Jury duty…

Got tagged yesterday, still can’t brain today…

Yes, it was that BORING!!!

Go read the folks on the sidebar while I try to jump start the brain…

During voir dire, the defense lawyer gave a hypothetical that was so complicated I don’t think SHE even understood what she was asking… Thankfully I didn’t get picked for that jury!

I HATE hypotheticals… With a @%))@*! passion…


Jury duty… — 28 Comments

  1. I’ve never sat on a civil case, but I’ve been on a handful of criminal cases.
    I was a juror on two Murder One cases when I was a uniformed Fed.
    It turns out that the belief that law enforcement aren’t ever picked for jurors was wrong.

    It is always an experience. And I’ll leave that deliberately vague.

  2. Ha!

    A jury of your peers… that weren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty.

    I’ve been an alternate for a Grand Jury, but I didn’t get to sit. I’m just waiting for the ubiquitous domestic violence / murder case. He was beating her, so she dinged him.

    Not Guilty, yer honner. Give her a medal, him a funeral, and let’s go down to the bar and celebrate.

  3. Been a while for me. It seems that every time I have gone in, I was picked. Nothing exciting and it was all settled in a day.

  4. Neither side wants me.

    The prosecutor doesn’t want me because he has to prove his case beyond a reasonable doubt. Not “He could have done it”, or “He probably did it”, but “He definitely, beyond a reasonable doubt, did it.”

    The defense doesn’t want me because in most cases proving beyond a reasonable doubt is a pretty low bar. And once proven – “Hang em high!”

    Yeah, they never pick me. Why do you ask?

  5. I never made the cut to get on a jury until 2012 when totally to my surprise I was selected in a civil case of one re-insurrance company counter-suing an out of business high-risk auto insurance company in a disput that had gone on for about ten years. I had some experience in insurance including sitting on the board of a Texas-Oklahoma life and health company at one time and I was sure they would not select me.

    Long two week and a day story, I was picked and sat there for two weeks of detailed presentation with fellow jurors, some well educated and some not so much. Our foreman was a lady minister, well educated and she and I sat together and at the end shared our thoughts and then we started voting on all of the ten points that were to be decided. By the third go around most of the jurors were agreeing with us and we had enough decisions to call it a day but she took me aside and said let’s make the decisions unanimous if we can.

    We worked for three more hours and found for the re-insurance company on all of the points which we should have applying the laws to the circumstances. It was an eye opener how about half of the people on the jury never really understood the issues but they could be persuaded by breaking the stories down to a simple narrative and I am a decent story teller while our jury foreman was a patient, very patient woman.

    I was also fortunate to be working for an international company that gave me fully pay for jury duty without having to use my personal or vacation time and that’s a good thing too. Now that I am retired and old I can opt out on age but I still think that jury duty is an obligation that all citizens should be willing to do when called.

  6. If you don’t want to be empaneled on a criminal case, when it comes to voir dire, simply tell the attorneys and judge that the defendant looks guilty and assure them that you can tell… or you can say that they look innocent. Whatever. Stick to your story and they’ll bounce you back to the pool where you can read or watch tv.

  7. John- Interesting, they sure kicked the DPS trooper to the curb early!

    MJ- 🙂

    Roy- Good point!

    Old- I’m surprised one side or the other didn’t get you kicked! Actual ‘knowledge’ of the subject! Wow…

    LL- Nah, I’ll ‘try’ to do my civic duty, but I’m not going to play games either…

    • Yep, I was surprised that I was selected but after the verdict was read and the trial was over a woman who had been sitting behind the re-insurance attorneys most of the trial came up to me and shook my hand and introduced herself. She was a jury selection expert and the very first day at the courthouse when we took a break for lunch after I was questioned she saw me with one of my best friends in the Dallas courthouse cafeteria. I had called my lawyer buddy who had helped me through my divorce in the early 1990’s and he was my annual dove hunting buddy and a Harvard lawyer who did a lot of complicated intellectual property cases and used that woman a lot. She did not let either of us know that she had been watching us enjoy our lunch but she decided then that her side wanted me and I have know idea how all that stuff works because they know damn near everything about each prospective juror during the selection process.

      Post trial I spend several hours with her, she was fun to talk with and funny, grading the performance of the attorneys on both sides answering several specific questions that might improve the performance of her team.

  8. Last year I was picked for a Federal case of Medicare fraud. I spent a month and a half driving up to Detroit every day. I’m glad my workplace paid my salary minus the pittance that the court paid, and the mileage was extra, so I didn’t lose any cash.

    It was actually kind of interesting. We did found the defendants guilty of fraud that had been going on for several years.

  9. I’ve never survived voir dire.
    – BS in engineering
    – Wife is an BSM, RN, RD
    – I worked as a med-surg-ortho orderly
    – I’ve been in 3 fairly serious auto accidents without ANY injuries..

    My best trick was when I was 4th or 5th juror to be questioned for a panel. I answered ALL the judge’s questions in one go instead of being prompted for each one.. Instant dismissal.

  10. Back in the day, when I was a clerical type working in the local pd’s Forensic Crime unit (very interesting stuff sometimes) I was called to jury duty.

    Yes, I knew all about every one of the defendants. I knew information on every case they were involved in. I knew the shocking stuff that would bury the bastiges under the prison. And every lawyer on both sides and the judges knew it.

    Yet I still had to sit through a full day of jury selection, on 6 different cases, before I was finally sent home.

