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(ABC)   How to avoid Jury Duty: arrive disheveled, act crazy, claim you have PTSD. How to get caught avoiding Jury Duty: call in to a radio show and brag about how you got out of jury duty   (abcnews.go.com) divider line 149
    More: Fail, PTSD, jury duty, NYU Langone Medical Center, Denver District Attorney, court reporter, anxiety disorders, jury selection  
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5881 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Nov 2012 at 1:45 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-14 02:25:04 PM  
I was called last month, but didn't get past the voir dire. Which sucks because I actually want to serve, and as a currently unemployed person I could've used an extra couple of $60 days.

Yet a woman who was picked admitted that English was her second language, she was not comfortably fluent, and might have difficulty following the case. They wanted her, and dismissed everyone with a Bachelors or higher.

Go figure, it was a false arrest/ police brutality case.
 
2012-11-14 02:26:08 PM  
You know what got me out of jury duty? Answering questions during vore dire honestly, and with logic. Like pointing out it's inconsistent for the prosecutor to argue that intent is important in the hypothetical about inadvertently taking office supplies home, and then asking in a different hypothetical traffic case if I'd vote to convict someone who was going 66 in a 65, because that's the law*. Neither prosecutors nor defense attorneys want a juror like that. They want easily manipulable emotional 'tards.


*I pointed out that a 2% error in the speedometer calibration could result in a person going 66 when his speedometer read 65, and then I pointed out that my current car is miscalibrated by a measured 2.4%, so no, I wouldn't vote to convict on just that set of facts.
 
2012-11-14 02:27:44 PM  

Aarontology: People who try to get out of jury duty are like people who don't vote.

They deserve no right to complain about anything the government does.


This. Dodging your civic responsibilities means that you hate your country. It boggles my mind how irresponsible most people are.
 
2012-11-14 02:28:00 PM  

mattharvest:
(b) Nullification is, as I just said, criminal: if you swear an oath to uphold the law as instructed by the court (which is what all jurors must do) and then proceed to act in direct contradiction with the law (i.e. to refuse to find guilt because you dispute the law as opposed to the evidence) then you commit perjury. If you're open to the court (i.e. telling them that you believe in nullification) this doesn't change the fact that your Oath is violated by nullification.


Is it a crime to refuse to take the oath?

In any event, as far as I can tell, the overall consensus is that jury nullification is entirely legal (for example: I'd take Straight Dope over your word). There's just no requirement to inform jurors of it.

(c) The next time you're proud of nullification, remember that it has been used for as much evil as good: every time a jury of Good Ol' Boys let off a Southerner who murdered a minority, it was nullification, just as much as whatever crime you're proud to ignore. If you think you're above the system of laws the rest of us abide by, you're better than any other criminal.

I know. And I also know the law itself has certainly served evil on many occasions, and continues to. Anything can be used for good or ill.

Doesn't change my belief that jury nullification is the last defense against government run a muck.
 
2012-11-14 02:30:03 PM  

namegoeshere: I was called last month, but didn't get past the voir dire. Which sucks because I actually want to serve, and as a currently unemployed person I could've used an extra couple of $60 days.

Yet a woman who was picked admitted that English was her second language, she was not comfortably fluent, and might have difficulty following the case. They wanted her, and dismissed everyone with a Bachelors or higher.

Go figure, it was a false arrest/ police brutality case.


That seems to be pretty common. Both times the lawyers had me booted by 11am Monday morning once they found out I was an IT systems analyst with a MBA.
 
2012-11-14 02:30:09 PM  

CapeFearCadaver: I have a question for anyone who might know: Once you have been the victim/witness of a violent crime that has made its way through the court system do they just take your name off of the potential jurors list?


On the last case I was in the jury pool for, the judge asked if anybody had been a witness of the crime or lived in the immediate vicinity. those people were summarily excused. Then they read off a list of names, and if you knew somebody with one of the names you were to come forward. Those people were asked a few questions at the bench while a white noise generator muffeled anything they would say. Some were dismissed. Eventually they started sitting people in the jury box. They would call your jurror number and the defense could excuse you then the prosecution got a chance to excuse you. The defense excused me and I went home.
 
2012-11-14 02:32:00 PM  

namegoeshere: I was called last month, but didn't get past the voir dire. Which sucks because I actually want to serve, and as a currently unemployed person I could've used an extra couple of $60 days.

Yet a woman who was picked admitted that English was her second language, she was not comfortably fluent, and might have difficulty following the case. They wanted her, and dismissed everyone with a Bachelors or higher.

