I was just selected for jury duty!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 26, 2011 2:39 AM GMT
    I'm actually looking forward to it. It's scheduled for August, kinda a quiet period for us. Got the notice in the mail today.

    But I think when I tell them I'm elliptic, and have absence seizures (when I sorta just blank out for a few minutes), they may not want me on a jury hearing evidence.

    But I'm kinda excited. Gonna phone them tomorrow, learn more. I've never served on a jury before. I hope they'll let me do it. A civil obligation I've never done, and I'm really hyped.

    Have any of you served on a jury before?
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    Jul 26, 2011 2:42 AM GMT
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    Jul 26, 2011 2:45 AM GMT
    Yes. In Broward County. It was an honor to be impaneled and to contribute in a fundamental way to our legal system. It was a great experience. I hope you get picked for a trial and get to take it all the way through verdict.

    I feel like my jury duty made a difference.
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    Jul 26, 2011 2:49 AM GMT
    GAMRican saidYes. In Broward County. It was an honor to be impaneled and to contribute in a fundamental way to our legal system. It was a great experience. I hope you get picked for a trial and get to take it all the way through verdict.

    I feel like my jury duty made a difference.

    Well that's the thing. It's a civil obligation I've never done before. I think I would be good at it. But I do have this epilepsy thing, that could be an issue. I wonder if I should tell them? I'm really eager to serve.
  • JP85257

    Posts: 3284

    Jul 26, 2011 2:50 AM GMT
    I just tell them I support the death penalty and they usually dismiss me quickly.
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    Jul 26, 2011 2:53 AM GMT
    I went to jury duty last year and was there were so many people in the pool to choose from that I thought I would never get on the jury. After the interviews, however, they did choose me. I only served half a day and was let go after lunch and an alternate took my place. I knew going into the case that this involved a former employee suing the local hospital saying he was unfairly fired, but nothing more on the details. Once the trial started it turned out that employee was a person who watched the readings of heart monitors of patients and he had been fired for falling asleep repeatedly on the job during a period of time of which for a couple of those weeks I had been a patient following heart surgery and had those monitors hooked up to me. I knew it involved the hospital but did think it would be something that pertained to me so closely for both why and when I was there. I wrote a note to the judge when we went to lunch and the bailiff had me wait for the judge to read it. The judge called me and the lawyers back in and they decided to let me go. That was my only jury experience.
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    Jul 26, 2011 2:58 AM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    GAMRican saidYes. In Broward County. It was an honor to be impaneled and to contribute in a fundamental way to our legal system. It was a great experience. I hope you get picked for a trial and get to take it all the way through verdict.

    I feel like my jury duty made a difference.

    Well that's the thing. It's a civil obligation I've never done before. I think I would be good at it. But I do have this epilepsy thing, that could be an issue. I wonder if I should tell them? I'm really eager to serve.


    How often do you get seizures?
    Tell the judge only after impaneled and if it is a trial which spans longer than your frequency of seizures.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Jul 26, 2011 3:09 AM GMT
    I was an alternate, once.
    I had to sit through the entire trial, for nothing.
    It wasn't anywhere near the fascinating experience that I had expected it would be.

    I'll always remember this hot shot young lawyer who, during his summation, said, "I don't mean to cast aspirations on" (the guy who had brought the lawsuit)...
    Several of us on the jury literally laughed out loud. And, the lawyer looked over at us, not having a clue why we were laughing.
    Then, a couple minutes later, he said it again !
    And, of course, we laughed again.

    BTW, the word he was going for was aspersions (to vilify with injurious charges).

    I've been called many times, but I've never been chosen.
    Just the luck of the draw. Knock, knock.
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    Jul 26, 2011 3:10 AM GMT
    I've been called twice for jury duty. The first time was in Federal court, up in Des Moines, a 120 mile drive away from home. That sucked. I ended up having to drive up there twice, and I was not selected as a juror. The second time was here in town, and I was selected as a juror. The idiot county attorney had this stupid idea that he could somehow turn a silly little misdemeanor chick fight into a felony. We were unanimous in finding the girl guilty of misdemeanor assault.
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4862

    Jul 26, 2011 6:19 AM GMT
    I've been called thrice: Once in Minneapolis, once in San Diego, and once here in Albuquerque.

