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Jeruba's avatar

Have you ever served on a jury in the U.S.? If so, what did you learn?

Asked by Jeruba (52020points) 1 week ago

What was your experience, and what did you learn from it?

I’ve served on the jury in two cases and was appointed foreman both times. Both times I came away hoping that my fate or the fate of anyone I loved would never depend on the wisdom of a 12-person jury.

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9 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

I haven’t, but a friend of mine said exactly the same thing as you. She was the person on the jury who changed the mind of many, pointing out the details in the case that others just ignored, or didn’t pay attention to.

gorillapaws's avatar

I was on a jury once. We were pretty evenly split and it resulted in a deadlock mistrial. One thing that was very apparent was the inequity of the resources provided to the prosecution vs. the public defender. The prosecution had large, professional, maps prepared. The public defender was using black-and-white 8.5×11” printouts from Google maps.

canidmajor's avatar

I’ve served on a few civil cases. I learned that, unless it’s a big deal event, nobody seems to care. The attorneys want to settle, the jury wants the parties to settle, the judge wants everybody to hurry up and settle.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

I was on a grand jury. That’s where you take a cursory glance at all the cases over the period of three to four months and decide if the state should move forward with an actual trial. What I learned about my town was shocking.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Yes, once. Both for the county where I live. Six person jury, listening to a guy try and get off of a DUI charge. We didn’t buy his excuses, we found him guilty.

Observations based on this one case:

1) defendants lie. Some of the stuff he was saying just didn’t hang together.

2) rich people lie. The DUI guy was wealthy and thought he was too good to be in court.

3) attorneys lie. Both sides. But the the defense attorney was trying to make us believe stuff that didn’t add up.

4) I found the process and participation fascinating. I would gladly do it again.

chyna's avatar

I was on a murder trial jury. I learned that it is absolute bullshit that the jury does not discuss the trial before they are deliberating. Also, I know a couple of the jurors were watching and reading the news despite the judge telling us not to.
I hope to never be judged by a “jury of my peers”.

KRD's avatar

No I haven’t yet.

JLeslie's avatar

@chyna Wow. That’s disappointing.

jca2's avatar

I have never served on a jury. I’ve been called for jury duty, but those times resulted in no trials.

I have been in Family Court many times during my work doing child protective. I know that the majority of the “labor” is done outside the court room, with negotiations between the attorneys. The Judge in Family Court wants it pretty much resolved by the time it gets inside the court room. They want to avoid the trouble of a trial and the expense of a trial.

I think if I were a defendant, I’d rather have my fate in the hands of a jury rather than a non-jury trial where it’s up to some lunatic judge like the one who presided over the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.

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