    One judge got peeved with me when I correctly answered that the defendant was guilty as heck. When he asked me how I knew it, I said I saw the video, helped make the lineups that all the victims used, logged in the analysis requests and the results of the requests, helped with latent fingerprints, helped with transcribing witness testimony and transcribed the defendant’s interview where he confessed to everything.

    Needless to say, that case got postponed. Which was interesting because his public defender was replaced by one of the snake-ish expensive defense lawyers who finally, after reviewing what happened last time they tried to sit a jury, convinced El Schmucko to plea. Where he (defendant) subsequently got shanked almost to death several times before I stopped following his case.

    Which totally sucked. I wanted so much to be on the jury for any of those cases….

    I guess judges don’t like it when you tell too much of the truth, but they did ask me directly why I knew he was guilty…

  11. When my mother went gaga, I started getting her mail. Jury duty summons arrived, I noted the time/place/day and nothing else. Showed up, sat, and her name was called, not mine. S#^t! Passed it off by explaining I was there on her behalf because of her mental condition. My sister, when she heard the story, laughed and laughed.

  12. The first time I was called for jury duty was for a double-murder case. I was the third one called and the first dismissed, which I believe was answering “Yes” to “have you ever carried a gun on duty?” Didn’t get to tell them it was 327 times.

    Now I’m old enough to be off the list.

  13. When I was still working as a school counselor (in 2005, I think) I got called on a drug case. Accused was a second offender, on probation, selling meth out of her septic tank pumping business (not making this up).

    During voir dire, they were asking if we friends or family who were addicts, had gotten in trouble for it, been in jail for being involved with drugs, etc. I was answering “Yes” to every one of those questions, so they started looking at me funny. (They KNEW I didn’t have any felony convictions, because that excludes ya, so how come I was Friend of the Chemically Enhanced?)

    I volunteered that I was a recovering addict and alcoholic, and that I had been clean and sober for (then) 17 years. (Which meant I’d been going to meetings with druggies and learning from their wisdom every WEEK.) I was SURE that would get me excluded, but they seated me.
    I told the other jurors I wanted to be the foreman, so I could call my mama and tell her about it. They all agreed that would be a good reason to make someone the foreman, so their mama would be proud. And I called her, and she was proud. So that worked out all right.

    We found her guilty on all counts. My hardest task was persuading some of the jurors not to burn her after three minutes with no deliberation.

    Defense counsel was INCREDIBLE, though. I wish I had gotten his card. If I ever got caught doing something, he’d be the guy I wanted to defend me.

  14. Old- Interesting! 🙂

    Naleta- Thanks for your story. And glad you didn’t lose money!!!

    Rick- LOL, I’ll have to remember that! 😀

    Beans- Wow! Yep, you stuck it in and twisted… LOL

    WSF- Oops… 🙂

    Sam- Hehehe, yeah, that would get you off!

    Skip- ESPECIALLY where you are… 🙂

    Pat- That’s a helluva story! 😀

  15. The time I was on a federal jury gave me enough material for at least a short story if not a novella.
    Not quite Twelve Angry Men, in fact, the opposite.
    And then the judge took us in his chambers after the trial, with the prosecutor, the defense attorney and the BATF and DEA agents. To answer questions as to why it was so weird.
    My first was to the DA, “Is this your first case?” to which he laughed, “You’d think so!”.
    Makes for a great story.
    Worth it.

  16. Hey Old NFO;

    You should have used some of the suggestions I gave you yesterday….You would be at home drinking good coffee rather than the rejects from the local gas station. Remember “If the state picks you up, you gotta be guilty….”

  17. I’ve only been called once and it was for some petty crap in a local court.I don’t even remember what the woman was charged with, but the defense attorney was grilling prospective jurors about whether they found police officers to be credible. When they got to me I informed them my brother in law was a prosecutor, my cousin was a sheriff and I worked closely with and relied on the truthfulness of cops in child protection cases, Didn’t get seated. No tht I’m 70 and retired I wouldnt mind sitting on a jury.

  18. Have live in Ffx County since 1960.
    Been on the voter rolls since 1973.
    NEVER called for jury duty.
    Wife’s been here since ’85. Been called 3 times. Served once.
    Asst. DA was so inept we voted against her BOSS the next election. Figured any outfit that hired her need to be cleaned out from the top down. Alas, he kept his post.

  19. I have had to deal with the voir dire a few times during the last 3 or 4 month window of potential jury duty. Never wound up on a jury. Seems the lawyers want jurors who think even slower than ox. Scary, that.

  20. I enjoy a lifetime exemption from jury duty in Indiana as I was a Correctional Officer. We do not make sympathetic jurors.

  21. We won’t talk about the military side, but on the civ side, one grand jury (long time!) and one petit jury.

    COUNTY grand jury included a drug case we weren’t supposed to be hearing. Just friggin wonderful. It crossed international borders and I was not the only one feeling a bit unsafe. Indict and pass the body armor, please.

    Petit jury — prosecutor spent 2 hours educating us about fingerprints with lots of slides and flip charts. NOT ONE WORD about the accused fingerprints. All in the jury room were rather undecided until I asked why we got that graduate course without the accused info included. Not guilty on second vote.

    I am not a fan of our system of “justice.”

  22. I was called for Federal once and I told them I was small arms and heavy weapons instructor for 18 of my 25 years in service and I have not been called to this day. I will probably get the notice on Monday for opening my trap