Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Your Turn

Have you ever been picked to serve on a jury?

61 comments:

Former CNN Anchor Candy Crowley said...

Wolfie took me to the Amphibian House last night. It was toadally awesome.

Samantha Willow said...

No, and I've tried!

Brayson87 said...

We were told not to discuss your case.

Geeljire said...

Kek.

Geeljire said...

No.
Surprised?

Lisa Wolfinger said...

Yes, a whiplash case in the DC area. The defendant was a poor woman, perhaps foreign born and the plaintiff was a wealthy woman lawyer. The lawyer wanted all kinds of $$ for what seemed like an unfortunate accident- the defendant ran into the back of the lawyer's car in traffic. We (the jury) just didn't think it was that big a deal and the lawyer was fine- she just had some neck pain- who doesn't? We (the jury) did side with the lawyer because she was hit, but she got practically nothing as an award.

Lurky McLurkster said...

Thankfully, no. Closest I ever got was a child molestation case but luckily it filled before they got to me.

sandybrook said...

Nope when I did the part of going, I was very close but a technicality got in the way and they had to release me thank goodness.

Han Niam said...

Nope. And I haven’t been called for Jury duty since.

Seachica said...
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Seachica said...

Been called for jury duty 3 times; finally served on a jury last year. The defendant was on trial for soliciting a prostitute in a police sting operation. We found him not guilty, because all he did was take the woman's phone number and say he'd meet her later after his work shift. We debated it back and forth, but without him actually showing up at the hotel, we couldn't prove that he had intent to hire her. How many times do you take someone's number and not call back?

It was a great lesson in our legal system. And I learned about how much various services cost. LOL

Imsoconfused said...

Yes, and loved every minute of it 😆 Meth case...I ended it being an alternate so couldn’t decide. They did end up convicting the guy. I have to say, it surprised me what all goes into making meth. They aren’t as dumb as they seem!

VDOVault said...

Yes.
Death penalty case in Houston Texas.
I was just admitted to law school then but wouldn't start attending until the fall so it was likely my one shot to be on a big case.
2 weeks. White guy addict herded his African American 600 lb drug dealer & Hispanic couple who cared for him into a bathtub. Addict shot & killed Hispanic man, shot dealer, finished him off by repeatedly whacking his head with a hammer (coroner said dealer's head & skull resembled a golf ball but we never saw pictures because they were too prejudicial, thank goodness). Wife's temple was grazed badly by shot & somehow she lived, woke up, got out from underneath 800 lbs of people in a bathtub, went across the street to her son in law's house to call in what happened to police.
White guy addict was circling neighborhood in his car waiting for 'cookie' of crack cocaine to arrive at dealers house with all evidence on him.
He was found guilty in 45 minutes.
It took us 2 days to sentence him to death
He was executed in 2005 (I moved out of Houston in 2003)
http://www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/death/US/rowell995.htm

I don't think I'll ever be called to serve on a big criminal case like this one ever again.

Kendrick Schroder said...

Living, as I do, in one of those semi-rural places with multiple, raging drug epidemics (zombie-like humans walking into your home to steal things in broad daylight has happened to family, friends, and next door neighbors), and regular crimes that border on the gothic - housemates beheaded over disputes about what to watch on Netflix, people with purported cartel connections disappeared for maybe what they know (or just because they could) - means annual jury summons. Still have yet to be picked though...

Sara, Making It Work said...

Yes.
It was a murder/ home invasion trial. Not fun, but an interesting experience. Somewhat disillusioning though. Most of the other jurors were not engaged in the process *at all* and wanted to convict of all charges without even reviewing or discussing the evidence.
Whether he committed the actual killing was not the sticking point. To me, it wasn't overwhelmingly clear whether the *home invasion* part of it was premeditated. This meant the difference between 40 years, or a life sentence.
Thankfully our foreperson (who we picked before the testimony began) and I got the jurors to spend a couple of hours on it at least. We did convict but I would never have been able to live with myself if we didn't go through the process fully.

I found out later that the defendant had a murder warrant in a state with the death penalty. If he wasn't convicted, he likely would have been extradited for the other charge. I am personally opposed to the death penalty (not up for a discussion here), so I am grateful that didn't happen.

Cail Corishev said...

