropped them in the bag she carried when she wasn't looking. We came back with a not guilty verdict, the Sears security guard that had testified against her looked at me and shrugged, and we all went home - her included. I was so disgusted with a system that would put this woman in jail over a $3 item before she could explain what happened I've avoided jury duty as much as I could since then. Oh, and before anyone thinks this was somehow racial or prejudicial instead of simply stupid, the woman in this case was in her early twenties and caucasian.
I always answer the question "Can you be fair and impartial?" with, "of course, I believe every criminal should be given a fair trial before voting to hang the guilty b@s@rd", Don't know why the don't like that answer.......
This ALWAYS works: wear the same shirt for three days prior to going to serve. Don't use any deodorant the day of service (or longer if you can stand being with yourself,) eat a can of pork and beans the night before serving.
Your fellow jurors will do all the work convincing the judge you NEED to be excused.
I have only been called 3-4 times, and never made the final cut. Like you Stilton, I consider it my duty to participate, for the same reasons that I believe in being informed and voting in every election for which I am eligible. It's part of making our democratic republic function and survive.
I was one of two alternates on J.D. They released the first, a teacher. I was fascinated by the process. Case was a negligent landlord (a lawyer). No front door knob, a fire started in the adjacent unit going through the wall into the defendants unit. She could not get out. Baby died and she was terribly scarred. Anyway I believe one juror was a plant. He was the only one not in agreement about ANYTHING. I was not alowed to speak at all. We voted and voted and came up 11 to 1 every time. During lunch break I mentioned to our foreman (mucky muck at UCSD) that in this case we only needed 9 of 12 jurors to convict. We returned to the jurors room, voted right away and that was that. You should have heard the ONE rant and rave and give me dirty looks. A few other jurors were laughing at him. We all walked back into the courtroom, the defense now had 4 more lawyers in the room. We got word that we were excused as they were going to settle.
I served on a rape/attempted murder case here in Oklahoma. The defendant was a low life that rode the high tide up here after the New Orleans hurricane. The foreman was great. As we went into the jury room, he asked is there anyone that believes that guy didn't do it. Silence. He then said: "Let's show them how we do it in this county." We were not in total agreement on the punishment, but settled for 40 years with no parole. The judge agreed and signed off on it. About a year ago, the perp woke up dead in the state pen. He fell on a sharpened broom stick while he slept. His three victims ranged in age from 15 to 19.
All three young ladies gave witness.
Best method I observed to avoid jury duty was an Asian women, who most likely spoke fluent Chinese and English, speak to the judge in very broken English saying “she not good in English language.”
Pees excrus me.
We had a great clerk of courts in our county.
He gave a briefing/education session before jury selection. During that, he reminded us that of all the people we'd hear during the trial the only two not sworn to tell the truth would be the prosecution and defense lawyers.
I got called twice, for a town a two hour drive away. It took about an hour of telling the clerk I didn't drive, was caring for two handicapped people (well, technically, my husband was and he was my driver at the time, and I was the full time caregiver for my BIL) and no, I was not getting up at four o'clock in the morning to catch the bus for a two hour ride and a thirty minute walk to the courthouse. It was Washington state and our home was in the absolute middle of nowhere (Grand Coulee). Bus service ran twice a day. For some reason all the court cases there were in the one town, probably because population was sparse in that part of the state. Haven't been called in Oklahoma yet.
Jury Duty: It wasn't until I was well into my 5th decade that I not only managed to see the inside of a courtroom, but actually managed to get seated on a jury, and even then I only made it as an "alternate" who was no longer needed once deliberations began.
It was a welfare fraud case on behalf of our municipal housing authority against a woman who along with her boyfriend were sub-letting her taxpayer-subsidized apartment. It was an eye-opener as to what a scam this whole paradigm is against the taxpayer and community. First, there's this: There's a 5+ year waiting list to get a voucher for an "emergency" housing subsidy.
Let that sink in. If you are willing to put yourself on a 5-year waiting list for "emergency" housing, then I think it's pretty clear that "poverty" isn't something that just happened to you, but is actually your life plan. I'd like to think that if something were to happen in my life that would render me homeless, that I'd be working on a plan that would have my situation restored in far less than 5 years. But then again, perhaps that attitude is why I don't worry about ever being homeless.
