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tinyfaery's avatar

What would you be willing to say to get out of jury duty?

Asked by tinyfaery (35609 points ) November 21st, 2008

A co-worker recently flubbed a bit to get out of jury duty. For some reason I have never been called, but I have always insisted that I’d say something outrageous just to get out of it. I’m not sure how far I’d take it though.

Have you ever said something crazy or untrue to get out of jury duty? Would you?

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43 Answers

lefteh's avatar

I’ve never understood what people have against jury duty.
Maybe it’s just because I work in a courthouse.

jholler's avatar

I wish I would get called.

wundayatta's avatar

I have never had to. I would love to serve on a jury, but for some reason, they never want me. I have no idea why.

One time I had to get out, but it was for work reasons, so there was no problem.

Judi's avatar

I would say that I could not support the death penalty with a “reasonable doubt” provision. Death penalty would be beyond ANY doubt.

Judi's avatar

@lefteh;
I thought you were 17. How did you get a job in a courthouse?

SoapChef's avatar

Almost anything. I have a chip on my shoulder about jury duty. I think there should be professional jury pools that are tested as to their suitability and paid decently. I don’t think you should force anyone to do this. When I get called not only do I have to drive 11/2 hours each way,(in the dark in fall and winter) but I had to shut my business. Having had a small restaurant, there was no one who could cook dinner in my absence. I just plain old had to shut the doors. When I sold real estate, I had to cancel appointments with clients and/or refer them to someone else thereby losing any potential income. I have gone around and around with the jury duty scheduler in our county. I do not feel like it is my duty or any sort of priviledge. I resent the hell out of it.

popo7676's avatar

@lefteh: Some people don’t have enough money to be spending their time in a court house for a day or longer instead of going to work.

And i don’t know what i would do, but i would probably go anyway.

babygalll's avatar

Funny this question comes up tonight…I’m on call for jury duty next week. Anyone want to take my place?

dynamicduo's avatar

I can’t wait for the day when I get chosen for jury duty. I see it as a privilege, not a burden.

babygalll's avatar

It’s not so much as a burden… as for me this is the worst time to be on call. I’m a part-time student and my excuse was denied. I am on call this week and have a midterm this week as well. I guess the good part is it’s a short week.

Jeruba's avatar

I am not thrilled about having jury duty, but I take my civil duties seriously and never try to get out of them.

augustlan's avatar

I wish they would call me for jury duty. I’ve always wanted to do it, but I’ve never even been called…and I’m 41!

Zaku's avatar

In general, I’d like to be called to jury duty at least once. So far the only time they did, I was living elsewhere.

queenzboulevard's avatar

Remember the ep of 30 Rock where Liz put on a Princess Leah costume and acted crazy to get out of jury duty? I would do that. Except I would be Han Solo….....

delirium's avatar

I REALLY want jury duty. I want it so much! It sounds so interesting. People utterly fascinate me.

Zaku's avatar

@delirium: Y’know you can go to courthouses and observe trials?

Bluefreedom's avatar

I’ve often wondered what it would be like to serve on a jury and it would be interesting to experience it at least once and see the inner workings of part of the criminal justice system.

Unfortunately, on the few occasions that I’ve been summoned, once they hear that I’m a military policeman, my chances of being picked to serve on a jury go right out the window.

shockvalue's avatar

A Jury is made up of 12 people too stupid to get out of Jury Duty.

delirium's avatar

Yeah, but if I spent my time doing that, I should be doing something else. Jury duty would get me to have to do it.

shockvalue's avatar

One could just keep shouting that they have explosive diarrhea, or that the nurse keeps stealing from their room…

Kiev749's avatar

i would say, i hate everyone and i think they should get the death penalty for shoplifting that fugly swetter.
Thats how you get out of it.

asmonet's avatar

I got called when I was 19. I was so excited to get up and go to the courthouse but when I called in to see if my group had made the semi-finals I was cut before I even left the house. I was pissed. Serving on a jury seemed like a lot of fun, well, fun if you enjoy civic duties. I thought I could add it to my list of being an election officer and volunteering. Stupid government wanted to mess with my list…grumble, grumble…

@bluefreedom: How is being a military policeman a viable reason to be cut?

jrpowell's avatar

I have only been called once. It turned out it was for the trial of Kipland Kinkel. I assume they needed the largest pool possible. When I showed up for the interview I was told that he had pled guilty earlier in the morning and we were all sent home.

They did mail me a check for 12 dollars later to cover my transportation cost.

And I knew one of the kids the douchbag shot so I wouldn’t have been selected anyway.

asmonet's avatar

Is it bad that when I read some murderer’s names it just seems like thy got screwed from the start? ‘Kip Kinkel’ isn’t any way to go through life.

SuperMouse's avatar

Back home I was called to jury duty several times and never tried to get out of it. Most times my service consisted of me sitting in a big room reading a book and waiting to be called. Once however I got to serve on an actual jury, I wasn’t working at the time so it didn’t cost me anything. We found the guy innocent. It was an interesting experience and I’m glad I did it. What was cool was that after the trial was over the defense attorney and the prosecutor interviewed us to hear what we thought about the cases they had made. It also turned out one of the attorneys had worked with Christopher Darden (OJ Simpson prosecutor).

cookieman's avatar

I get called every three years like clockwork.

I usually enjoy the experience. I bring my laptop and books to read. So the time alone is great. I was on a jury only once and enjoyed it.

You can postpone it for up to a year (in Massachusetts) if you really can’t go. Which I a have done once.

applegate's avatar

“I can’t stand niggers and White trash,
they’re Leftist liberals who want more
Government and less freedom.”
Try that. It will put them next to
the big fire of truth.

laureth's avatar

@SoapChef: you say, ” I think there should be professional jury pools that are tested as to their suitability and paid decently.”

