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Friday, September 22, 2017

OH BOY, A SUMMONS FOR JURY DUTY!!





Now that I'm old & decrepit I don't have to serve.  I have been called for jury duty three times & actually got on a jury twice.  The first time I was excused because I (honestly) told the lawyer interviewing me that my husband was an attorney & so were two of my nephews.  At that time, the court believed that close relatives of lawyers or police could easily sway the jury.  Things have changed!!  The following is from the Christian Science Monitor:

"Former President Bill Clinton was willing to serve on a case involving a gang-related shooting when he was called in 2003, but the judge dismissed him. Then the defendant, convicted and sentenced to 18 years, appealed, claiming he was deprived of his rights because Mr. Clinton was excused.
Sen. John Kerry served as the jury foreman on a two-day personal injury trial in Massachusetts. Senator Kerry said he enjoyed himself but was surprised he was not stricken from the case, having been a Middlesex County prosecutor in the 1970's.
Former federal prosecutor Rudolph Giuliani served as jury foreman on a $7 million personal injury case while he was mayor of New York in 1999. In fact, after New York passed a jury reform law in 1995 that eliminated exemptions for lawyers and other professionals, Gov. George Pataki, Woody Allen, and Spike Lee were called, though none served."

The second time I was called (& the first time I served):

About fifty years ago I was summoned to the Beverly Hills courthouse & was hearing a concealed weapon case.  It seems that after a traffic stop the police found a baseball bat under the front seat of a cab. The other eleven jurors & I decided the cab driver had a right to protection so we ignored the law & found him not guilty.

While there I slipped on the marble floor & hurt my left thumb. It was in a splint & I couldn’t put on a necklace or button my right cuff.  Bud left for work before I got up, so I asked another prospective juror to help me.  I would hold out my right arm & say, “Please dress me, Mommy.”  She did, & we clicked.  We became best friends--& still are. 

The last time was in Ventura:

I cannot remember what the case was about but I do remember that it ran for a week.  I was driving back to our Los Angeles home, feeling that I had done my civic duty.  I found myself at the wrong ramp to enter the freeway home.  I saw the police car but not the no u-turn sign, so I made a u-turn.  The cop saw me (I was right in front of him) & I got a ticket.
He was not impressed with my fulfilling my civic duty.



You could probably get out of serving by declaring that you are a staunch advocate of capital punishment, even in traffic cases. If that doesn't work, here are some excuses from nypost.com:
People will try say anything to get out of jury duty, said lawyer Paul Millus. It could be a vacation with a nonrefundable ticket, a teacher with papers to grade, a language barrier or a hearing problem.
But there’s one trick that usually works no matter what.
“The sophisticated jury escape artists know that if they say they cannot be fair, that is it,” he said. “If they stick to their guns, either both lawyers have to concede or one of them will move to dismiss.”
A person who said, “I only trust one lawyer, and he is dead,” was excused as well as a potential juror who had this unique scheduling issue: “I have to report to prison next week.”
One prospective juror stated an especially jarring bias against the plaintiff. “The juror said he could not be fair because he did not like black people so much.” The judge looked like he wanted his head and practically threw him out of the courtroom, telling him, ‘You make me sick.’ ”
One woman made sure the court knew jury duty might interfere with her upcoming surgery. “I asked, ‘Would you like to step outside to discuss this in private with the defense lawyer and myself?’ ” The lawyer recalled. “She said, ‘No, it’s just a boob job.’ ”
Some excuses are truly out of this world. One juror with a geography issue said simply, “My planet does not believe in the jury system.”
A lawyer once recognized a juror as a professor who appeared in a Ken Burns documentary. The case involved a personal injury claim against a restaurant, and the professor “falls asleep right in the middle of it. His head was back, mouth was open, he was snoring really loud. There were 30 or 40 people [there], and no one was listening to me. They were all looking at him!” he said. “He just did not want to be there. He checked out on his own terms.”


For a funny look on jury duty, click here.

In my opinion "Twelve Angry Men" was the best movie about jury duty ever made.
You may be able to see the movie by clicking here.

This is a live version.
It runs 1 hour & 5 minutes.
























This guy wants to serve:

This has nothing to do with this post, but I was just wondering, do turtles ever get claustrophobic?----fishducky


 


22 comments:

  1. I have never even been called for jury duty. Probably a good thing. For someone.
    I hope turtles don't get claustrophobic. I really hope it.

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  2. I've never been called for jury duty either and I don't want to be. I have enough trouble deciding between dinner options, there's no way I could make a decision on someone's fate.

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    Replies
    1. You could do it; there are only two options!!

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  3. I have served jury duty a few times, the last one was a murder trial that I would do everything to get out of if I had it to do over.

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    Replies
    1. I would never want the responsibility of a murder trial!!

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  4. That is a great movie, except I have been on a couple of genuine open and shut cases (More evidence than OJ) and there is always at least one Henry Fonda dragging out the inevitable.

    "Maybe he visited the day before and accidentally cut his hand while buttering his bread with the carving knife!"

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    Replies
    1. I still can't figure out how OJ got off!!

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  5. 12 Angry Men is a wonderful movie. If I were on a jury, I would want to be the Henry Fonda character. Alas, I have never served.

    Love,
    Janie

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    Replies
    1. What if the defendant were guilty of bad grammar; could you still be fair?

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  6. I tried to get out of Jury duty by telling them my brother was a police officer. They were like...."SO!" Needless to say I sat in a jury room all day.
    Lisa

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  7. I was called several times but after hours of waiting, the attorneys settled out of court. I did finally get to serve once and enjoyed the process. Now I am too old to even be called.

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    Replies
    1. At least you got to see what it was like!!

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  8. I've never been called to jury duty and I don't know why. My understanding is names are pulled from tax rolls and I always pay taxes. Mrs. Chatterbox is called often, and always dismissed because she works for a police department.

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    Replies
    1. I thought they were called from voter's registration rolls, but I may be wrong!!

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  9. I have been called for jury duty, but excused for true health issues. Would have liked to be part of that process.

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    Replies
    1. It's interesting as long as the trial doesn't drag on!!

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  10. I've had three terms of jury duty, 6 months at a time. I got a post card telling me about upcoming trial dates. There's a number you can call to see if the case is still on that morning.

    I'm glad I got to experience the process. I've only been picked for a trial once (eminent domain), and excused several times. Once the lawyer was the lawyer Hick and I use for our personal business. Another time was a child sexual abuse case, and I couldn't be impartial. After a career spent helping kids, I'd take their word over the accused.

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    Replies
    1. I probably would believe the child, too!!

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  11. I've served on a jury several times and thoroughly enjoyed the process. The last time was a little rough, though, because my night vision isn't very good, and it was dark when I was both going to and coming from the courthouse. One really cool thing about the experience is several of the lawyers called me afterwards to get my input on why they'd lost the case. Giving them a proverbial piece of my mind was almost as enjoyable as hearing and deliberating on the facts.

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    Replies
    1. It's important for the lawyers to know why they lost!!

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Your comments make my day, which shows you how boring my life has become.