Being called in for Jury Duty...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by lovemysons, May 28, 2009.

  1. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    and thinking of telling them I don't actually believe there are "criminals" out there...only sick people. People who are mentally ill and need help or people that are drug addicts and need help, lol. maybe they'll dismiss me on the spot.

    Whad'ya think?
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I feel for you. Some cases I could probably handle, but some- well, I'd just have to ttell them that I'm a mom of a difficult child and am probably not going to be a juror either party would want. LOL!
  3. therese005us

    therese005us New Member

    I reckon it's a great opportunity to go in and inject some honesty into the system.... I've never been called in 35 years! I was a law clerk for a long time, which probably would have exempted me in certain situations... now I've got health issues, so if they did call me, I'd have to decline. I still have a yen for the law. I find it interesting (but mostly frustrating in the case of children
  4. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Well isn't that the darned hard to convict and so hard to feel sorry for either.
  5. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I have only been called once and I was in school and they never called me back after I told them that.

    I always think about this. I don't know if I could be impartial if there was any hint of addiction of Mental illness, but most of all anything thing involving a child.

    Although in some cases we "the collective we" as parents and people who have seen and feel and dealt with so much of this stuff, maybe we would be better jurors?
    Tough call.

    Some just flat out feel it is your duty regardless, but one has to be honest with themselves. There are certainly many jurors who should not have been on the jury and lied, just to be there.
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I got called a couple of years ago for a DUI... Turned out I knew the defendant. Then I got one for this February, for juvie court... Around the time difficult child 1 was supposed to appear. Fortunately they settled before I had to be there, but that would have been interesting... yes, I have a stepdaughter in the system... LOL!
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I got called for a DUI case years picked too. We convicted the guy. I think it was the right thing to do.

    The one place I think HIS attorney messed him up was not allowing us to ask a simple question so we had to go with what we understood the prosecution to say. It was a question as to how the breathilizer was calibrated. I think we understood correctly but if we didnt, he hoovered over his client.

    I got called another time to serve on a really major case but I was out of town when the summons was served and I never got to appear. I would have given my right arm to have been on that jury. It was the first case in SC where they did a murder trial without a body. That would have been fascinating.
  8. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Having a difficult child in the system would only be a factor, I think, depending on the prosecutor. I had jury duty last year (and was picked) and the prosecutor is the same one who has prosecuted difficult child a few times. In fact, during the questioning, that was his first question...."Obviously I know difficult child, is that going to be a problem for you?"

    Personally, I think he was ok with it because he knows I'm not one of "those" moms (MY son does no wrong) and because difficult child is such a manipulator, I think he thought I'd be able to spot it out of the defendant. (Who, by the way, we convicted)
  9. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I don't know who the child was in juvie... Probably a good thing!
  10. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    They do it a little differently here - we're a really small rural county. About a hundred people at a time get called up to be on a 'Jury Panel' that serves for three months - they literally draw names out of a box and the first 60 or so people called end up being on the Jury Panel. Whenever there is a jury trial scheduled, this pool of potential jurors has to come in and they pick the jury from this pool of people. It's not always easy because we're such a small community, it's sometimes hard to find people who don't know the defendant, or who aren't related to them or have some connection to their family.

    I've been on the Jury Panel three times and I've come very close, but have never been selected. One was a drug trial for a boy that my son went to school with! I still remember this kid from the day they registered for kindergarten! At the last minute, he pled guilty and there was no trial. The one I got the closest on though was the trial for a married couple charged with rape of a child - their own daughter! I actually would have loved to sit on that one but ended up being 'excused'. I made it to the last round though. Usually when the attorneys for the defense hear that I've worked for the Dept. of Correction for 23 years, that I have a cousin who is an FBI agent, another who is a police chief and another that's a deputy, they decide they'd rather not have me on the jury! They actually ask you that stuff!
  11. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    I get the notices to appear like clockwork Only one time I was called for a panel - for a difficult child with a murder trial :( Thankfully it was going to be a three week trial, and I only have 10 paid days. Am sure if it wasn't that long of a trial, I wouldn't have been picked anyway for the actual jury because the defants P.D. was one Danny had twice, and I didn't care for the prosicutor already, who, while the judge took up an entire hour lecturing us on our duty, absolutely glared at each and every one of the potential juror pool.

    The glaring thing made me absolutely uncomfortable and was very releived no one asked me any questions because my personal encounters with the justice system leaves me very dubious about them - I know they have no problem lying when it suits them and I dont think my honesty about my thoughts would go down well.