They have these, sort of – except they’re called Judges. The point with a jury is to be tried by your peers – people without special training who see things as a “typical, reasonable person” would. This is older than the constitution, and was even known in ancient Norse times.

What I’m wondering is how you couldn’t just beg out due to personal hardship. You certainly have good cause to not serve on a jury, and I am very much for people not serving if they have a compelling reason not to

However, the 6th amendment to the Constitution does spell out “the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed.” That’s a LOT of full time, well-paid jurors, who may or may not be impartial to a given case, all on the public dime. I’m also not sure that if I went to trial, I’d want a jury of full-time government employees.

mzgator's avatar

Its a privelage that we live in a country in which we are called to participate on a jury. I am proud and honored to serve when I am called. Just think of how many places on this planet where people wish they had the freedoms we have and often take for granted. President elect Obama, which many of you supported, has called fir Americans to do public service. If you can’t or won’t do your civic duty, how will you consent to volunteerism? It takes participation on all levels to affect change in society. Start with serving on a jury if you are called to do so. You may learn something.

SoapChef's avatar

I don’t want to be judged by someone who really, truly does not want to be there. There is a wealth of people who will jump at the chance, as evidenced by this thread. Practically every retiree I know loves the idea of jury duty. A lot of people end up on juries that have no business deciding anyones fate. Vice versa, I am not the true peer of the gangster, thief or crackhead, that I am there to judge. It is truly a financial hardship for many and my only point is that you should not be forced to do it. No, I cannot get out of it. In Lane County Oregon, work is no excuse, even with a request from your employer. I have been called, where I had to be in Eugene 70 miles away on a two lane highway by 7:30 am. I have driven it in the dark, with it pouring down rain, as it can here in Oregon and come home in the dark. I never choose to drive anywhere but around town after dark, because I can’t see worth a damn. This, come to find out is also not good enough. You must serve. The check I get a month or so later does not even cover the gas I consumed. I have been called five times in my life, I do not understand why some of you have never gotten a summons.
I do not equate this to my willingness to volunteer in other ways. I am willing to help feed hungry people or pet sit dogs from the humane society. I just don’t feel like I’m a dirtbag because I don’t want to serve on a jury. It is in no way, the only manner with which you can contribute to society.

Judi's avatar

@Soap;
And my mom, who LIVES in Eugene would LOVE to serve and has never been called in her 81 years!
They have changed the way they do it here in Bakersfield. You serve one day, and if you are not seated on a jury that day you get to go home. They tell you which week you will be serving and you call in the night before to see if your “number” needs to come in. You can sort of gauge if you will have to come in or not by how high or low your number is. It works much better than having hundreds of people waiting all week to see if they even get called in to be considered. If you’re not called in on the first day you don’t have to come back. One day, One jury.

forestGeek's avatar

I was called, went in and angrily told them that “I don’t believe in your justice system, I’ve been through it and it failed me. It’s corrupt, unfair and I don’t want to take part in it!!”

They kept me! :( It was a painful week!!

tinyfaery's avatar

What does a “jury of one’s peers” actually mean? Is any person 18–80 my peer?

figbash's avatar

I’d love to sit on jury duty, but if I wanted to get out of it, I’d probably just say:

“I’m, so glad you picked me. I can just tell from looking at that guy that he did it.”

SoapChef's avatar

@ laureth Regarding my thoughts on professional jurors, wouldn’t you agree that there are not that many truly impartial people out there? I know it will never be done, but screening people as to their abilities to think and reason impartially is not so far fetched. I don’t think the person sitting there desperately wishing they were somewhere else is in peak position to pull that off. I am not sure that motivation, intelligence, tempermant, and how easily influenced an individual is should not also be criteria. Personally, I would prefer to be judged by a professional jury. Why not let the people who truly want to participate, apply and get paid to do a job well done? As for the cost, I would love to see a comparison analysis between that and the system we have now. From the cost of mailing summons to the masses right through the entire process to the distribution of the checks they send out to the jurors has got to be significant. That is already on our dime. I do not see how this at odds with the sixth amendment in any way. If anything, a ready willing and able jury standing by would streamline the ability to provide a speedy and impartial trial.

Jeruba's avatar

I once found myself in conversation with a German woman on the subject of trial by jury. She said that the very idea of being judged by ordinary citizens was appallingly alien to her and that in her country cases are heard and decided by three judges. Having served on two juries by then (and acted as foreman both times), I had to think hard about that.

I still have confidence that our founders, with their roots in the Old Country and their concept of jurisprudence based in English law, knew what they were doing. But the last time I served on a jury, I came away with this impression above all others: I hope no misfortune ever puts me in a position of having my fate decided by folks like that.

scamp's avatar

I did jury duty, and enjoyed it very much. It was really interesting! I got called a second time, but I was out of state, so I wasn’t able to go.

critter1982's avatar

I just had jury duty this past week for the first time. I’ve always heard people complain about it. Basically in my county they bring in 140 people and they all sit in a room all week until they are called up for a case. A lot of down time I suppose. I was extremely lucky though, as I got called the first day to be on a jury in a murder trial (lasted 4 days then I got sent home). I actually had a really positive experience and would be more than willing to do it again.

Divalicious's avatar

I don’t have to say anything to be excused. The defendant and/or the defense attorney will recognize me, and they can’t get rid of me fast enough.

augustlan's avatar

@Diva: Intriguing…care to elaborate?

tinyfaery's avatar

Diva works in a prison.

augustlan's avatar

That certainly explains it!

Zaku's avatar

Being excused from a jury, and being excused from spending a week hanging around waiting and getting excused from juries, are two different things, though.

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