darkoz
darkoz
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July 8th, 2016 at 7:03:48 AM permalink
I just went through jury duty. I find a lot of people haven't done it and don't understand the process. It may be different per state but I thought I would give a little overview of my experience.

About 60 people were herded into a courtroom where 16 names were pulled out of a hat (actually its a box but you understand the expression) to sit in a typical movie style jury seating area. Those 16 were asked/grilled with a series of common (core) questions (related to who they were and past experiences - not relating to common core education questions). As grillees were found unsuitable, they were politely asked to leave (a situation where being rejected was a moment of joy for almost everyone) and a replacement was called from the rest of the pool.

The entire pool of people were asked to listen closely to the entire process so many of the longwinded explanations would not have to be repeated as replacements for those rejected came up.

Finally, they had whittled it down to the 14 (12 jurors and 2 alternates in case of personal emergencies) that both prosecution and defendant were happy with and the remainder of the people were thanked and released. I was "pooled out" so I never was called or questioned. For the two days I was there I will receive a check in the mail for $80. EDIT: I said $40 originally. It's $40 per day.

All in all, a rather small EV AP move. I made more money bus hustling the Sands years ago.


From the answers most people gave I feel pretty confident (assuming this was a normal sampling of jury pools) that 80% of Americans are unsuited to be jurors. Perhaps they were fraudulently answering to be knocked out of the pool - I have heard of that but you risk perjury charges although I doubt they would ever conduct an investigation unless you had given some ridiculous answer.

Here were some of the ones I heard in the 2 days I was there.

A juror stated if he felt bad for the defendants he would let them go even if guilt was proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

A juror stated having criminal friends or associates denotes guilt as you should be smart enough not to affiliate with criminals (strict instructions from the judge were that no law makes it a crime to have friends who are criminals and that cannot be used in determining guilt)

A juror stated all lawyers were liars and not to be trusted including the one asking her questions.

A juror stated if 11 other jurors felt the person was guilty and he did not, he would go along with the others because he would feel bad for making them all stay longer to deliberate.

A juror stated they could only make a decision of guilt if there was DNA evidence to their satisfaction (this was a case without DNA evidence). When asked if they would give credibility to someone who was an eyewitness to the incident, they said no, not without DNA.

Over fifteen people claimed hardships from family issues to vacations that were non-refundable they would miss (a running joke amongst the remaining pool was we should have all scheduled our non-refundable vacations that week).

Perhaps because it is cliché, perhaps because the defendants in this case were Caucasian, claims of racial bias didn't come up. However, there were some who claimed they could not trust the police.

A legit question was whether anyone had been the victim of a crime and if it would affect their judgement. Being this is NYC, it was no surprise there was a large show of hands.

Surprisingly, teachers would make poor jurors. The few questioned were asked if there is a disruption in class involving a number of students and they cant determine who the guilty party is, whether they seek to punish all the students, guilty and innocent in order to make certain the guilty party is punished and most stated that was the case (that's the complete opposite of our justice system where if the determination of guilt cannot be established then no one is supposed to be punished, not everyone).
Last edited by: darkoz on Jul 8, 2016
For Whom the bus tolls; The bus tolls for thee
terapined
terapined
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July 8th, 2016 at 7:40:21 AM permalink
Here is my experience
Tampa FL - Got a letter for jury duty several times
You are assigned a number
The day before you call a phone number with a recording saying which group of numbers have to report the next day
My number was not in the recording so did not have to report
Next year get the letter again, I call per instructions and my number is called
Report next morning
Walk into a huge room with about 200 prospective juror's
Tons of seats and tables with tons of electric outlets and excellent wifi. Everybody is surfing the internet waiting to be called.
Different groups of jurrors are called for several different cases
Finally I was called and sat in on a drug case to pick a potential jury
It was frustrating because the defendant was defending himself and I could tell the judge was frustrated
The defendant made many mistakes defending himself and every time he made a mistake, the potential jury had to walk out
The case never moved along where a jury was picked and we were sent back into the big jury pool room
A judge walks in and says he has 2 month case and wants juror volunteers since it will be a long trial
Very few volunteers so the judge resorts to calling out names
Did not volunteer and my name was not called
Later the day is over and I left.
Pretty boring experience just sitting around waiting to be called upon.
"Everybody's bragging and drinking that wine, I can tell the Queen of Diamonds by the way she shines, Come to Daddy on an inside straight, I got no chance of losing this time" -Grateful Dead- "Loser"
Joeman
Joeman
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July 8th, 2016 at 7:47:51 AM permalink
Thanks for the Jury Duty AP report, Darkoz! I was summonsed for Jury Duty for the first time last year. To me, it was an interesting process. I wouldn't say I enjoyed it, but I'm glad I did it, just to see how everything worked. If I never get called again, that would be fine with me.

I would guess there were 600 or so people there on Monday morning. Then throughout the day, "batches" of potential jurors were selected (I guess randomly -- we never saw the actual selection process) for a particular judge for that week's trial(s). I would guess that maybe 5 people for every 1 juror seat were picked for the pool.

In my case, we had about 70 people called, but it was for two separate trials. I was actually selected to sit on one of the juries (6 jurors + 1 alternate). Interestingly enough, a friend I have known for 10 years was selected in the same pool as me, and they sat us right next to each other in voir dire! (Bonus Question: What are the odds of that happening?) My friend did not get selected, and was excused that afternoon.

BTW, my friend is a teacher. :) I'm not sure if she got asked about the disruption situation. I didn't return to the courtroom for voir dire for the second trial, as I had already been selected for the first.