After the closing statements, my involvement was over. IMHO, it was a pretty open-and-closed case; I honestly don't know why this thing went to trial at all other than the defendant had other prior issues that we weren't privy to during the trial (previous fraud cases and a DUI) and was looking at jail time if/when found guilty. So I was somewhat shocked to learn later that deliberations for the guilty verdict took a day instead of the <60 minutes I had assumed it would take. Probably a good thing I was an alternate and wasn't involved in that.
As for the Schiff-show, I think one would have to be astoundingly clueless to have any illusions as to how this is supposed to be how justice works. Even Democrats are having their doubts that this is working for them.
As for your willingness to do your civic duty, we salute you, fellow citizen.
@Velveeta Processed Cheese Food said "I've long entertained the idea of professional jury members..."
I've long agonized over this. I've had this discussion with friends overseas where this is the norm. I've long been uncomfortable with the notion of a "jury of peers" that very often means people who have tons of free time because they're unemployable, have comfortable and undemanding jobs that will pay them either way, or aren't otherwise clever enough to get out of jury duty.
Which is why I take the opportunity to serve with upmost seriousness. As someone who is self-employed, every minute I spend in the process represents time not being spent generating income. But I see it as a responsibility of being a citizen, so I am more than willing (if not totally thrilled) to do it.
The problem is just how does one qualify what makes a proper "professional juror"? A bachelor's degree in and of itself is pretty meaningless anymore. Your average college graduate these days can't differentiate between the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the menu at Starbucks. Today, I'd expect that any specific curriculum designed for a professional juror would be more pack with "social justice" nonsense than "procedure, rules of evidence, the Bill of Rights, civil law, and whatever else...".
I was called twice to courts-martial. Each time, the defense lawyer saw my Military Intelligence brass, asked if I was Counterintelligence, and when I said yes, was immediately dismissed.
In Virginia, they exempted law enforcement, so I never got called there.
Home in Texas, I've been called three times so far. I know, and they know, that no lawyer ever wants a current or retired LEO on a jury, yet I still have to sit through the whole rigamarole before being sent home at the end of the day.
Thing is, I'd love to be on a jury. But the lawyers absolutely do NOT want trained investigators seeing through their BS. Sigh.
@John the Econ--maybe a mix of retirees and younger people? But would that make an impartial jury, which is supposed to be the ideal but probably never happens. Who knows unless you could guarantee people who would never be swayed and would always give careful consideration. A paid jury might be apt to rush to judgement to get more work done for more money? Don't see it as a good choice either way and what is have is what is working. Perhaps the better option would be not charging everyone for petty shit, lol, and get of prisons for moneymaking enterprises, a whole other discussion.
@John the Econ: Although this isn't a point that had occurred to me, I suspect you are right about what a degree in "jury science" would devolve into.
I was called for jury duty just before I moved out of San Jose, California. It was a civil case with seven lawyers representing contractors and the city and was to last 30 days. They brought in 100 people trying to find 12 that didn’t hate, the lawyers, the contractors or the city.
I was released after two days of lost income. When I gave my document to the clerk she said: “You’ve been released. They won’t call you again for at least two weeks.” Oh my God, I almost lost it! But I kept my mouth shut. Sure enough, two weeks later here’s the card again. Millions of people live in that county. Enough is enough! I marked on the card “moved” and gave my Mom’s address in a different county.
@igor- If the gloves don't fit, it don't mean shit.
@Velveeta Processed Cheese Food- An interesting notion, definitely. Hard to put together in a fair way, but it could reduce the odds of having shiftless morons making important decisions.
@Mike aka Proof- I wouldn't personally raise my blogging out of the blue, but if asked what you were asked, I'd have to say.
@MAX Redline- I don't really see why NOT wanting to serve would necessarily mean you wouldn't do a good job. But if the Defense attorney already knew he had an iffy case, he probably didn't want a juror who was already a bit pissed off.
@Geoff King- I'll be honest in answering any questions. Whether or not people like the answers is up to them.
