Jury Duty

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 23, 2009 1:40 AM GMT
    Honestly, I expected being a juror to be a breeze when I received my summons in the mailbox. I probably wouldn't be picked anyway. Imagine my surprise when I was randomly selected by a computer program to report to a fourth floor courtroom. I was given a "Juror" badge and found myself in the middle of a rather thorough and heated voir dire. After sitting in the jury box from 1000 until 1545 sustaining countless salvos of questioning and barrages of questionnaires I was chosen to sit on the case. After listening to testimony for two weeks I found the job as juror to be, quite frankly, a supreme test of intellectual and emotional stamina. Despite emotions often running very high, I remained completely incredulous, internalizing the information with the precision of a surgeon and objectivity of a scientist. The other jurors found me amusing, walking into the courtroom at the exact same time, each day with a different patterned sweater over a button down shirt with a French Cappuccino from my favorite café in hand. The rich taste and smooth texture of the velvet foam swirling down my throat was a welcome guest that calmed my nerves every morning.

    I do not wish to get into the details of the case. Suffice it to say that it was a matter of extreme importance. The jury alone was given the express power to determine the outcome of a life. As the foreperson, I found deliberations quite exhausting. There were exhibits stacked high on the table. Aside from the testimony, the documents were the only way to impartially cut through the storm of redirection both lawyers threw at us.

    I am still bothered by the case despite my best attempts to leave it in the courtroom. As the foreperson of a unanimous jury, I alone signed my name to a document that determined the outcome of a man's life. It's a heck of a thing. I can not imagine ever forgetting many of the sad exhibits.
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    Nov 23, 2009 1:45 AM GMT
    They always send me home. I collect my day's pay and away I go. Maybe I should be glad I never had to endure 2 weeks!!! of that.
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    Nov 23, 2009 3:42 AM GMT
    LOL @JPRich....you didn't go far enough!

    1) Shakespeare said:"...let's kill all the lawyers..." in Henry the Sixth
    The character, Jack Cade, alleges that all lawyers do is shuffle parchments back and forth in a systematic attempt to ruin the common people. His demagoguery is simply a calculated appeal to simple folks' longing to be left alone.

    2) Richard Gere's character in "Primal Fear" is heard saying "My Father always said "If you want to get screwed, go to a whorehouse. If you want to get fucked, go to court."

    3) Scientist are close to a cure for AIDS. They have gotten results by getting 2 lab-rats to have anal sex.
    There is no cure for lawyers because there are just some things you can't get a lab-rat to do! icon_cool.gif

    After being sued, friviously, and winning by the Judge declaring it all Hogwash, but not before lots of $$...
    After being called for JD several times, only to have a deal struck just as selection began....
    After sitting through the BS and HorseSh*t that the OP & Jprich mentioned above...
    Need one wonder why I feel this way?
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    Nov 23, 2009 11:37 AM GMT
    boo i got summoned the week i turned 18. i made some shit up about can't making it.
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    Nov 23, 2009 12:27 PM GMT
    I got summoned by the City of New York a week after I moved out of town. Needless to say I was REAL broken up about it...
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    Nov 23, 2009 12:32 PM GMT
    To the OP:
    Thanks for doing your civic duty responsibly.

    To everybody else:
    Anyone who stays even partially awake during voir dire can figure out within the first ten minutes what they need to say to get struck off the jury. One of the amusing things about doing a voir dire is to watch a little light bulb switch on over the heads of the brighter jurors as they realize what the magic words are that will get them off.

    And to those who profess a hatred for lawyers:
    sooner or later something will go terribly wrong and you're going to need one. And you'd better hope it doesn't turn out to be one who's read your comments.
    icon_evil.gif





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    Nov 23, 2009 1:23 PM GMT
    So what you are saying is I don't have a right to free speech, that I should be afraid to speak my mind out of fear or that I should be silent when something bothers me....Hm. You should be able to get a job in this administration easily.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Nov 23, 2009 1:27 PM GMT
    Glad you went the extra mile and gave it your all. You are to be commended for the efforts and importance you gave the case. Many don't approach it that way.

    Sounds like it was something you won't ever forget. I would have enjoyed hearing more about what you learned as a result. Thanks for sharing your
    experience.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Nov 23, 2009 1:44 PM GMT
    TexDef07 said

    And to those who profess a hatred for lawyers:
    sooner or later something will go terribly wrong and you're going to need one. And you'd better hope it doesn't turn out to be one who's read your comments.
    icon_evil.gif








    Hear hear....
  • Menergy_1

    Posts: 737

    Nov 23, 2009 2:03 PM GMT
    I served on a few juries when I lived in San Francisco up to 2004 - state and federal courts, civil and criminal cases both. I was summoned to jury duty several times, mostly didn't get my name picked, the cases were settled out of court, or I was excused for valid reasons by the attorneys. Some boring time waiting in the assembly rooms, some interesting time listening to the preliminary introductions to cases, some anxiety about being picked for duty, but it was all over within 2 weeks. And I do see it as a civic duty.

