T Nation

Jury Duty Question

Since jury duty is a random selection process does this mean that if at some point in the future I find myself before a jury my fate could fall into the hands of the bottom feeders of society? For example would it not be a huge compromise if this woman were sitting on the jury?

http://www.shootthestupid.com/2008/08/07/rainbow-conspiracy/

Should there not be some kind of criteria by which people are selected, or at least some basic diagnostic test given before they’re cleared to make a decision on a case that demonstrates their ability to follow logic and that they at least possess a reasonable level of intelligence?

[quote]JLu wrote:
Since jury duty is a random selection process does this mean that if at some point in the future I find myself before a jury my fate could fall into the hands of the bottom feeders of society? For example would it not be a huge compromise if this woman were sitting on the jury?

http://www.shootthestupid.com/2008/08/07/rainbow-conspiracy/

Should there not be some kind of criteria by which people are selected, or at least some basic diagnostic test given before they’re cleared to make a decision on a case that demonstrates their ability to follow logic and that they at least possess a reasonable level of intelligence?[/quote]

Our judicial system is flawed. There are innocent people in jail as we speak and they may never be found innocent in court.

Even if you had a jury filled with neurosurgeons, they still hold biases and false beliefs.

The average person seems to skate through life with just enough knowledge to avoid killing themselves by crossing the street against traffic. The true solution to that problem is to eliminate the jury…but then what are the alternatives?

[quote]Professor X wrote:
JLu wrote:
Since jury duty is a random selection process does this mean that if at some point in the future I find myself before a jury my fate could fall into the hands of the bottom feeders of society? For example would it not be a huge compromise if this woman were sitting on the jury?

http://www.shootthestupid.com/2008/08/07/rainbow-conspiracy/

Should there not be some kind of criteria by which people are selected, or at least some basic diagnostic test given before they’re cleared to make a decision on a case that demonstrates their ability to follow logic and that they at least possess a reasonable level of intelligence?

Our judicial system is flawed. There are innocent people in jail as we speak and they may never be found innocent in court.

Even if you had a jury filled with neurosurgeons, they still hold biases and false beliefs.

The average person seems to skate through life with just enough knowledge to avoid killing themselves by crossing the street against traffic. The true solution to that problem is to eliminate the jury…but then what are the alternatives?[/quote]

That right there is the shrill sound of this thread coming to a screeching halt.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
JLu wrote:
Since jury duty is a random selection process does this mean that if at some point in the future I find myself before a jury my fate could fall into the hands of the bottom feeders of society? For example would it not be a huge compromise if this woman were sitting on the jury?

http://www.shootthestupid.com/2008/08/07/rainbow-conspiracy/

Should there not be some kind of criteria by which people are selected, or at least some basic diagnostic test given before they’re cleared to make a decision on a case that demonstrates their ability to follow logic and that they at least possess a reasonable level of intelligence?

Our judicial system is flawed. There are innocent people in jail as we speak and they may never be found innocent in court.

Even if you had a jury filled with neurosurgeons, they still hold biases and false beliefs.

The average person seems to skate through life with just enough knowledge to avoid killing themselves by crossing the street against traffic. The true solution to that problem is to eliminate the jury…but then what are the alternatives?[/quote]

I suppose you’re right, people will always have their own beliefs and biases and we can’t help that, but there has to at least be a way to make the most of a shitty system by not letting red necks and high school dropouts take part in matters that are beyond them.

you are interviewed by both the prosecuting and defending lawyers who ultimatly determine if you will become a member of the jury.

[quote]HolyMacaroni wrote:
you are interviewed by both the prosecuting and defending lawyers who ultimatly determine if you will become a member of the jury.[/quote]

…and their method of choice is based on stereotypes geared towards helping them win.

God forbid some illiterate moron sits on a jury that can’t tell the differnce between:

You sound like a poncey school girl.

You sound like a poncey school girl that’s trying to make friends with the cool poncey school girl.

agreed. but i don’t think they’ll risk their case on having ‘rainbow lady’ or similar nutjobs present.

I’m not arguing over whether not the american judicial system is flawed or not, i absolutly agree that it is. I’m just pointing out to JLu that just because you are selected to preform jury duty, there are certain measures (however weak and inneffective they may be) that may prevent certain individuals from being a member of the jury

From what I’ve seen of jury duty, they do attempt to weed the out-and-out kooks. There was this one lady that had this “one too many acid trips” smile on her face that carried around this huge armload of disheveled papers, as nut jobs have been known to do.

I had to do federal a few years ago in Brooklyn, that was some zoo of a jury room. Fortunately I was able to snooze and was never called for questioning.

If for some reason I feel that I wouldn’t be comfortable sitting on a particular jury, I find a way to opt out. I was once in one pool (about 40 people) and the lawyers were asking questions. I got the drift of what they weren’t looking for and answered accordingly.

Another time, the defendant looked like someone I knew and it came to me in a flash. I told the lawyers that I KNEW the defendant from somewhere but couldn’t put my finger on when and where. I was out of there in 10 seconds.

I mean these “drive thru trials” are a joke and the whole deal is wrapped up ina week, not like on TV where basic trials stretch out for months.