    In Minneapolis, I was on two juries and the foremen on the second jury. However, between those two, I was rejected from one because I was gay. During questioning, we were asked to state all the organizations of which we were members. One of the organizations of which I was a member was the Minnesota Committee for Gay Rights. When I said that, the courtroom became so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. The defense accepted me, but the prosecution rejected me, using its first right of pre-emption.

    In San Diego, I had to disqualify myself because, by strange coincidence, I had known the defendant; both of us had been members of the same Toastmasters' Club.

    In Albuquerque, they chose the jury before getting to me.
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    Jul 26, 2011 12:06 PM GMT
    GAMRican saidHow often do you get seizures?
    Tell the judge only after impaneled and if it is a trial which spans longer than your frequency of seizures.

    I can't predict when I'll have a seizure. Some are very quick and I don't even realize I've had one, but those around me may know. I'm on medication, so the frequency is fairly low now, sometimes I may not have one for weeks.

    My form of epilepsy does not involve convulsive muscle spasms. I just become very disoriented, my speech slurred, and I often pass out, with no memory of it afterwards. It mimics being seriously drunk or on drugs.

    For this reason I always wear a MedicAlert bracelet. I can also get "absence seizures" which are sorta like daydreaming, but much more profound. My eyes are open and I appear awake, but I've lost conscious contact with my surroundings. Those may happen more often than I know, because when I snap back I have no memory and no lingering after effects.

    I sometimes infer their occurrence from things like watching TV. I'll come back to consciousness and realize my show is over, something else now on, and the clock says I lost 10 or 15 minutes. This could likewise mean I'll miss parts of a trial as a juror. It's also why I almost entirely stopped driving a car, so getting to the courthouse each day will be a challenge.
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    Jul 26, 2011 12:18 PM GMT
    FRE0 said...I was rejected from one [jury] because I was gay. During questioning, we were asked to state all the organizations of which we were members. One of the organizations of which I was a member was the Minnesota Committee for Gay Rights.

    I'll bet that'll also get me disqualified here in right-wing Florida, where almost all the prosecutors are Republicans. I hadn't thought about needing to state my organization memberships. I belong to our south Florida Pride Center, the HRC, Equality, the SMART Ride to raise money for HIV/AIDS help, and an HIV/AIDS agency. Any one of them should get a right-wing prosecutor to reject me.

    But that would just be for that case, so I believe I'd have to return every day for consideration for another jury, for several weeks I think, before they'd finally release me from the juror pool. Well, so be it, maybe my situation of being rejected solely for being gay would become newsworthy in the gay community.
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    Jul 26, 2011 12:35 PM GMT
    Webster666 saidI was an alternate, once.
    I had to sit through the entire trial, for nothing.

    It's not for nothing. Alternate jurors are there in case a regular juror can't finish the trial. Otherwise the whole case has to be tried over again. See Iceblink's post above for a good example.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jul 26, 2011 12:41 PM GMT
    I've been selected, but I was in law school at the time and I was excluded.
    I couldn't do it and I'm not sure they would have encouraged it.
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    Jul 26, 2011 12:41 PM GMT
    Have served on 2 juries and found them both very rewarding duties. One was a murder trial. Good luck!
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    Jul 26, 2011 1:14 PM GMT
    I throw out the notices now. I will go when the Sheriff shows up
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    Jul 26, 2011 1:31 PM GMT
    I'd enjoy the experience, but not the deliberation with my fellow.....citizens.
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    Jul 26, 2011 1:51 PM GMT
    TheGuyNextDoor saidNot sure if it's being a voter, a Smith or what.. but they sure do like me!

    I'm told it's the voter list most State jurisdictions use, and I vote in all elections here in Broward County, Florida. Incidentally, my late partner used to be a court clerk in Harris County (Houston), Texas until he retired.

    Well, this may all be a moot point, anyway. I just got off the phone with the Clerk of Courts office for Broward County, and they said an epileptic cannot do jury duty. icon_sad.gif I phoned because I thought it might be a problem, and I didn't want to waste my time & theirs by appearing for duty, only to learn I couldn't serve.

    I still have to go through the drill of sending in a doctor's certificate for their review, and then they'll make it official (and permanent). I hate being excluded from things, it's like it diminishes me in a way. Not quite as bad as when I was barred for life from donating blood solely because I'm gay, but still I feel lessened. I honestly wanted the experience. But I had to ask them the question, trials are too important for deceits.
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    Jul 26, 2011 2:00 PM GMT
    In my earlier legal career, lawyers were excluded from the jury pool, but that law changed some twenty or so years ago. Soon after the law changed, I was called for jury duty. I really wanted to experience being on a jury...I thought it would be instructional to me as a trial lawyer. I was selected and empaneled, but the case settled immediately following opening arguments. I enjoyed the experience, but would like to have completed the trial.

