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LostInParadise's avatar

What proportion of people serve on a jury some time in their life?

Asked by LostInParadise (31122points) 1 month ago

I asked this on the Web, but did not get an answer. I am mainly interested in U.S., but I would be curious about other countries as well. Have you ever served on a jury? I once got a call for possible jury selection, but they were able to select 12 jurors before getting to me.

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9 Answers

gorillapaws's avatar

It’s an interesting question. I’ve been a juror in a criminal case once (armed robbery). Just for clarification there are a few layers to the juror thing. One is you get selected and have to call in each day to see if they need you to show up the following day. The next level is that you show up, but aren’t selected to be on the jury and the last would be actually being selected for the jury.

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t know the answer to your first question. As for the second, I’ve served on two juries and was elected foreman both times. I was also on call a couple of times but not summoned, and also summoned but not selected.

The last time was such a travesty that I went away saying that I hoped my fate and the fate of anyone I cared about never depended on a jury trial. The jury’s deliberations were so riddled with ignorant assumptions, illogical reasoning, and random input of information from other sources that I could barely stand to sit there.

And then the judge misconstrued my report and refused to let me explain. Foo.

LostInParadise's avatar

I came up with a very rough estimate. According to this article, an estimate of about 1.5 million people serve on a state jury in a given year. The U.S. population is about 330 million and about 75% of that is adult. So the chances of being selected in a given year is about pct = 1.5/(.75×330). That works out to about pct=0.6%. The chances of not being selected in a given year is 1 – pct. The chances of not being selected for the roughly 55 years of adult life is (1-pct)^^55, so the chances of being selected during a lifetime would be 1 – (1-pct)^^55 . That works out to about 28%. The actual figure is probably larger, since many people have legitimate reasons for not being able to serve on a jury, like being a stay at home parent of young children, which would increase the chances for everyone else.

janbb's avatar

I’ve been called about four times but never had to even report to the courthouse. In my state, after 75 they don’t call you at all.

snowberry's avatar

I have been selected for jury duty next week. I will let you know.

Several times in the past I’ve been notified, but they had the expectation that I travel an hour by car to get to the state capital. That’s it’s pretty crazy in my opinion. I told them that I had no transportation but if they were willing to help me figure out how to get there I would be glad to show up.

Twice in the same year I received the notification for jury duty after I had moved out of state. It I guess they don’t update their records very often. I seem to get a lot of that.

canidmajor's avatar

I have no idea of the proportion of people, but I, personally, have served on a number of civil juries in two states. They all were resolved by settlements after 5–7 days of trial time. The attorneys on both sides seem to love me, the only time I wasn’t seated after voir-dire was because my child had sustained an injury after being run over similar to the plaintiff’s child, in a similar circumstance. I shouldn’t even have made it to voir-dire.

I think, in total, I have been on six juries. I was called in June of 2020, mentioned that I was immunocompromised, and there was no follow up. I kinda hope I am done.

Entropy's avatar

I don’t know…but I’m kind of annoyed that I never have. I was called ONCE as a potential candidate for a jury pool, but when doing these things they know they’re going to get a certain number of no-shows, so they always call more than they need. And when I was called, about three times as many people showed up as they needed. So most of us got sent home. And then I never got called again.

I know jury duty can be a pretty big life disruption and I wouldn’t want to end up on like an OJ trial or anything…but I would like to actually serve on a trial at some point. It feels weird that I haven’t been asked in decades. It’s not like there’s no crime happening.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Entropy ”...It’s not like there’s no crime happening.”

I think the vast majority of crimes are settled via plea deals.

zenvelo's avatar

I served once for five days. I have been called numerous times (about every three years) but have only been questioned by the judge and the lawyers twice before being dismissed.

One time I was part of a jury pool of 350 people. The trial was predicted to take 6 weeks, and I got out for not being able to be gone from work that long. Those who had no excuse had to fill out a 300 page questionnaire. The trial was for a home invasion robbery murder case, where the homeowner shot and killed one of the home invaders, and his accomplices were charged with murder for being participants in the crime.

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