Yes. Served on one case, then was rejected on a second along with a few other people who answered yes when asked if I had a firearms owner's permit. All we knew was that the case involved illegal use of a gun, so one side or the other was getting rid of people who might have been biased on that basis, or perhaps people who would know the law better than they did.

The whole experience pretty much confirmed my cynicism about the legal system. The judge talked down to us and made it clear that he would decide what we were allowed to know and think about things, and our only job was to determine guilt within whatever parameters he set. (I was tempted to ask, "Your honor, could you explain how jury nullification works?" Probably would have gotten me the rest of the day off.) The attorneys were both phoning it in, and when we gave a not-guilty verdict, the prosecutor started picking up her papers matter-of-factly like she couldn't have cared less. And half the people in the jury pool were government or quasi-government employees, which was a nice reminder of where we stand.

Kno Won Uno said...

Yes, but it was only a paternity case where the DNA showed he was the baby daddy.
Stupidest two days of my life.

Mhdz said...
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Mhdz said...

Not a trial jury, but the L.A. County Grand Jury. Very interesting experience, but once picked you're on the hook for one month, period. We got some days off here and there and had some half days, but my bosses were none too pleased. As far as the cases (they were unsealed years ago), one was pretty prominent in local news since it involved political corruption. One was a pretty big drug case that involved a lot of defendants. The last was the toughest, it was a horrible sexual assault case, where we heard testimony from the victim. Thankfully, that one only lasted one day

The coolest thing I took away from the whole thing was how the makeup of the Grand Jury was very representative of the county. About half Hispanic, 50/50 male and female, and a wide range of ages.

Humor Me said...

Yes - a drunk driving case.

Thonker said...

I don't live in america so no

Glitter said...

Yes. Once I served on the Grand Jury for 6 months. That was interesting.

Another time I served on a jury where the D.A. tried to get a defendant declared unfit to stand trial. Our jury did not agree.

Cail Corishev said...

Since it's timely now 20 years later, I'll mention that the case I did serve on was statutory rape. Story was: two guys drove across the county to pick up a couple of girls, drove some more to where they could get some money, drove some more to where they could buy some drugs, then drove to our town and got a motel room where they had sex, and one of the girls was 17 (underage in this state).

We found him not-guilty, and most of the jurors were ready to rule that way before we even sat down. I think most of us assumed they did have sex -- you don't go to all that trouble and get a motel room to play pinochle -- but the prosecutor did a crap job of proving it. We came up with several questions in the jury room that she should have asked, or evidence she should have presented. I chalked that up to incompetence or disinterest, but I think most of the jurors assumed it meant she had no case. The fact that the girl was surly and clearly didn't want to be there added to it.

The thing that's always stuck with me was when we had a break and I went outside, the defendant was standing there in cuffs with a baliff, smoking (you could still do that then). It occurred to me that I had NO IDEA whether he was guilty, and I was never going to know it in that courtroom, with the limited information we were being fed by judge and attorneys. He could have been a master criminal or an innocent bystander, and we had no idea. I could have gotten more of a sense of his guilt from a couple minutes of one-on-one conversation with him, but that's right out. So I've never lost any sleep over the not-guilty verdict, but we might as well have flipped a coin.

artensoll said...

+1

Phelps said...

I'm a litigation consultant and a libertarian, so I'm never going to get picked. I keep trying, though.

With Strings Attached said...

Yes, several- murder - guilty plus $10,000 fine- this was the late 80s

police brutality - police officer not guilty

David Howes said...

Unfortunately, Yes.
An insurance claim trial.
I was willing to be fair and impartial.
(Wrong answer if you don't want to be on a jury.)
The other jurors selected me foreman.
When we were sent to deliberate, it took us only about an hour to decide in favor of the defendant -- an insurance company.

So, every-time I've been sent a summons, I go (Mandatory in Clark County) and now I can no longer be fair & impartial.
I'm dismissed.

GhostModeActivate said...

I have not been called. My sister has, for the James Holmes/Aurora theater shooting . She was brought in for questioning and was in the courtroom with him . She said he was quiet and staring off .Possibly medicated ? She was let go for personal beliefs. So she did not serve for that jury .

michelle evans said...

Yes. I was an alternate on the Winona Ryder shoplifting trial. I've been on two other juries too, in NJ.

bowler_chick said...

3 times. Last one was a murder trial where the defendant had been threatening witnesses in the case. We got sequestered from 8am til 5pm for our safety. They fed us Jimmy John's every day for lunch for the entire 10 day trial. I still have nightmares.