@Jim Irre- I'd have a hard time arguing that I'd suffer significant business losses from being on a jury. Why the hell am I not charging money for people to read this blog?! (Kidding! I'm kidding!)
@bocopro- Wow, those were some pretty heavy cases. I would hope I wouldn't have to deal with anything that serious, but who knows?
@Tmay- I'm sure that's true in California. Less so in Texas. And I'm not actually looking to duck jury duty - although I do hope to escape it!
@M. Mitchell Marmel- You probably had that "hang 'em high" look in your eyes.
@Anonymous- I'm just going to dress like I always do, which may be off-putting enough.
@Fred Ciampi- I agree about the "peers" thing. By giving me a summons to serve, isn't the state declaring that they consider me a potential felon?
@Average Joe- Wow, that's one heckuva story. You did the right thing, but I'm offended by the attitude of some of your fellow jurors. Despite my treating very few things seriously, if put on a jury I'll treat the responsibility very seriously.
@Liberty Card- It's like Freedom of Speech counts for nothing, right?
@Murphy(AZ)- And here I thought you were going to suggest I break my usual routine.
@TrickyRicky- Good for you. My feeling is that if I were ever on trial (God forbid) I'd want someone like me on the jury. That being the case, I won't try to skip out.
@Kay- Holy cow. Great story...albeit not altogether reassuring. Good job on your part!
@Sortahwitte- Damn. But good for you and the rest of the jury. And for whoever sharpened that broomstick.
@Bobo- I doubt I could get away with it, but I'm sure the court gets a lot of that around here. I live in a very culturally diverse area, and it's like the Tower of Babel with all of the languages.
@Dan- BOOM! What a great piece of advice that was!
@mamafrog- I think the sort of travel you were talking about really would be unreasonable.
@John the Econ- I'm semi-stunned (and yet not surprised) by the "I'll still have emergency status in 5 years" mindset. And I agree about the challenges involved in empaneling "professional jurors." I sure as hell wouldn't want to be on trial and see a bunch of pajama boys and pussy hat wearers sneering at me from the jury box.
@MAJ Arkay- You're clearly too hip for the room, and the lawyers want no part of it.
@mamafrog- Interesting suggestions, and I don't have any answers.
@Velveeta Process Cheese Food- I can tell by the goosebumps on my arms that I don't like the idea of "jury science" degrees either.
@Joseph ET- Okay, at the point I'm told the trial could last 30 days, I'm going to pull a sock over my hand and start having animated conversations with it. If a judge needs proof I'm nuts, all of you will back me up - right?
Couldn't agree more, Stilt. Despite having a multitude of acceptable excuses I've never missed showing up for jury DUTY. All of us right thinkers should do so as well. If I'm ever a defendant I'd certainly hope for the likes of this motley crew to decide my fate!
Sadly, I've never been selected either.
Served on a grand jury in Northern Virginia, hearing not a single case but close to a hundred cases over two days. Confessions had been obtained in all except one, so it moved along quickly. Most of the cases involved fraudulent use of stolen credit cards. By the end of the first day, most of the jurors swore they'd cut up all of their credit cards as soon as they got home. Also was called as a witness in a courtmartial in the Aleutian Islands years ago. A sentry had shot another sentry in the neck at point-blank range, playing John Wayne with his .45 forgetting he'd earlier chambered a round (in violation of regulations). He tried to persuade the sentry he'd shot to testify he'd been posted improperly (ie, with a round in the chamber), but he retorted, "I already stuck my neck out for him, I'm not going to stick my ass out for him!"
One time, I was the arresting officer and sitting at the prosecutor's table. When the panel was brought in, I was surprised to see my mother.
The judge asked the usual questions as to whether the jurors know anyone involved in the case, and my mom admitted to knowing me (thanks mom!).
She was asked if she would give my testimony more credence, and she said 'no'. Knowing her honesty, I believed her, but apparently the judge didn't, and dismissed her.
Out here in semi-rural NV, we get to complete jury questionnaires on line. Regarding whether I can be unbiased, I answer truthfully that after 30 years in law enforcement, I believe that if someone is arrested, I believe he is more likely guilty than not.
I also mention that my 72 year old eyes and ears aren't what they used to be and I might have to use the restroom more often than the usual recesses.