  12. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I've been called 3 or 4 times. One I sat in the jury(small claims court) One I was dismissed and once, they had too many and let us go home.
    I guess I figure it's my duty to serve when called.
  13. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    If I didn't get my regular pay from work for being called for Jury duty, I would probably be in a bind - a lot of people just have to lose those days of pay. I don't mind doing it through. It actually makes an easy day for me! I get paid for it, I can sleep later that day, and the court house is only a half block from my house! I can walk. I can even run home and use my own bathroom instead of standing in line on the breaks!
  14. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Well maybe it'll be an interesting experience for me. I've never been called for Jury Duty before...and Fran you're right, it's my priveledge, my duty, job to serve in this way.

    Hopefully if it does go into a trial situation I will have good judement/clear thinking to guide me...or you guys, lol.

  15. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    First off, I think it's our civic duty to sit on a jury when called. Second, I think that people like us make it truly "a jury of their peers". We are intelligent and understand what goes on in the world.

    I sat for a whole month on grand jury about 7 years ago. That's where the district attorney presents his case and asks the grand jury to charge the person with a crime. I learned an awful lot about criminal justice. A month was a bit long though. husband did grand jury about 2 years ago for a month. He learned that no matter what a criminal is arrested for, after the police go through his pockets, he or she will always say, "These aren't my pants!" :tongue: When asked whose pants they are they say "I don't know!" When asked where they were when they put the pants on they say "I was at my friend's house!" So, everyone at your friend's house was naked and you all put on each other's pants? "I don't know!"

    Even Lindsay Lohan pulled the "These aren't my pants" when she got busted with coke in her pocket! FWIW, no one ever believes those aren't their pants...
  16. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    husband does Court Watch and is down at court 3 or more times a week. He had a case where the guy said that they were someone else's boxers (when they had cocaine in them)!!

    Because of husband knowing all the judges, prosecuting attorneys, most of the defense attorneys, bailiffs, etc. - I doubt I'd even be let on a jury.
  17. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I was called in for jury duty about a month ago. Since I'm a contract worker and would have lost pay sitting around the courthouse for a week or more waiting to possibly be assigned to a case, they sent me back to work and had me on stand-by. Never did receive a call-in.

    I too think it's my civic duty, and that as Witz said, it is people like us that truly do make it "a jury of your peers"

  18. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I've never been on a jury, and haven't been called for about five years. Hubby gets his notices every year, and my best friend (who uses my address as a mailing address) gets hers, too. The last time I was called, it was for county court in a little bitty town about 30 minutes down the road, which was easier than going downtown, paying to park, etc. The only case they had on the docket was dismissed before we even sat down.

    Hubby really wanted to serve, but he was having trouble maintaining focus (surprise) and spent his time counting ceiling tiles. He told the judge he had a medical issue, and then told him how many ceiling tiles there were in the courtroom, and how many had holes, and how many didn't.
  19. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    I was working my way up to being on a jury once. easy child was about 3 months old. It was in the town I went to school in. I was asked all the normal do you know such and such or whomever else. I said the no because I didn't. They were interviewing us individually at this point and asked if I had read anything about the case in the paper. I asked when this was supposed to be in the paper. When they told me I informed them that at the time I had just turned 18 was going to college, had a full time job and a boyfriend. I didn't read any thing but the comics in the paper at the time. I actually watched both attorneys hide laughter. This was a murder case. After all of the individual interviews the guy settled. Must not have liked what he saw. I know the attorneys and the judge at the time had no problem with me. I was 20 and had all the time in the world. And I think they liked my honesty.

    The only other time I was put on notice nothing came up.

  20. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Part of my job is selecting juries and trying civil lawsuits. Without thoughtful intelligent citizens who are willing and able to do their civic duty, our justice system would collapse.

    If you really can't sit on a criminal case, tell them and they can assign you to civil cases (car accidents, falls on sidewalks, etc). I can only be called for criminal cases with my background.

    And, I disagree that all criminals are sick. Some are and I would hope that they would get help in or out of the criminal justice system. However, there are people that are just bad and evil or do bad things just because and they are not mentally ill. If you sit on a jury and believe that the defendant did what he did because of an underlying mental illness you can share that with your fellow jurors and vote your conscience. But to me it's shirking civic duty to go in and say for whatever reason that you can't/won't serve. In my cases, the biggest excuse I hear is the I don't understand English.

    Good luck.