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Lothloriengaladriel's avatar

Have you ever had jury duty?

Asked by Lothloriengaladriel (1542 points ) July 8th, 2009

and if you don’t mind sharing; what was the case and how long did it go on for?

I had my first jury duty today, It was just a DUI but it was quite exciting.

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26 Answers

filmfann's avatar

Yes, for a prostitution case. About 4 days.
When she took the stand, she told us she didn’t know what the word “fuck” meant. Then she told us a “John” was a man who paid for sex.
Guilty!

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

They always excuse me over the phone when I get the notice that I’ve got jury duty. At one point I volunteered but they wouldn’t have me.

YARNLADY's avatar

I once served on a jury, about 40 years ago.

About 5 years ago, I got a notice, and went downtown for several days and sat in the waiting room, but not chosen.

Jude's avatar

Almost. The Crown (I’m from Canada) turned me down because I was right in the midst of writing my Psych. exams. The case had to do with sexual abuse.

SirBailey's avatar

I’ve been subpoenaed for jury duty every two years since I was 22. Never got on a case.

Facade's avatar

No, but I was summoned for next month. At least I’ll be getting paid.

lol, well we all know where my mind was

skfinkel's avatar

Yes. A few years ago was the first time I was called. I made it onto a three week long jury trial, and it was a bit of a repeat of Twelve Angry Men, with me as the one who thought the guy should not get a ton of money for deceiving some people. I couldn’t believe I was the only one who thought the guy was a crook—he wouldn’t go to jail, but he was asking for money from the people he had wronged. They only needed ten votes from the jury, so I didn’t prevail—yet, I found out that the case was reversed later, and felt most vindicated. We deliberated for two days, and after the first day, the other woman who also agreed with me decided she couldn’t take it anymore, and she dropped out of the jury. So I was on my own to convince people. I was getting close, but it was a hot day, a three day weekend, and everyone wanted to end it and leave. What an experience!

chyna's avatar

Yes, two years ago. It was a murder trial. Very disturbing, but kind of exciting also. We convicted him 20 to life.

Lothloriengaladriel's avatar

@skfinkel thats pretty cool

I know we aren’t supposed to speak of it guess, From what I was told.

Our case today was a 57 year old women who had glaucoma, catarax, high sugar, emphysema and anything else you could think of to use in her defense in the reason why she failed to stop at a stop sign on a cold rainy wet night, We had video of her refusing to take the breathalyzer test stating she only had 2 beers and she couldn’t take the breathalyzer test due to her emphysema but she was cursing at the officer, Telling him to take her to jail, I left out a few details but I’m sure you get the point.

It’s crazy how people hearing your case for the first time determine your fait!

ragingloli's avatar

No. We have no Juries here.

knitfroggy's avatar

I had jury duty yesterday. It was a DUI and driving while suspended case. I was involved in the voir dire part of the jury selection but I wasn’t picked for the jury. I would kind of like to sit on a jury but I didn’t want to miss work, so I was glad I wasn’t seated on the jury. I have jury duty the month of July, so I will have to call every Monday to see if I have to report. The judge said usually you have to only go twice, so I’m hoping he’s right.

dalepetrie's avatar

There were some jobs I’ve had where I would have LOVED to have been called up, some bigger companies will continue to pay you and you just have to give them your check for jury duty. But jury duty pays virtually nothing so save having a job that would do that, jury duty isn’t all that feasible. Maybe if it really only lasted a week and I didn’t get selected, it would be fine during some of the smaller company jobs I’ve had, but I was in a situation where I’d been laid off, was out of work for several months (just like now), and had JUST landed this job where I was basically all the accounting staff they had, and they needed me because they’d been without anyone for a while. I couldn’t afford to take the chance that they wouldn’t pay the difference in my salary, I’d be selected for a trial that would go a long time and they’d have to hire someone else and I’d have no job to go back to. I’m not sure what would have been “legal”, but even if I’d been put in a situation where I could have sued, I just couldn’t afford to be out of work for any longer. So, I just really had to find a way out of it.

Well, it occurred to me that one of the medications I take is a water pill, which means that I have to drink a lot of water, and I have to go to the bathroom a lot. Now, it wasn’t really quite as put out by it as I let on, but when they asked me to send in any explanation if I would need “special accommodations”, I told them what I was on and told them I’d need frequent breaks to get water and use the rest room.

I got out of it. Of course, I got laid off from that job too, albeit not until 2 years later.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I got picked last year. A two day case of a homeless guy that broke into a church and ransacked the place. A church that had helped him out earlier. The guy took the stand to testify in his own defense, rambled on for what seemed like hours, and that is what ultimately convicted him. If he hadn’t done that, he’d have probably gotten off, due to several glaring errors by the cops. The verdict finally came down to who was more credible, the cops or the perp.

I will never try to get out of jury duty. So many people act like its a bad thing; I found it incredibly enlightening and very informative. Best way I can think of to learn how the justice system works without going to law school or getting arrested.

SuperMouse's avatar

I served on a jury about 10 years ago. It was a case where I guy went into his ex-live-in girlfriend’s house, grabbed some stuff of his, left a nasty note in lipstick on the mirror, and tore a page out of her day-planner. She had him arrested for breaking and entering. We found him innocent. It was a very interesting experience. After the trial we got to meet with the prosecutor and the defense attorney, they asked us how we came to our decision and even asked what they did right or wrong. I told the prosecutor that he needed to button his suit coat when he got up like they do on all those legal shows on television.

