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  1. #1
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    great excuse for getting out of jury duty

    This story really gave me a chuckle as I was driving in this morning.

    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/daily...25246-315.html

  2. #2

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    Too funny!

  3. #3
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    Sorry, but if you put your pet cat on your Census form (I thought that they don't give out name info from Census forms???) then I have to post this clip:
    http://www.hulu.com/watch/4165/satur...e-census-taker

    "Don't push your politics on me, Pal!"

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    Yeah, I didn't think they requested name information on census forms. From what I understand, it's DMV address information that they randomly draw from, which why my roommate gets summoned even though she's not a US citizen.

    I did get summoned twice in two months though. Random draw my ass! Apparently the "choosing" database is not hooked up to the "registration" database because they already had me in the phone system as having already served.

    And they still asked if I wanted to participate. NO!

  5. #5
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    Yes, I thought it was DMV too.
    I think I will have a snack and take a nap before I eat and go to sleep.

  6. #6

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    If it's the DMV which is the source, that might explain why I went many years without ever being called for jury duty. Of course, when I finally received a jury duty assignment letter three years ago, I still didn't have a driver's license. I thought that they used information derived from both DMV and voter registration records.

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    I thought it was from the voter registration, which is why some people choose not to register. Or at least that is their justification.
    I have been selected for jury duty three times. I was selected for 3 different trials. Rather than trying to get out of it, I felt it was an honor and something to take very seriously. Since I am caring for my grandchildren now, I am not sure how this can be worked out. Parents have to take vacation time because I am on jury duty and can not care for their children during the day?

  8. #8

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    Omaha uses both driver's license and voter registration. I just served on a jury, and even though it turned out I was the alternate, I would do it again.

    It was my fifth time being summoned, but the first time I was actually selected. I think this DOES show it's random. My dad, for example, has NEVER been summoned. If it wasn't random, he would be summoned before I would be summoned a second time. Or a third. Or fifth.

    Finley and Peanut have also never been summoned.

  9. #9

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    I don't get it -- I've been driving for nearly forty years, and registered to vote just a few years short of that -- and I've only ever been called for jury duty twice: once with a date several days after our scheduled move out-of-state, and the second time for a case where I got quickly disqualified because it was a sex assault case involving a girl about the same age as my daughter. Other than that, nada. Mr. Barbk, however, has been called at least five times over the same interval.

  10. #10

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    There is a very strong argument for doing away with juries, which I happen to agree with. Given how hard people try to get out of it, how reluctant people are to do it etc, you have to wonder if it's truely representative and if the person is really getting a fair trial.

    This debate has been going on in the UK for years and the only reason they haven't been abolished is that they do reduce worries of corruption.

    There has to be a better medium, though. Numbers, you might be in the minority thinking it's an honour. Most people think it's a pain in the arse.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by *Jen* View Post
    Numbers, you might be in the minority thinking it's an honour. Most people think it's a pain in the arse.
    I would love to be in the jury at an interesting and challenging trial. Always wanted to, since I was 8 years old and saw 12 Angry Men. But who is going to run my affairs and business, and take care of my pet and help my mother when I am gone all day? It's not about loosing money while not working.... If I can "freeze-frame" in time my business associates' orders and needs, my associates, my pets, my mother and relatives, or all of the NEEDS of theirs - I'd be on jury!

    I agree that the jury could be "one-sided" if most productive employed people who have family and other responsibilities, and can't afford not to work, or let go of their business for one day or it will fail, can't be on the panel. Or take people in a family situation, where one partner decided to work and the other decided to raise children, as a mutual plan: how can one leave work and the other leave children?

    I am concerned about various aspects of the "group" who has time during the day, for so many weeks and possibly months, to be on jury. Makes me wonder why they are willing to leave their jobs for so long, or not working, or have so much time....

    In my perfect world, the jury would be selected from a group of recently retired professionals with education who were employed until the day of their retirement. At least I would know they are driven, responsible people, with knowledge and experience.

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    I loved the movie Twelve Angry Men, but even though in my mind I agree with jury duty, my body doesn't want to do it. I can't sit still for that long, and it seems they only want me when something has come up that prevents me. First time I fell out of a tree, 2nd and 3 times I was working a federal election that was more important than jury duty. In Canada I'm pretty sure the pool is chosen from municipal election rolls. It can't be pulled from a Census. They called my mum once, and I had to get her doctor to write a letter. She was just going into a chronic care hospital.

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    12 Angry Men isn't the norm of jury duty. I sat in on a few trials as part of my law degree and the majority of them are exceptionally boring. Even the fascinating murder trial I saw a couple of months ago was fascinating for a small portion of the time, and was for most of the time discussing the exact distance between buildings, showing photos of the street, etc etc.

    12 Angry Men style trials tend to be retried more often than not because the jury fail to reach a decision, so you've completely wasted your time.

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    I've been a registered voter ever since I became 21 but was never called for jury duty until around 10 years ago. Called three times since, all before I retired. The first time I served, I had to give my "salary," which I think was something like $15 a day, to my school district. (I was a teacher.) They changed that policy later. Most days that were scheduled for court we didn't even have to report because the cases were settled. In fact, the last term I served we didn't have to report a single time after the orientation day. I've sat on three juries, and as Jen said, it's surely not like the movies. Everyone I served with took the responsibility very seriously. It's quite sobering when the judge gives those instructions before the jury retires to begin deliberations.