As far as people's answers getting them excused, what stood out to me was that one of the potential jurors said, "I don't trust people of a certain race." It seems that if you say in open court that you are a racist, you don't have to worry about ever serving on a jury!
"Dealer has 'rock'... Pay 'paper!'"
darkoz
darkoz
Joined: Dec 22, 2009
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July 8th, 2016 at 7:49:09 AM permalink
Quote: terapined

Here is my experience
Tampa FL - Got a letter for jury duty several times
You are assigned a number
The day before you call a phone number with a recording saying which group of numbers have to report the next day
My number was not in the recording so did not have to report
Next year get the letter again, I call per instructions and my number is called
Report next morning
Walk into a huge room with about 200 prospective juror's
Tons of seats and tables with tons of electric outlets and excellent wifi. Everybody is surfing the internet waiting to be called.
Different groups of jurrors are called for several different cases
Finally I was called and sat in on a drug case to pick a potential jury
It was frustrating because the defendant was defending himself and I could tell the judge was frustrated
The defendant made many mistakes defending himself and every time he made a mistake, the potential jury had to walk out
The case never moved along where a jury was picked and we were sent back into the big jury pool room
A judge walks in and says he has 2 month case and wants juror volunteers since it will be a long trial
Very few volunteers so the judge resorts to calling out names
Did not volunteer and my name was not called
Later the day is over and I left.
Pretty boring experience just sitting around waiting to be called upon.



Yeah, the part with the letter and dialing to see if my number is called in mirrors mine too as well as the larger room with the excellent wifi. I just cut to the part where the real action was (if you can call watching people get grilled for two days action).
For Whom the bus tolls; The bus tolls for thee
Joeman
Joeman
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July 8th, 2016 at 7:55:35 AM permalink
Quote: darkoz

Yeah, the part with the letter and dialing to see if my number is called in mirrors mine too as well as the larger room with the excellent wifi.

Same here.

It is my understanding that enough potential jurors receive a summons for all of the cases scheduled that week. However, these dates are set well in advance, and many cases are settled (plea bargain or whatever) before they get to trial. So, the extra jurors are not needed and don't have to show up if their "number is called."
"Dealer has 'rock'... Pay 'paper!'"
darkoz
darkoz
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July 8th, 2016 at 8:01:12 AM permalink
Quote: Joeman

Same here.

It is my understanding that enough potential jurors receive a summons for all of the cases scheduled that week. However, these dates are set well in advance, and many cases are settled (plea bargain or whatever) before they get to trial. So, the extra jurors are not needed and don't have to show up if their "number is called."



That makes sense.

Also, they don't know how many people will send in the postponement letters so I imagine they prep a larger pool of people than needed.
For Whom the bus tolls; The bus tolls for thee
TigerWu
TigerWu
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July 8th, 2016 at 8:13:01 AM permalink
I never got called for jury duty in my entire life and then I got called twice in one year.

The first time I was notified, they said I would be in the jury pool for a week. Got called up to the courtroom once, questioned, and was dismissed for some unknown reason. Got called up again as an alternate, was never questioned, and dismissed. Then they let the entire jury pool go after 2 1/2 days because they didn't need any more juries. I don't remember what I got paid but on top of that my work was paying me for that time as well.

The second time I was notified less than a year later, it was cancelled the day before I needed to show up, so I didn't have to go in.
Wizardofnothing
Wizardofnothing
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July 8th, 2016 at 8:17:43 AM permalink
I got called for federal jury duty when I was in collge
It was a far ride and it paid well for college- you got like 60-120 a day I don't remember but I do remember getting mileage reimbursement and it was 170 miles each way. Sat for three days and never got called but got a check rather quickly
No longer hiring, donít ask because I wonít hire you either
MrV
MrV
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July 8th, 2016 at 8:43:48 AM permalink
Rarely would serving on a jury be considered pleasant or fun.

It is a necessary duty imposed upon us.

Kudos to those who serve; a Bronx cheer to those who seek to evade serving.
"What, me worry?"
TwoFeathersATL
TwoFeathersATL
Joined: May 22, 2013
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July 8th, 2016 at 8:56:15 AM permalink
I have been called for State Jury duty a number of times, Federal jury duty once, and most recently.
Never had to serve on a jury yet, never selected as the smaller group from the larger group to go to a separate area to be questioned.

The last call, Federal, came like six weeks in advance. I said Jhit, and made a note on the calendar on the fridge. I noticed that note about a week before the date, and then forgot about it, again. The morning of my 'call to duty', I got out of bed, put on my board shorts, poured a cup of coffee, and started surfing the web for any news of alien invasions while I had slept.

The phone rang, was Sparkles, "Hi Honey, did you remember you had jury duty today?" I hung up on her, yelled 'Jhit ', glanced in the mirror, blew off shower and shave and jumped in the car. It was like time to be there, And I have 25-30 miles to drive thru Atlanta rush hour(s) to get there. Couldn't have made it in Trumps helicopter. So I got on the cell, went thru half a dozen different numbers, automated answering menu selection crap, and eventually got to someone in the Court Clerks office. I explained that I was accidentally derelect in my duty but was 'on my way'. Just check me off as present and I'll be there quick as I can. If I get there too late I will present myself for arrest. The fine print had stated that failure to comply would result in a Bench Warrant for my arrest. Thankfully my servant (public servant, and I'm public), took pity on me and said she would reschedule me for six weeks later, which she did.

Six weeks later I showed up only 10 minutes late, was warned that I really should take these summons seriously. And was sent home about 6 hours later. I was just hoping that 'I'd' get a chance to answer some of their 'standard' questions ;-)
Youuuuuu MIGHT be a 'rascal' if.......(nevermind ;-)...2F

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