    Art Deco: Your medical condition may be enough to exclude you. It would be very unusual for you to be excluded from the panel as a result of membership in a gay organization. It would also be very unusual for you to be called back as part of the pool for as much as a week. But DO take a good book or two to occupy your waiting time.
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    Jul 26, 2011 3:14 PM GMT
    I've sat for Grand Jury and Petit Jury.....Have been through some absolutely horrendous cases of murder, child abuse, drugs, etc........the actual situation for the jury is fairly nice and very comfortable. I see it as a civic duty and do not try to duck out of serving...especially since my employer pays for me to serve....so I am "at work" and being paid my regular wages...I know I am unusual and rare in the market.
    I am always amazed at the general stupidity of the the population that makes these jury decisions.....The assumption that the charged are guilty til proven innocent and that the police don't make mistakes and don't lie or have an axe to grind, because it was "one of their own".....the rush to a verdict because someone wants to finish the case in time for some other personal business....surprisingly, people are really dumb in this country and not interested in deliberating justice, until it is them in need of a "fair hearing"...
    In Ohio, there are a minimum of 3 levels of jurisdictions, fed, state and local and then Grand and Petit jury for each level. One level can call you once every 3 years, but the levels don't talk to each other, so I get notices all the time and excused pretty often...I don't mind doing it, nice change of pace.
  • jim_sf

    Posts: 2094

    Jul 26, 2011 3:35 PM GMT
    I've been called for petit jury twice, and grand jury once. I wasn't selected for grand jury, but in both petit jury cases I was an alternate.

    The first petit jury case was a burglary trial years ago. The defendant was accused of breaking into a cigarette shop one snowy night and stealing a bunch of merchandise. Afterwards, they drove off, wrecked the car, and fled on foot; the police just followed their footprints in the fresh snow, and sent a dog into their hiding spot in someone's shed. The alibi - and this still makes me chuckle - is that he couldn't have done it because he was too busy driving around the neighborhood smoking crack with some acquaintance whose name he didn't know.

    The second one was for forcible rape and sodomy of a nine-year-old girl, and it was just last week. We heard about an hour and a half of testimony - including the victim's! - before the judge declared a mistrial (never quite found out why). The courtroom had a projector all ready to go, so I assume we would have seen documentation of her injuries had we gone further into the case.

    The first time was great - the case was interesting and full of details. The second time was fucking agony, mostly because of the subject matter, and it's the reason I was drunk off my ass last Tuesday night.

    So, yeah. Mixed bag.
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    Jul 26, 2011 3:36 PM GMT
    jim_stl saidI've been called for petit jury twice, .


    I have been called 8 times. I was the foreman twice though. That was kind of fun.
  • kencarson

    Posts: 224

    Jul 26, 2011 4:12 PM GMT
    Call out gay. http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/03/06/Be_Gay,_Get_Out_of_Jury_Duty/
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    Jul 26, 2011 8:36 PM GMT
    kencarson saidCall out gay. http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2011/03/06/Be_Gay,_Get_Out_of_Jury_Duty/

    Except that was in New York back in March before they passed the gay marriage bill. Not sure that would work there now. But here in Florida? Sure, no Republican prosecutor would accept an out gay juror, it's against their belief system. Remember, according to Republicans we're all perverted criminals. It's even in the Republican party platforms of several States, including Montana.

    And while our Republicans here will rush to say that not EVERY Republican feels that way, a majority evidently does. Because these anti-gay platforms get passed year after year, and it's what Republican politicians campaign on. Sorry, but Republicans bought this anti-gay rhetoric, like Michele Bachmann & Rick Perry, and now they own it.
  • commoncoll

    Posts: 1222

    Jul 27, 2011 12:23 AM GMT
    I was called about 8 months ago in Waco, TX. The crime was repeated arrests for drug possession or something similar. Out of 40 people that were interviewed over two days, only 6 people could be found that had no connections to relatives/friends being arrested or serving jail for drug possession. Sad, sad state for the city. The judge declared it a mistrial.