I never get a summons for some reason.
Duty - that's the important word in all this. I don't shirk J.D., but neither do I look for it. Served on three juries, (no Capital cases), been an expert witness in two.
If *I* don't serve, some low-brow will take my place, and I don't want that in a jury!
I've been called a few times. But, I always managed to have my duty moved into the summer because I am/was a school teacher. I have never tried to dodge the duty. One of the cases that I would have liked to sit on wound up being postponed. It was a domestic violence case and everyone was wondering if the victim would appear as she was deathly afraid of the accused. Well, the accused was young, fit, angry. . . and stupid. His public defender was a young lady, fresh out of law school. The accused made the mistake of declaring that he was "gonna get that b****" (talking about his lawyer). He said it in an elevator headed back to the jail, surrounded by bailiffs. His defender was so rattled that she was on the phone for many, many minutes with the bar association asking to not have to defend this guy. We saw him once in the court room surrounded by the bailiffs and a few extra sheriff's deputies, the biggest bad arses they could find. I never did find out exactly what happened as all of us were released. They had picked the jury and the judge was telling them why there would be no trial, but that they had satisfied their legal and civic duties. Those of us that were not picked heard everything the judge said as we walked passed them to leave.
Tell them that if you absolutely would not want one of your children marrying the prosecutor or the policeman, defendant is innocent. I you would never want your children seen with defendant, Mofo is guilty.
Many years ago I found myself in a cavernous hall in lower Manhattan where jury pools waited to be summoned to a courtroom. I was called up, chosen first through voie dire, and became foreman by default. The case was about an elderly Hispanic man who allegedly sold cocaine to an undercover cop. As the hour grew late, we were sequestered.
The City bought the jury dinner, and we were escorted in several vans to a real sleazy hotel on the extreme West side of midtown Manhattan. Being the foreman I was given a room by myself. While waiting for our court officers to register us for our rooms, I noticed a group of around 5 very tall, transvestite hookers. They were dressed in everything from hot pants, to a formal gown. I spoke with some of them, and watched as our jury's 5 white women skulked away at this surreal drama unfolding at the registration desk.
The jury consisted of 5 white women from the upper east side of Manhattan, considered to be an enclave for rich, professionals; 2 black men in their 30s, an NYU psychology professor, 1 white male who was a denizen of an area known as Hell's Kitchen, an area rich with a history of Irish American crime and violence fostered by an Irish American gang known as the Westies, of which my fellow juror was once a member, 3 nondescript white males, and myself, a 27 year old white male with a couple of graduate degrees.
The next morning we congregated in the dining room for breakfast. I noticed murals on the walls that depicted couples in different positions of copulation. The women refused to eat when they saw the murals, so we grabbed cups of coffee and got in the vans to head back to the courts.
The trial went on for a few hours, and it was time for us to deliberate. The NYU professor kept complaining about the money he was losing having to cancel appointments with his patients. He said he was willing to flip a coin to decide the defendant's fate. The former Westie kept sitting on the top of chairs, and the professor ordered me to have him take a seat. When I refused, saying he had a right to sit wherever he wanted, the prof threatened to tell the judge. I told him that would be fine with me, but I didn't think the judge would appreciate hearing how this NYU professor wanted to flip a coin to determine the poor man's fate. He backed off.
The 5 upper middle class ladies said that NYPD detectives would never lie, and when I asked the 2 black jurists if they believed this, they looked at the cabal of 5 ladies and said they knew nothing about their world, where the police lied on a regular basis. The cops claimed when they bought the drugs from this old man, he wore an orange windbreaker. The arresting officer, 3 blocks away, wrote in his book that the defendant had on a blue jean jacket.
We found the old man guilty of possession, since he admitted to smoking a "bazooka," which is a joint laced with cocaine.
Best education in human behavior and the shortcomings of juris prudence I ever got.
Anonymous igor said...
Let's hear it for jury nullification, Stilt!!
How I wish more Americans knew about that .........they think the judges instructions are law and as we have seen lately (Rodger Stone for one) many judges are not about justice ....
Does being the reason a jury is being impaneled count ???