As an aside, this was in Southern California and one of the attorneys had worked with Marcia Clark and the other had worked with Christopher Darden. Small world.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I went through all the way to voir dire on a burglary case about 3 years ago. The defense attorney asked me if I could listen to the case and make a decision without prejudice. The defendant then turned and looked at me with a snarl on his face, so I said, “Hell, no!”

“Well, thank you, Miss [Simnel], and if you’ll just go back out into the center room, we’ll probably call you in for another case before the end of the day…” But I wasn’t called again and that was my last day. I expect I’ll get another summons before long. It’s every 3 years or so here in New York.

SuperMouse's avatar

@aprilsimnel your story reminded me that California shows a video where they tell you not to have your feelings hurt if you are not picked for a jury!

MacBean's avatar

I was summoned, went down to the courthouse, and was called into the jury box. The first question was whether or not I knew anyone involved with the case. I did—the judge and the defense attorney both worked with my Mock Trial team when I was in high school, and the case was about a drunk driving accident that killed my friend Stephanie’s grandfather—so I was very quickly dismissed.

jrpowell's avatar

I got the letter once. It for the trial of this asshole. But I knew one of the kids he shot. When I went in along with a thousand other people for the initial interview. They were doing the screening at the fairgrounds since they needed the space.

I show up and check in. The fucker plead guilty earlier so they asked us how long it took us to get there and sent us away. Two months later I got a check for 20 bucks.

I would never have been allowed on the jury. But, that was the only time they have ever asked.

Darwin's avatar

I have been called a number of times, but only actually made it on to a jury once. It was a DUI that settled out of court, so we never did much at all.

Once I was called for jury duty for the trial of the man who killed the police officer fiance of a friend of mine. However, I knew both the defense and prosecuting attorneys and they wanted me out of the jury pool ASAP before I could prejudice anyone.

Another time I actually made it into the court room, but the trial would have conflicted with a court date we had in another city to finalize my son’s adoption, so the judge threw me back.

Bluefreedom's avatar

Just last year I served on a jury for a civil case regarding one party suing the other for damages that arose from a motor vehicle accident. It only lasted about 4 days and it wasn’t the most stimulating event I’ve ever been a part of. The most unusual aspect of it all, in my eyes, was that I was picked to sit on the jury in the first place considering that my career is in law enforcement. They don’t often pick individuals with those types of professions to sit on juries.

jrpowell's avatar

I apologize for my grammar. I was doing a few things at once and didn’t read my response before posting it.

whatthefluther's avatar

Out of a dozen or so stints, I served on three juries. First one was a DUI….guilty (no defense, just a waste of time). Second was a domestic abuse case. It was a frightening situation but I did learn quite a bit. I think the defense did not feel the case was going well because the trial did not complete (presumed plea bargain). Third was a civil case. A party was suing for gasoline contamination on their property from a leaking storage tank uphill from them. Apparently, the service station owner went bankrupt or left the country or something, because they were not suing him. Rather, they were suing his supplier claiming that the supplier was aware of unaccounted fuel and should have questioned if the tanks he filled were properly contained. Not guilty….supplier did note existing tank level before and after filling, but without his review of the sales quantities, which he had no responsibility to review, there is no way he would know of unaccounted gasoline. I felt sorry for the guy who ended up with the contamination, but he tried to recover from a party that was not responsible.

casheroo's avatar

I have never been called, but my husband gets jury duty letters ALL the time. I’m talking at least three times a year!
He can never be on a jury. He himself has been convicted of DUIs, and his father was the public defender for our county for many years, and he shares the same name as his father…so they instantly recognize him.
The last time he was excused, it was because he is considered the sole provider and cannot afford to take a day off. But, they would have excused him anyways.

My father worked on a murder case, someone who had been stabbed. The man was found guilty.

Zaku's avatar

No. I’ve only been called once, when I wasn’t even living in the state that called me.

People I know have been called many times. Three people from my neighborhood just got called a few weeks ago and were chosen to be on the same jury of six… I drove two of them downtown. That one was domestic violence, and took about 2½ days. It was fairly emotional and tricky because they were immigrants who needed translators and had different cultural expectations and didn’t want to accuse their family and limited evidence was available. They were glad they didn’t have to decide the penalty, just whether things had been proven.

knitfroggy's avatar

My job pays you if you miss time for Jury Duty, which is nice, but I still would rather go to work than Jury Duty!

I thought it was funny that the judge and both attorneys told us about 10 times not to feel bad or have hurt feelings if you didn’t get picked for the jury. They kept saying you didn’t do anything wrong, it’s just a process we go through, etc. I kept thinking, Sheesh! We’re all adults here and I doubt any of us want on your jury, so don’t worry about our feelings!

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

two days, and we found the defendant guilty. It was a simple breaking and entering plus theft case. dude broke into a church and trashed the place. He went back to jail, where he belongs.

Everybody should serve on a jury at least once, its a good way to learn the laws, and how the justice system works. I have no respect for people who try to get out of their civic duty to serve on a jury.

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