Katrina's Voice said...

Yes - I've been called to Jury duty multiple times - and picked twice. Once I was on a Police Brutality Case and was the Foreman of our little sequestered group - super interesting case, and in the end we did find the police officer not guilty - there just wasn't enough evidence and the medical injuries that were reportedly sustained didn't match up with the alleged altercation.

The second case was for a slimy guy that was accused of raping a 12 year old girl. In all honesty - I know this is wrong, but the guy looked guilty to me, and he had with him (in the Courtroom) other children. When the judge questioned the jury members - whether any of us would have a problem being on the jury - I literally said yes, and when asked why - I stated that I couldn't be objective given I already made a judgement - right or wrong. It was painful - and I feel guilty to this day for judging someone without hearing them out. (But I was let go, thankfully, it would have been more painful to listen to the details - I'm not sure I could have taken it.)

StevenieKnicks said...

Yes. My first and only time getting on a jury was for a murder trial. I must have fit the profile of a neutral, bland, persuadable person, ha. It was an interesting experience but it wasn't like the movies. Mostly it was sad; some down on their luck people in a drug deal gone bad. There were some gross crime scene photos and a few moments of high tension during testimony. It was neat experiencing a trial behind the scenes. We did finally decide to convict, but it took more arguing and persuading among the jury members than I expected.

Phelps said...

@David Howes

As someone who helps pick juries, I can tell you that you don't have to lie (and shouldn't.) Just tell them that you were the foreman on a jury that took less than an hour to find for the insurance company.

The plaintiff will strike you every time.

David Howes said...

@Phelps!

=)

Thanks!

(I didn't think of that!)

MichiganMama59 said...

Yeah, a big coke ring. These kids made so much money they didn't know what to do with it. One of them testified against the one in our case, and our defendant ended up guilty and also was awaiting trial in another state for rape~

One day I actually went to court with a buzz!

Normal. Yes indeed. said...

The best thing about being deaf is being able to shrug off jury duty just by letting them know you’re deaf.

Hey interpreting costs money. I’m saving the taxpayer.

Jdwg51887 said...

I work in a jury office but have never been called

just sayin' said...

Close call, I wanted to, but my son was facing heroin possession charges which made me potentially impartial, so I was let go.

just sayin' said...

*potentially not impartial

Sd Auntie said...

2x..one criminal one for injuries suffered from gym accident.

Brayson87 said...

Easiest way to get out of jury duty is to shave your head before you go in. Depending on how you look, one side or the other will strike you.

AppleThief4Elliot said...

The case I want to help decide: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5916351/hollywood-actresses-allison-mack-and-nicki-clyne-chase-after-sex-cult-leader-after-his-arrest-on-sex-trafficking-charges/

Geeljire said...

+1

Taj said...

I've been called for jury duty, but not picked.

Wee S said...

After the result in the Belfast rape trial today involving two rugby players who played for Ireland - I would not want to be on a jury at all. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-43542125

Sara, Making It Work said...

We had a deaf person on our jury.

Unknown said...

I've never been on a jury.

My mom really,really wanted to serve on a jury. One time she made it all the way to voir dire. One of the first questions she was asked was whether any members of her family were attorneys. Mom got the heave ho after revealing that the only attorneys were her husband and two of her three kids. She was so disappointed.

ginger falls said...

Luckily I've always talked my way out of even going to jury duty.I feel like if I did I would get picked though.

Allie Gator said...

Yes federal grandjury. Lasted for 1 year. Had to meet once a month.

rosie riveter said...

I think the best part about being deaf would be not listening to the asshole in my office talk anymore. Fuckme he's stupid.
No offense, Normal.

Mango said...

I was at first an alternate juror than got bumped up to juror when one of the jurors (a
23-year-old bubblehead WOULD NOT STOP TALKING ABOUT THE CASE. She kept trying to chat about it when we were in the juror room, and finally got booted when she tried to talk about it with one of the court officers.

The defendant was a 76-year-old man who was accused of killing his 80-something-year-old mother in-law. The State claimed that he killed her and then bleached the crime scene before calling the police to say he'd found her cold body. He was in considerable ill health and even though there was evidence of a struggle and that the victim had appeared to have tried to defend herself against her killer, he had absolutely no defensive wounds (and he had that very think skin that elderly people sometimes have.)