Go figure, it was a false arrest/ police brutality case.


Which is why you don't want to be on jury duty. You want to be on a jury deciding someone's fate and half the jury doesn't even know what's going on?
 
2012-11-14 02:32:56 PM  

Tricky Chicken: be an engineer

I got booted (by the defense) right away. Many engineers I know had similar experiences. I think defense lawyers have something against engineers.


My husband's an engineer & he gets chosen every time. Well, except for one trial that was a capital offense & he said he couldn't sentence someone to death.
 
2012-11-14 02:34:46 PM  

CheneyTheDick: honestly, it's so easy to get out of jury duty without even lying, I don't know what the big deal is. The thing that scared me was how many people WANTED to be on a jury for the $40 a day

//yay brooklyn
/8 years til I'm called again


All I do is answer the questions about my level of education and what kind of work I do and speak in complex sentence, using formal English and I am dismissed. Lawyers really do want only stupid people on juries if they can swing it. I got called once and a painfully stupid woman argued that she could not be called for jury duty because she lived in the city, not the county and this was the county court, not the municipal. The judge tried to explain it to her four times before giving up and telling her that she needed just accept that she was rightfully called. The defense attorney immediately said "This juror is acceptable, your honor."
 
2012-11-14 02:34:50 PM  
I specifically did not register to vote when I recently moved so that I would not be called in for jury duty in this God forsaken county. I figured, "The election's just been held. Why register to vote NOW? I'll just wait for two years..."

Well, do you know what??? The damn Secretary of State clerk registered me to vote ANYWAY. Sneaky bastard.

I tossed my voter ID card right in the trash when it showed up in the mail by surprise the other day.

...Not that doing so would change anything.

I was trying to be clever -- get out the jury duty pool for at least a couple of years. Didn't work.
 
2012-11-14 02:35:48 PM  
The best story of getting out of jury duty was from my boss. And it was just a bizarre coincidence (but absolutely true)...

The judge asked if anyone knew any of the people involved in the case.
My boss stated, "I think I know you, your Honour"
The judge replied "Yes, you do look familiar, but I can't quite place from where"/
And my boss remembered "Oh, yes, I dated your daughter a couple of years ago".
The judge dismissed him on the spot!
 
2012-11-14 02:36:28 PM  

4of11: Is it a crime to refuse to take the oath?


Yes, it's called "Contempt of Court". In practice, refusing to follow the lawful order of the judge (such as to take the oath) can result in indefinite imprisonment, though in practice it will more likely lead to a suspended jail sentence of some amount (depending on the state) and/or a fine.

4of11: In any event, as far as I can tell, the overall consensus is that jury nullification is entirely legal (for example: I'd take Straight Dope over your word). There's just no requirement to inform jurors of it.


You might want to read that article more closely; it makes it clear that it isn't actually legal (and they completely ignore the issue of perjury/contempt, which is a dead giveaway that it's a flawed article). Their quote is here: " So while ignoring the law is not what the jury is supposed to do, the practical fact is that jurors cannot be stopped from doing it. In that sense, it's legal."

You also might want to look at the current shenanigans around the jury foreman in the US Samsung v. Apple case; while normally the court will not inquire as to deliberations, it will do so when it appears a juror has subverted the legal process (such as in nullification). If you never given any evidence it happened, then nothing will happen, but if another juror were to tell the judge you were advocating that they violate their oaths, then you're in trouble.

There is a difference between it being difficult to prosecute a crime, and that crime not existing.

But hey, feel free to risk your life, liberty and rights just so you can feel like you're better than the rest of us and aren't obligated to follow the law.
 
2012-11-14 02:37:32 PM  

WizardofToast: So act like you really want the job.


That would explain my situation, I guess. I don't really care much either way, and I get to go in later this month for the first time in my nearly 30 years.

/Ok, it probably has more to do with moving around a lot than how much I care, but that's not nearly as amusing to consider. So I won't.
 
Ant
2012-11-14 02:39:40 PM  
Don't you merely need to have an opinion in order to be passed over for jury duty?
 
2012-11-14 02:39:43 PM  

4of11: mattharvest:
(b) Nullification is, as I just said, criminal: if you swear an oath to uphold the law as instructed by the court (which is what all jurors must do) and then proceed to act in direct contradiction with the law (i.e. to refuse to find guilt because you dispute the law as opposed to the evidence) then you commit perjury. If you're open to the court (i.e. telling them that you believe in nullification) this doesn't change the fact that your Oath is violated by nullification.