Ok, so you've twisted my arm to tell my Jury story... years ago I was called for the 5th time for jury duty on a capital trial... murder in the first degree. Each prospective juror was taken back to the judges chambers, during the peremptory portion of jury selection, for joint interviews with the prosecuting and defense reptil... LAWYERS. The prosecutor asked many questions about my life and attitudes on relevant issues. Last question was "Why do I want you on my jury?", and I answered, "If the defendant is guilty, and you present a cogent case showing him to be so, I will find him guilty." The defense attorney likewise asked me a number of questions ending with, "Why do I want you on my jury?", and I answered, "If the defendant is innocent, and you present a cogent case to illustrate that fact, I will find him innocent." BOTH lawyers wanted me kicked off the jury. Anyone hazard a guess WHY? Personally I think it's because lawyers don't give an "airborne coitus" about justice, but rather winning cases, ergo, they spend more time in psychology classes than law classes.
I suppose my jury story is apropos... I am a retired prosecutor and have stood in front of many juries on my hind legs and pleaded the case for the State of Florida, but when I was called for jury duty in North Carolina, I figured my former profession would make me unacceptable to any defense attorney as a juror. During voir dire (means speak the truth), defense counsel asked me what I did for a living. I told him I was retired. When voir dire was finished, I was still sitting in the jury box. The judge, who had read my jury questionnaire (apparently defense counsel had not),and realizing that any conviction obtained with me on the jury would successfully be appealed on the basis that the defendant was represented by incompetent counsel, intervened and asked the question that defense counsel had failed to. When I told him what profession I had retired from, the defense immediately excercised a preemptory challenge and I was excused. I was kind of disappointed, but the judge did the right thing.
Voir dire brings back memories of My Cousin Vinny, which a lawyer once told me is used in some law schools.
@Ron- After 5 pm yesterday, I was notified that I didn't need to show up, but thanks for playing! So, no jury duty this time around, which is something of a relief. But you're right, the word "duty" isn't one with a lot of alternate interpretations.
@Anonymous- Holy crap! I'm impressed anyone catching a .45 in the neck was able to testify at all!
@NVRick- Good for Mom! They should have let her serve. Regarding your 30 years of law enforcement, I'm not sure your "likely presumption of guilt" amounts to bias or simply experience (actually, yes I am - and it's the latter). And I, too, was a bit worried about how well my hearing aids might function in a courtroom setting. They're fine most of the time, but in certain acoustic environments it's difficult for me to understand what's being said. And not just because it's legal bullshit (grin).
@igor- Once again, the golden rule applies.
@Boligat- See, it's "young, fit, angry, stupid" guys that I wouldn't want glaring at me in the jury box while memorizing my face.
@judgeroybean- Justice is less complicated than I thought!
@Cragzop- Wow, a great story and well told!
@REM1875- You're absolutely right. And yes, you can usually be excused from a jury if you're the defendant.
@Bruce Bleu- Sounds like they knew anyone throwing around the word "cogent" was a threat.
@Kent Neal- Smart move by the judge, indeed. But if it wasn't for that "instant appeal," I wish you could have served.
@Fish Out of Water- I'm about due to watch "My Cousin Vinny" again. Fun movie!
I enjoyed reading all of the stories above. If jury duty is good for anything, it's exposing you to aspects of society that you normally don't get to see or understand first hand.
I was called for jury duty a couple of years ago. NFW was I going to waste my time on a farce like the US justice system. ie spend countless hours listening to the judge, the lawyers, and witnesses lie their asses off, try to come to a no brainer verdict with a bunch of low IQ idiots, and then have the judge throw the verdict out in order to earn his stipend.
I searched the rules and found a loop hole which I used and was told to "never mind". I havent been called since. Hurray.
During voir dire for a civil case where an individual was suing my county, I explained that I was apt to find the defendant not guilty simply because my taxes would go up in the plaintiff prevailed. Half a dozen folks raised their hands and said they agreed.
Normally, my sure fire solution to avoid being selected is to argue with the attorneys. It has worked every time I tried it.
Your story about the defendant seeing the jury and then immediately copping a plea happened to me once when I lived in Bastrop county, Texas, many years ago. I have since retired to someplace far away.
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