Friday, September 22, 2017


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