Is it a crime to refuse to take the oath?

In any event, as far as I can tell, the overall consensus is that jury nullification is entirely legal (for example: I'd take Straight Dope over your word). There's just no requirement to inform jurors of it.

(c) The next time you're proud of nullification, remember that it has been used for as much evil as good: every time a jury of Good Ol' Boys let off a Southerner who murdered a minority, it was nullification, just as much as whatever crime you're proud to ignore. If you think you're above the system of laws the rest of us abide by, you're better than any other criminal.

I know. And I also know the law itself has certainly served evil on many occasions, and continues to. Anything can be used for good or ill.

Doesn't change my belief that jury nullification is the last defense against government run a muck.


It's "run amok".
 
2012-11-14 02:40:09 PM  

BinderWoman: Tricky Chicken: be an engineer

I got booted (by the defense) right away. Many engineers I know had similar experiences. I think defense lawyers have something against engineers.

My husband's an engineer & he gets chosen every time. Well, except for one trial that was a capital offense & he said he couldn't sentence someone to death.


It could be because I am a upper-middle class white guy and every case I've been called for involved minority defendants. So I am viewed as either unlikely to accept an emotionally based defense or I am assumed a racist.

Maybe if I were called for a industrial material quality dispute they may want me.
 
2012-11-14 02:41:46 PM  

suburbanguy: Doesn't change my belief that jury nullification is the last defense against government run a muck.

It's "run amok".


Actually, the last defense is violence.

Run A Mucks are fun races, though. The Marines do a pretty fun one at Quantico, if I remember correctly.
 
2012-11-14 02:43:59 PM  
Pretend you are a racist.

Go down there and call everyone a honkey.
 
2012-11-14 02:46:08 PM  
I got my cube-mates brother out of Jury duty last year. He sent her a text and biatching he was on jury duty waiting to be questioned (case in the news). I told her my sister was the ADA on that case she let him know he raised his hand and said my little sister and your brother are co-workers and share a workspace. He was immediately dismissed.
 
2012-11-14 02:46:51 PM  

BalugaJoe: Pretend you are a racist.

Go down there and call everyone a honkey.


Enjoy your contempt charge and overnight stay in lockup.
 
2012-11-14 02:48:37 PM  
I actually don't mind jury duty. I get paid regardless and it breaks the monotony. They only last a day or 2 for the most part and the last one I was picked I was only there for an hour about a guy being naked in his house. Also once your on a jury you don't get called again for at least 5 years. I'd rather get called and spend a few hours on a jury every 5 years than having to call every day for a month year after year.
 
2012-11-14 02:49:24 PM  

thisisarepeat: DeathByGeekSquad: Actually, I reserve the right to complain because I chose not to endorse the lesser of two evils. There is a difference between being too lazy to vote, and having an actual reason to not vote. I do not trust either candidate, I am not willing to become an additional tally that they feel endorses their entire platform.

The jury reaper hasn't come knocking, but I'm actually quite curious about the process and have heard conflicting stories from various people who've been called.

Thisity farking this this.


In most states, there are six or more candidates. Perhaps that isn't the case in your two states. But I doubt it.
 
2012-11-14 02:50:33 PM  

thisisarepeat: ...


Speaking of you, is this a repeat? Or do we just have a lot of people trying and failing at the brain sweepstakes this way.
 
2012-11-14 02:50:40 PM  
I usually just start talking about jury nullification and how farked up the drug laws are in this country or how traffic enforcement is little more than a scam and revenue source. I honestly believe both of these things to a great degree. My conscious is clear.
 
2012-11-14 02:51:29 PM  

mattharvest: suburbanguy: Doesn't change my belief that jury nullification is the last defense against government run a muck.

It's "run amok".

Actually, the last defense is violence.

Run A Mucks are fun races, though. The Marines do a pretty fun one at Quantico, if I remember correctly.


Yeah - but I doubt the jury is doing a Tough Mudder to protest large government. :-)
 
2012-11-14 02:52:34 PM  
She's an author of a mystical Xian self-help book whose Amazon blurb reads:

"Seven Initiations with El-Way's Secrets can renew your spiritual outlook and help you deal with difficult relationships and situations. El-Way's secrets explore Seven Initiations hidden in Genesis 9:11 and expose the King warned about in Revelation 9:11." [emphasis mine]
 
2012-11-14 02:55:53 PM  

hutchkc: I actually don't mind jury duty. I get paid regardless and it breaks the monotony. They only last a day or 2 for the most part and the last one I was picked I was only there for an hour about a guy being naked in his house. Also once your on a jury you don't get called again for at least 5 years. I'd rather get called and spend a few hours on a jury every 5 years than having to call every day for a month year after year.