    Once I got here to Santa Fe, New Mexico, I wasn't tapped until a couple of years later (probably from registering my vehicle or getting my NM driver's license). And because Santa Fe is a small city (maybe 70,000 in the greater area) there aren't that many of us to pick for jury duty, I guess. I shouldn't really mind serving (see above, I've done it before) but here in Santa Fe County (the capital, too) the service time for being in the pool for jury duty is 3 MONTHS, not 10 days or even 2 weeks!!!!

    Well,I did my duty, reported, went through voire dire twice, asked a couple of pertinent questions in the general opening stages of the cases, and was excused. Two years of "immune" time thereafter from 2007, which counted for any state, county, and federal jury duty requests.

    2009 - I just got hit again to report Dec 14th for county magistrates court again! Most/all of the cases are DWI's or domestic violence -- same as last time -- and my answers will still be the honest same that I have no sympathy for drunk driving (NM has an outrageous but improving record of having people with multiple - I mean many! - DWI's on their records and are still driving and still have their cars and still having accidents or being arrested) nor for any spousal abuse, regardless of gender.

    I'll see how this upcoming summons goes. But 3 months? That makes it real hard to plan vacation, have guests, go on with life, etc. -- although the court was very amiable to working with me for standing planned vacation days, doctor's appointments, travel, etc. Still, the length of time seems inordinate to me. The larger population in Albuquerque and that county allows the courts to have the more usual 10-12 days of jury duty "vulnerability" --

    I know people who've lived here for decades and say they've never been called. Must be my pleasant face and personality.....
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 23, 2009 2:48 PM GMT
    I realize I could have easily slipped out of my responsibility by saying the magic words. I am the type of person that takes charge and takes responsibility. I suppose my question is: have any of you had a similar experience with thinking about the ramifications of what you've done after the case?
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    Nov 23, 2009 3:50 PM GMT
    Pianist saidHonestly, I expected being a juror to be a breeze when I received my summons in the mailbox. I probably wouldn't be picked anyway. Imagine my surprise when I was randomly selected by a computer program to report to a fourth floor courtroom. I was given a "Juror" badge and found myself in the middle of a rather thorough and heated voir dire. After sitting in the jury box from 1000 until 1545 sustaining countless salvos of questioning and barrages of questionnaires I was chosen to sit on the case. After listening to testimony for two weeks I found the job as juror to be, quite frankly, a supreme test of intellectual and emotional stamina. Despite emotions often running very high, I remained completely incredulous, internalizing the information with the precision of a surgeon and objectivity of a scientist. The other jurors found me amusing, walking into the courtroom at the exact same time, each day with a different patterned sweater over a button down shirt with a French Cappuccino from my favorite café in hand. The rich taste and smooth texture of the velvet foam swirling down my throat was a welcome guest that calmed my nerves every morning.

    I do not wish to get into the details of the case. Suffice it to say that it was a matter of extreme importance. The jury alone was given the express power to determine the outcome of a life. As the foreperson, I found deliberations quite exhausting. There were exhibits stacked high on the table. Aside from the testimony, the documents were the only way to impartially cut through the storm of redirection both lawyers threw at us.

    I am still bothered by the case despite my best attempts to leave it in the courtroom. As the foreperson of a unanimous jury, I alone signed my name to a document that determined the outcome of a man's life. It's a heck of a thing. I can not imagine ever forgetting many of the sad exhibits.


    I'm expecting to get summoned for jury duty, too, next year. I've never been on a jury, but I was sent a questionaire from the Winnebago County Court that I had to fill out, which will determine my elgibility to serve as a juror in the next calendar year and I bet I will get summoned one of these days for jury duty. The questionaire said there were severe fines that could be issued to me, if I did not return the questionaire within 10 days.
  • vacyclist

    Posts: 162

    Nov 23, 2009 4:59 PM GMT
    I've been called to serve in the pool of prospective juries 3 times in the past 15 years but never have actually served on a jury. One or the other of the lawyers has always tossed me out (without my trying to get excluded), even though I've had no obvious connection or bias relative to the case being tried.

    Other than something about my devilish looks, my theory is that I'm too educated...I think the lawyers on both side are looking for people they think they can manipulate, rather than people who might actually be capable of thinking for themselves. They ain't lookin' for no friggin' PhD on their jury...
  • tas_515

    Posts: 133

    Nov 23, 2009 5:07 PM GMT
    Pianist, just a friendly caution. Remember what the judge instructed you about discussing the case outside the courtroom.
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    Nov 23, 2009 5:42 PM GMT
    tas_515 saidPianist, just a friendly caution. Remember what the judge instructed you about discussing the case outside the courtroom.


    The case is over. I can talk about it freely.
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    Nov 23, 2009 10:24 PM GMT
    jprichva said
    StudlyScrewRite said So what you are saying is I don't have a right to free speech, that I should be afraid to speak my mind out of fear or that I should be silent when something bothers me....Hm. You should be able to get a job in this administration easily.

    Oy. That would have been far more appropriate a comment about the previous administration, surely.


    Oh? Not this one?
    Hm.I don't believe the previous one ever set up a Snitch-Line website.


    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0809/26188.html