We had a hung jury after 4 days and they dismissed us at around midnight and I cried with tiredness, frustration and sorrow on the drive home.


Those two other jurors, one male and one female, were IMO both jackasses, the guy in particular. Again and again, he kept poring over the photos of the crime scene, hoping to find something that police, detectives, attorney's and other jurors, didn't. Jerk.

OKC Teacher said...

You know that part in the song “Alice’s Restaurant” where Arlo describes the 27, 8 x 10’s color glossy pictures of the “crime” brought in, by Officer Obie? Then judge turned out to be blind? “Typical case of American blind justice”. I was selected to serve on a jury with “the only blind attorney (with seeing eye dog) to represent a client in Oklahoma courts”. It was his 1st case & he was quite proud of himself. Alas, it was not to be, as the Jury was sent to a break before the case started, a lady tripped leaving the Jury box. She was fine but when we returned from our break, we were dismissed b/c Blind Attorney argued that we couldn’t be fair after witnessing someone stumble. *eye roll*. I used to pray for Jury Duty so I could get a few days away from an awful boss, never happened.

OKC Teacher said...

Sorry for not putting breaks in my long story

AndrewBW said...

Many times when I lived in NYC, but not since I moved in 2001.

Lila Phase said...

I spent a horrific 3 days in a jury pool on a child molestation case. We were asked by the lawyers about any and all sexual crimes committed to anyone we knew. Many in the pool openly weeped as story after story was told. I am still scarred years later, and I wasn't even picked.

Jean Grey said...

No. But they sure tried their hardest to make me serve.

lucy said...

three times! twice they plead out during trial . the one case we did decide was sex assault. found him not guilty but convicted on a couple lesser charges. I enjoy the process and am rather amazed at the chatter you hear prior to being called into court. some people hate the idea of serving and said they will say anything to get out of it. raising their hands saying I am a racist, hate cops etc etc. wild to watch them actually do it

robbed several times at previous job so it seems that is why I have been dismissed at every summons since. bums me out

Ice Angel said...

About 25 years ago.Civil case in Chicago. Plaintiff was an out of work union apprentice suing a Catholic priest for injuries he sustained when hit from behind on the Kennedy. 2 weeks of testimony over a bump so insignificant that the lawyer had to blow up a pic of his back bumper to real size. All of us in the front row of the jury box had to lean forward trying to find even a scratch. (Nothing.) He couldn't work because of his back injury, some quack testified he needed surgery, etc...but I felt he was hoping to sue a priest because the church has deep pockets. The evidence for me was that the priest was driving a stick shift on the Kennedy in bumper to bumper traffic during rush hour and testified he was still in first gear. I believed him. I drove that road every day for years with a stick and it is just impossible to get out of first gear-foot on clutch entire time. There was NO WAY anyone in first gear in that tight of traffic could cause the type of injury he supposedly sustained. My guess? He fell down while drunk or was simply faking it. It was a complete waste of everyone's time.

Liz Pop said...

Nope. Never.

Scandi Sanskrit said...

Don’t live under the common law system. Juries are fickle things. I feel bad for them because they seem so easy to threaten. I hate people who use celebrity for public opinion to get ahead in court. How good is the justice system anymore? 👩🏻‍⚖️

Phelps said...

@Scandi Sanskrit

Juries are actually the most reliable part of our justice system. You think juries are easy to threaten? First, Americans aren't easy to threaten (too proud) and judges are much more corruptible than you account them for.

I've seen hundreds of jury trials to verdict, and I can count on less than 1 hand the number of times I would say the jury just blew it. Sure, I don't always agree, but I can understand how they got there. Don't let the media sway you. Take the McDonalds coffee case, where the woman "got millions for spilling coffee in her own lap." What the media doesn't tell you is that McDonalds kept their coffee at 88C when everyone else in the industry held it at around 60C, and that a series of other people had been burned by McDonalds coffee, and that this woman had 3rd degree burns requiring skin grafts.

After learning what the jury learned, suddenly the "ridiculous" ruling is less ridiculous.

Juries are well protected in America. There is a strong layer of anonymity, and the punishments are harsh if you are caught (which you almost always are, because the jurors just have to tell the court what was said to them, and it gets them off the jury, so there is no longer any reason to threaten them.) In fact, there's more than a few mafiosos who weren't convicted of the cases they went to court for, but were convicted and jailed for jury tampering.

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