I think in my case as soon as I sat in the jurrors box it counted as being on a jury and when I got excused it counted the same as if I had sat the whole thing. I wouldn't mind though, since I also get compensated for jury duty.
 
2012-11-14 02:59:39 PM  

Tricky Chicken: hutchkc: I actually don't mind jury duty. I get paid regardless and it breaks the monotony. They only last a day or 2 for the most part and the last one I was picked I was only there for an hour about a guy being naked in his house. Also once your on a jury you don't get called again for at least 5 years. I'd rather get called and spend a few hours on a jury every 5 years than having to call every day for a month year after year.

I think in my case as soon as I sat in the jurrors box it counted as being on a jury and when I got excused it counted the same as if I had sat the whole thing. I wouldn't mind though, since I also get compensated for jury duty.


In my case, it also meant my pick of some of the better menus from city restaurants for lunch carryout. That wasn't bad.
 
2012-11-14 03:00:32 PM  
Where I live, jury duty is tied to both voter registration and driver's licenses, but I think they only call registered voters. I've lived here for 12 years or so now, and haven't ever been called, so that's a good. If I ever do get called though, I don't think the rich white guy thing will get me out, since that's my whole county, for the most part.
 
Ant
2012-11-14 03:05:41 PM  
I actually want to serve. I never get called.
 
2012-11-14 03:08:00 PM  

robohobo: Where I live, jury duty is tied to both voter registration and driver's licenses, but I think they only call registered voters. I've lived here for 12 years or so now, and haven't ever been called, so that's a good. If I ever do get called though, I don't think the rich white guy thing will get me out, since that's my whole county, for the most part.


California uses both my wife's been called a few times & she's not a US citizen.
 
2012-11-14 03:08:16 PM  
The best way to avoid jury duty is to show up in a suit and tie, with a fresh haircut, and pay close attention to everything going on in the court room.
 
2012-11-14 03:10:38 PM  
Every time I've been on the voir dire they've asked me a question that could be answered yes or no, and I've answered it with a logical, reasoned response. That's always been enough for them to dismiss me.
 
2012-11-14 03:12:03 PM  
I actually wanted to be on the jury, thought it might be interesting, but I had to tell the Judge that I was closing on a new house the next day and would not be a resident of his county anymore if the trial went beyond the present day.
 
2012-11-14 03:13:11 PM  
sat on a jury for a homicide trial

2 days of testimony on hair follicles by the FBI, will make you homicidal

If you want on the jury, during the voire dire questions act nervous and
shoot the middle on your answers
 
2012-11-14 03:17:31 PM  
I'd probably be scared that if I was on a jury, it would be in a criminal trial of some organized crime person who had no problem with killing jury members to prove a point.

/always get an F in luck
 
2012-11-14 03:21:39 PM  

mattharvest: (b) Nullification is, as I just said, criminal: if you swear an oath to uphold the law as instructed by the court (which is what all jurors must do) and then proceed to act in direct contradiction with the law (i.e. to refuse to find guilt because you dispute the law as opposed to the evidence) then you commit perjury. If you're open to the court (i.e. telling them that you believe in nullification) this doesn't change the fact that your Oath is violated by nullification.


In New Hampshire, it is required by law that, as of Jan 1, 2013, the jury may be informed that they judge both the facts and the law:

519:23-a Right of Accused. In all criminal proceedings the court shall permit the defense to inform the jury of its right to judge the facts and the application of the law in relation to the facts in controversy.

HB 146, signed into law this year.

So, no, nullification is not a violation of the juror's oath. It is a legitimate application of the historical purpose of the jury system, the entire reason why it was enshrined in Constitution as a right of the accused. If the oath demanded by the court is not consistent with this purpose, the oath itself is illegitimate and void.
 
2012-11-14 03:23:45 PM  
I have the EXACT same name as my father. First, middle, last. I do NOT have a junior on the end. My father has been called in for jury duty no less than 5 times in the past 10 years. While I have not been called once.

I think they must be confusing the two of us or something. He loves to server anyhow, so it all works out!
 
2012-11-14 03:26:53 PM  

the ha ha guy: Aarontology: People who try to get out of jury duty are like people who don't vote.

They deserve no right to complain about anything the government does.

So if someone can't afford to live on $5/day while on jury duty, they shouldn't have the right to complain?



