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Why you should never say stupid stuff to get out of jury duty

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Point of Order, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    Jury Duty in Perpetuity? Federal Judge Tells Woman She and Her Racist Answers Are an Outrage


    Asked to list the three people she least admired, the woman had written, "African-Americans, Hispanics and Haitians," the story says. When Garaufis questioned her about the statement, she said those people are always in the news for doing something. She also said police are lazy and they use their sirens to bypass traffic jams.
  2. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I once observed a criminal jury selection and I was pleasantly surprised at how much people actually seemed to want to be selected. There was only one guy that gave one of those answers that disqualifies someone, most likely (I didn't see their questionairres, though). When the judge said, "Is there anyone who believes that if a defendant is on trial, he had to have done something wrong?" one guy in the pool raised his hand and said, "That's what I think."

    I think people like to joke about getting out of jury duty, but when push comes to shove, they: (1) Get into the courtroom and think it seems like it would be pretty cool to do this for a few days; (2) Get into the courtroom and are intimidated out of acting like an idiot. Kind of like how everyone says they would tell a meddling cop to fuck off without a warrant, but the truth is that when a cop asks to search your shit, you say "yes" 99.9 percent of the time, even though intellectually you know you don't have to.

    Keep in mind that I was watching a federal drug trafficking trial. So maybe people would be more likely to want to hit the exit if they had to sit for say, a civil contract dispute.
  3. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    The Daily News' lede:

  4. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    I was genuinely thrilled when I got my summons for federal jury duty last year, and then devastated when they canceled and dismissed us the Friday before when all the cases for that period were continued or settled.
  5. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    If you're a journalist, I think you would almost have to try to be selected to a jury.

    I was called once and dismissed the second they found out what my profession was.

    A friend told me that the perfect thing to say to get out of jury duty is when they ask you if you believe that everyone is innocent until proven guilty to say, "I think most people who are arrested are guilty."
  6. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    Once I was in that last pool -- don't know the term -- for a domestic abuse trial. They were drawing numbers and I was still eligible. I was terrified ... I absolutely did not want to be a juror there.

    If you don't believe that most people who are arrested are guilty then you are living in fantasy-land, because most people who are arrested are guilty. That's not the same as believing, though, that just because someone's been arrested that's proof of that person's guilt.
  7. mjp1542

    mjp1542 Member

    I was on a murder trial two summers ago. It was enthralling going through the whole process for me, although I'd just as soon never have to do it again.

    That said, the jury selection process took FOREVER. There were countless people who had pathetic excuses to get out of the jury pool. And even more who asked to approach the bench and managed to get sent home. I disagree wholeheartedly that most people "think it would be cool" to be on a jury.

    Frankly, it's probably a burden on a lot of folks. For me, I still got my regular pay, and the days were shorter than a normal work day. But I know it wasn't the same way for the people I served alongside.

    The trial took most of three weeks. We didn't serve on Fridays. But it was stressful, and the process of giving the verdict was hard to take for a lot of people, especially the two jurors who were deemed alternates and weren't part of the deliberation. We didn't find out who the alternates were until deliberation was to begin. They were both very emotional when they learned we found one of the defendants guilty.
  8. Point of Order

    Point of Order Active Member

    To borrow and modify the great Churchill line, the jury system is the worst form of deciding trials ever invented... except for all the others.
  9. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Why not? I can't see myself ever being turned off by the intense subject matter of an incident or topic, whether it be a journalism story or a trial or, hell, a movie of the week. All you have to do is sit there and watch. It's not like you're the one asking the questions. I'm always surprised when journalists have retained, I guess, enough of their humanity through it all to have a visceral reaction like this against being involved in something along these lines. Same thing when someone posts on here that they don't want to do news because of the subject matter (death, crimes, etc.)

    This is why I made sure to note that mine was a federal drug trafficking trial, and that it might be different for other topics. The trial was only three days long and it was in a beautiful federal courtroom. Three days to send a bad guy to jail and get to watch some video surveillance, watch some low lifes get dragged out of bed and onto the witness stand ... not a bad tradeoff.

    But, yeah, when you start talking weeks and even months in big trials like Blagojevich or O.J. Simpson, it's a completely different world.
  10. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    They don't do that anymore. Just another sign of the declining respect for the media, they no longer assume we know anything about the news.
  11. schiezainc

    schiezainc Well-Known Member

    I was on a jury once for two weeks as we tried this guy who didn't like who his sister was dating and got some of his buddies to beat him, her and the guy's car with baseball bats.

    It's pathetic how little actually gets done in a trial like this. We spent two weeks from selection to exit and the whole thing could have gotten done in about six hours were it not for the constant breaks and the constant dismissing of the jury while the lawyers argued some crap in front of the judge.

    It was cool, though, to finally get the chance to deliberate. I was easily the smartest person in that room (I know, I know) and when it came time to deliberate, I went all CSI with the bat and showed exactly why the guy did what he did and why the evidence pointed to him being guilty.

    F**ker didn't show up on the day the verdict was read though. Shame because I wanted to see him get put away.
  12. Bamadog

    Bamadog Well-Known Member

    Once I got the call when I was in college, it was for a death penalty case. Figures that'd be my terrible luck. It was some awful double homicide.

    But I had an ace up my sleeve. Since at the time I'm was once a believer in the Catholic Consistent Life doctrine (no abortion, no capital punishment, I've amended recently my beliefs on capital punishment), I was sent packing when asked if I supported the death penalty. I answered negative and I was ushered out.

    Thankfully, I haven't gotten another jury summons since.
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