Be kind to people, you never know who may sit on your jury!

BG

[quote]beachguy498 wrote:

Another time, the defendant looked like someone I knew and it came to me in a flash. I told the lawyers that I KNEW the defendant from somewhere but couldn’t put my finger on when and where. I was out of there in 10 seconds.

BG [/quote]

Hey, this is a pretty good idea!

Whenever I think of jury duty, I always perform these kinds of exercises in my mind, figuring out what answers I would give and how I would act in a manner that would assure my not getting picked to serve. I have NO interest in serving on a jury ever. I was called in once when I was around 19, but my dad is a cop and I was able to say so and be dismissed immediately. I don’t live in America now, but when I do move back, I plan on having a couple of these strategies that assure a very short interview, should I be called in again.

I’m always amazed that prosecutors/defense attorneys are able to cobble together juries of 12 people time after time after time. Are that many people really serving jury duty?

[quote]Cortes wrote:
beachguy498 wrote:

Another time, the defendant looked like someone I knew and it came to me in a flash. I told the lawyers that I KNEW the defendant from somewhere but couldn’t put my finger on when and where. I was out of there in 10 seconds.

BG

Hey, this is a pretty good idea!

Whenever I think of jury duty, I always perform these kinds of exercises in my mind, figuring out what answers I would give and how I would act in a manner that would assure my not getting picked to serve. I have NO interest in serving on a jury ever. I was called in once when I was around 19, but my dad is a cop and I was able to say so and be dismissed immediately. I don’t live in America now, but when I do move back, I plan on having a couple of these strategies that assure a very short interview, should I be called in again.

I’m always amazed that prosecutors/defense attorneys are able to cobble together juries of 12 people time after time after time. Are that many people really serving jury duty?[/quote]

Hey, if my trick worked once, it’ll work again. Or use a variation of it.

They usually grab 40 people at a clip to question, going for 12 and 1 or 2 alternates. Evidently there are a lot of jurors in the system. When I do a call-in, I first get a notice and am assigned a number by mail. Then I call and they say something like “…if you are number B1000 through B1500, report to…”. So there are literally thousands of people cycling through my local court system at any given time.

If they can’t get 12 out of the first 40, they will call the jury room for another 10 or so. I’ve seen at least 5 in a row excused, including myself. I really have no desire to sit on a jury since some of it sounds so rigged from the instructions that the judge gives out.

BG

[quote]Cortes wrote:

I’m always amazed that prosecutors/defense attorneys are able to cobble together juries of 12 people time after time after time. Are that many people really serving jury duty?[/quote]

Yes, because many aren’t smart enough to know how to get out of jury duty. And then theres probably the small percentage who actually don’t mind it.

If you want to get out of jury duty, just make broad, sweeping racial generalizations during the interview process. You’ll be relieved of duty in no time.

“So this case is about a man who defaced a billboard? Probably a STINKING ESTONIAN. They’re ALL like that over there!! Trust me, I know ALL about it!!”

This above (racial epithets) was always the first thing I thought of.

I always tell them I don’t trust the cops and would be biased against them testifying…this gets me some great stares as I leave the courtroom.

If you want to know the magnitude of how foolish the justice system is, I have a story which should put it all into prospective. I was prosecuted for drug conspiracy in Federal Court and went on “vacation” for awhile. About 2.5 years. During my time inside (about 1.5 years in), my mom comes to visit me and she tells me she has been selected for jury duty. Not only was she picked to report, but she was also picked to be on an actual jury for, you guessed it… Federal Drug Conspiracy.

She told both prosecuting and defending attorneys, as well as the judge himself, that she absolutely could not impartial considering how she saw me go through my ordeal and all the injustices that accompanied it. She was STILL selected to be on the jury, despite her telling them this information.

[quote]MaximusB wrote:
If you want to know the magnitude of how foolish the justice system is, I have a story which should put it all into prospective. I was prosecuted for drug conspiracy in Federal Court and went on “vacation” for awhile. About 2.5 years. During my time inside (about 1.5 years in), my mom comes to visit me and she tells me she has been selected for jury duty. Not only was she picked to report, but she was also picked to be on an actual jury for, you guessed it… Federal Drug Conspiracy.

She told both prosecuting and defending attorneys, as well as the judge himself, that she absolutely could not impartial considering how she saw me go through my ordeal and all the injustices that accompanied it. She was STILL selected to be on the jury, despite her telling them this information. [/quote]

Maybe because all the other people who COULD be impartial used racist epithets or told the examiners they hated cops.

I mean, I can’t be the only person that read the OP’s statement about the low-quality of the people on the jury, and then read repeated statements of somewhat intelligent people describing ways to get off jury duty, and put two and two together, can I?

I’ve been screened 4 times for juries, never actually sat on one. I did make the cut once and were informed by phone the night before the trial that there would be no trial, it was settled out of court.

If you really don’t want to be there, give it your best shot to get off. But don’t mess with them. I heard a couple of stories that people were required to report for JD every Friday for something like a year. It could be BS but don’t mess with anyone on a judge level.

BG