Don't lie, file for a hardship.  There's a system in place to handle these things.  I have no problem with someone trying to get out of jury duty if it honestly would cause them harm.  Just do it the right way.
 
2012-11-14 03:36:39 PM  

the ha ha guy: Aarontology: People who try to get out of jury duty are like people who don't vote.

They deserve no right to complain about anything the government does.

So if someone can't afford to live on $5/day while on jury duty, they shouldn't have the right to complain?


You have one duty as a citizen of the United States and that is to sit in judgement of a fellow citizen. Jury duty is literally a group of fellow citizens acting as the sovereign of the United States. I'm all ways amazed at the people who whine about a jury ruling, but do everything they can to get out of jury duty.
 
2012-11-14 03:36:49 PM  

DeathByGeekSquad: Aarontology: People who try to get out of jury duty are like people who don't vote.

They deserve no right to complain about anything the government does.

Actually, I reserve the right to complain because I chose not to endorse the lesser of two evils. There is a difference between being too lazy to vote, and having an actual reason to not vote. I do not trust either candidate, I am not willing to become an additional tally that they feel endorses their entire platform.

The jury reaper hasn't come knocking, but I'm actually quite curious about the process and have heard conflicting stories from various people who've been called.


If only there were more than two candidates...or other issues on the ballot besides the presidency.....

Wait, did I just get trolled?
 
2012-11-14 03:38:02 PM  

Why Would I Read the Article: Wait a minute, there are people in this world who, upon receiving a summons in the mail, DON'T just crumple it up, toss it in the trash and never hear anything about it ever again?


Huh...ya really do learn something new every day....


You should be exiled from the US, anybody who does not show up for jury duty should be exiled from the US.
 
2012-11-14 03:40:36 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: You could always pull a Ted Nugent and just shiat yourself.


I'm going to assume this lady is a conservative, because she listens to and calls into AM Talk radio.

It's funny how conservatives claim to be patriotic Americans, but when it comes time to serve their country, they lie to get out of it by shiatting their pants or claiming PTSD.
 
2012-11-14 03:42:42 PM  

Ant: Don't you merely need to have an opinion in order to be passed over for jury duty?



CSB:
 
Was in voir dire for a civil trial.  Some personal injury stuff.  Got asked what I do, and told the truth: I'm in IT and I also write Op-Ed pieces for some fairly large newspapers.  A recent one on tort reform.
 
Judge actually called me the chambers thinking I was BSing.  I wasn't.
 
Booted me instantly.  This wasn't a ploy to get removed, I told the truth, and was interested if an opinionated person would be booted instantly.  Kinda sad, actually.
 
2012-11-14 03:43:23 PM  

bigvicproton: namegoeshere: I was called last month, but didn't get past the voir dire. Which sucks because I actually want to serve, and as a currently unemployed person I could've used an extra couple of $60 days.

Yet a woman who was picked admitted that English was her second language, she was not comfortably fluent, and might have difficulty following the case. They wanted her, and dismissed everyone with a Bachelors or higher.

Go figure, it was a false arrest/ police brutality case.

Which is why you don't want to be on jury duty. You want to be on a jury deciding someone's fate and half the jury doesn't even know what's going on?


I sure as hell don't ever want to be in front of such a jury.

*shudder*
 
2012-11-14 03:44:44 PM  
I was just on a jury a few months ago for a robbery case. Definitely an interesting experience. Some people had ridiculous excuses to get out. One lady just said "religious reasons". The judge asked her to elaborate and she said she "didn't want to elaborate any further"... And she was told she could leave. One girl said "medical reasons". I overheard her at the judge's bench explain that she was having a really bad period. I think they let her go because the judge and both lawyers were guys, and none of them felt comfortable talking about it.
 
2012-11-14 03:49:06 PM  

CCCarnie: . One girl said "medical reasons". I overheard her at the judge's bench explain that she was having a really bad period. I think they let her go because the judge and both lawyers were guys, and none of them felt comfortable talking about it.


Equality in action!
 
2012-11-14 03:53:44 PM  
The trick is to say you're prejudiced against all races.
 
2012-11-14 03:57:19 PM  
Hey, here's an idea.

When you get a summons for jury duty, instead of whining and trying to get out of it - think to yourself, "I'm really lucky to live in a country where citizens have the power to determine the guilt and innocence of a suspect - not some goverment bureaucrat."
 
2012-11-14 03:59:12 PM  
Felony, there used to be a time when that described a serious crime. I guess it's in the eye of the beholder, of course the beholder(s) in this case are a part of our glorious justice system.
 
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