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    The few times I had to be in court were dreadfully boring. And of course it didn't help that I couldn't read a book while sitting there. Disrespectful! But the one that topped the cake was when the crown attorney (that doesn't look like it's spelled right) and the defense attorney both agreed on 6 months for the scumbag, and the judge gave him three. I think maybe you have to be interested to go - otherwise it's like being at a baseball game when you don't understand and don't want to.

  16. #16

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    My dad got jury duty notices about every three years from the time I was 12 until I was 21. He did have to serve on a murder trial. The man was convicted but was determined to be mentally ill - like duh if you kill someone wouldn't you have some crazy mixed up mental status?. The jury deliberated on death penalty or insanity with going to a lock facility for the rest of his life. The jury went with locked mental facility for life. He wrote threatening letters to the members of the jury and made threats of killing them and their family. He was released when I was in college my dad was extremely nervous for me. And the man did kill again - this time he received life imprisonment with no parole.
    The three cases I sat on - a robbery of $390.00 which was something like $45.00 over felony charges and required a trial. Another was a copyright issue in civil court and the other one was a civil suit suing the truck driver who killed their daughter for pain and suffering for the daughter who may have lived for 10 minutes in a crushed car and for loss of companionship for the mother. Like a multi-million dollar settlement. It was so hard to listen to the reports of the death from police officers and rescue squad and then to listen to the mother. But then the truck driver looked haunted and like he never slept since the accident

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinami Amori View Post
    I agree that the jury could be "one-sided" if most productive employed people who have family and other responsibilities, and can't afford not to work, or let go of their business for one day or it will fail, can't be on the panel. Or take people in a family situation, where one partner decided to work and the other decided to raise children, as a mutual plan: how can one leave work and the other leave children?

    I am concerned about various aspects of the "group" who has time during the day, for so many weeks and possibly months, to be on jury. Makes me wonder why they are willing to leave their jobs for so long, or not working, or have so much time....

    In my perfect world, the jury would be selected from a group of recently retired professionals with education who were employed until the day of their retirement. At least I would know they are driven, responsible people, with knowledge and experience.
    I don't know where you're getting your jury knowledge from, but in most states, it's not about time or willingness. Doesn't matter if you have a job or family or not, if you're selected for jury duty, you have to serve. Most people are not willing to do jury duty; they're just more willing to go to jury duty than to jail. Most people do whatever they can to get out of jury duty because they have lives. There are few exceptions, and it's actually not as easy to get out of jury duty as people think it is.

    I've served on a jury before--NO ONE wanted to be there....except for the retirees. The retirees were all about extending the trial as long as possible because they don't have jobs or as many familial obligations. This costs the courts more money. We had an open-and-shut domestic abuse case that should have been about fifteen minutes that somehow stretched into four hours (one of the retirees had heard that if we were there till noon, they'd pay for lunch, and he wanted his free lunch. This did not make the mommies and the nurse in the group happy.).

    I served because I wanted to, but was quickly disappointed--Law and Order LIED to me. It was boring. If I get called again, trust me, unless it's a federal case, I will do whatever I can to get out of it.
    "The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play." –Olympic Charter

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by KatieC View Post
    The few times I had to be in court were dreadfully boring. And of course it didn't help that I couldn't read a book while sitting there. .
    My best experience was on a case in Federal Court. It involved a bunch of Pro athletes and their sports agent who bought millions of dollars of swampland in Florida. We had way too much fun on that one.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matryeshka View Post
    I don't know where you're getting your jury knowledge from, but in most states, it's not about time or willingness. Doesn't matter if you have a job or family or not, if you're selected for jury duty, you have to serve. Most people are not willing to do jury duty; they're just more willing to go to jury duty than to jail. Most people do whatever they can to get out of jury duty because they have lives. There are few exceptions, and it's actually not as easy to get out of jury duty as people think it is.

    I've served on a jury before--NO ONE wanted to be there....except for the retirees. The retirees were all about extending the trial as long as possible because they don't have jobs or as many familial obligations. This costs the courts more money. We had an open-and-shut domestic abuse case that should have been about fifteen minutes that somehow stretched into four hours (one of the retirees had heard that if we were there till noon, they'd pay for lunch, and he wanted his free lunch. This did not make the mommies and the nurse in the group happy.).

    I served because I wanted to, but was quickly disappointed--Law and Order LIED to me. It was boring. If I get called again, trust me, unless it's a federal case, I will do whatever I can to get out of it.
    Yeah, I always thought that serving on a jury would be cool, but I've always been called to the downtown LA courthouse and it takes like, an hour to get there because of traffic. Not to mention another 20 minutes for walking from the provided parking lot. And I am NOT a morning person! Yes I know I'm an adult now and I should suck it up, but that's just another reason why I prefer going to work where my hours are flexible rather than sitting on a jury!

  20. #20

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    A friend served in Beverly Hills Municipal Court years ago -- in five days he served on three trials, one on solicitation (male soliciting female who happened to be a vice cop), one prostitution male on male, and one pandering case. That's pretty much the trifecta. (BH is adjacent to Hollywood, and this was a pretty wild time.)

    The real bummer in LA County is that if you live in the county you can be called to jury duty anywhere in the county, at any level of court. Not fun at all if you live in Malibu or Pacific Palisades and get called to Downey. (They must make an exception for Catalina Island -- I wonder how that works, and if the only people who get called to serve on their juries are local residents?)

    Colorado's system is 1 day or 1 trial, and people seem to like that pretty well. Jurors are also encouraged to take notes (pads are provided) and may compile questions to be considered by the judge, who can then choose to ask them of the witnesses or not.

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