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Thread: For the first time in years, I have to report for jury duty

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    For the first time in years, I have to report for jury duty

    Got the questionnaire in December and filled it out as usual, requesting to be excused due to the fact that I am the only employee in our office and it would leave my clients with no accounting software support if I was not available.

    Unfortunately, our new (first term) judge has decided that he will allow no work related excuses. My contact in the circuit clerk's office told me that he made it very clear to them that there was no work related excuse he would accept. He has been denying all of them, whether it is a family's sole supporter or even if it forces a business to close for that duty. This is atrocious in my opinion. I can't even file a complaint against the judge for this outrageous stance since it is not considered misconduct. It is bad enough in my case, but causing financial hardships to small business owners and those who are the only breadwinners for their family is beyond reasonable.

    So tomorrow, off I go to voir dire. And I suspect that I will be excused anyway since I have three close family members who are in law enforcement, one locally. Defense attorneys don't want people like me on the jury. All this is doing in my case is costing me the time, my clients the aggravation, and the county the cost they will have to pay me for showing up plus mileage to the courthouse. Our tax dollars at work

    This is one judge that will never have my vote again. And I intend to make everyone I know aware of his arrogant attitude.

    Ruth

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    I know in theory that jury duty is supposed to be something we all consider our patriotic duty but in reality, it's awful and rarely has anything to do with justice being served.

    First I will tell you what I did. I received a jury summons two weeks before my 70th birthday, but in Georgia, you can ask to be removed from the jury rolls once you turn 70, so I took my summons to the courthouse and signed myself off of jury duty for the rest of my life. I told one of my female friends who hates jury duty and she did the same thing right after her 70th birthday. We may be bad citizens for doing that, but I can't tell you want a relief it was.

    Now, let me share a story of the time I almost got put on a jury. The charge was cocaine possession with intent. Those charged were two young black men with no prior records. One was just riding in the car, so he was charged as an accomplice. I was pulled to be questioned for the jury, but the prosecutor asked who, if any of us believed that all recreational drugs should be legalized. This has been something I've supported for decades, so I raised my hand. If it worked in Portugal why not here, but I don't want to change the subject, so I'll leave it at that. So, as you may have expected, I wasn't chosen for the jury.

    A few weeks later, I ran into a woman who I knew from my workout group, although I have no idea how her husband knew who I was. She told me that the two men were found guilty and given sentences of 20 years for the accomplice and 30 years for the primary defendant. Her husband was so upset that these two young men would be locked up for so many years, that he couldn't sleep for weeks. She said the evidence was very strong but the jurors had no idea that the sentence would be so severe. If I was a believer, I would have thanked my god for getting me off of that jury. It would have been a moral dilemma for me to have convicted them.

    So, it would be interesting if others were to share their experiences with jury duty The two other times I had it in Georgia, all of the accused plea bargained and they sent us home early. I only had it once in any of the other states I've lived in and I got out of it once because I was going on a trip to see my elderly, sick father. They never called me again.

    Sorry you're having to deal with this.

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    I've never actually been called to a trial. Once I had to go down to the jury pool but they didn't actually call me to any trial.

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    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    I've never gotten as far as being interviewed for a trial.
    Just hung out for the morning in the jury kennel, in the city, juvenile, and district courthouses, thanked by the judge each time, then off to lunch.
    I suspect there is a camera in the room. And the lawyers take their clients into a little room and show yyhem tye jury pool on a monitor, and say, 'you can plead, or put your life in these guys' hands. Would you trust any of these people to plan your WEEKEND? ' and they go plead out.
    Dustrict court had the most vomfortable chairs, but no TV. City had a TV, but the bailiff vhose the channel. Juvie at least had parking set aside. Weirdly, districtvtook my keys because of a gadget on the ring, juvie took my keys (without a gadget this time) because the keys could be weapons, city didncare about my keys but flipped thru my paperback book for... wel, not sure ehsst he expected. But he didn't find it.

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    Veteran Member crazyfingers's Avatar
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    I was called to jury duty once. Some people seem to get called all the time. I don't get it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruth Harris View Post
    This is one judge that will never have my vote again. And I intend to make everyone I know aware of his arrogant attitude.

    Ruth
    Simple enough solution. When you get to court, ask to speak to the judge and explain that you are special and the rules the rest of us abide by, don't apply to you. I'm sure he'll understand.

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    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruth Harris View Post
    Got the questionnaire in December and filled it out as usual, requesting to be excused due to the fact that I am the only employee in our office and it would leave my clients with no accounting software support if I was not available.

    Unfortunately, our new (first term) judge has decided that he will allow no work related excuses. My contact in the circuit clerk's office told me that he made it very clear to them that there was no work related excuse he would accept. He has been denying all of them, whether it is a family's sole supporter or even if it forces a business to close for that duty. This is atrocious in my opinion. I can't even file a complaint against the judge for this outrageous stance since it is not considered misconduct. It is bad enough in my case, but causing financial hardships to small business owners and those who are the only breadwinners for their family is beyond reasonable.

    So tomorrow, off I go to voir dire. And I suspect that I will be excused anyway since I have three close family members who are in law enforcement, one locally. Defense attorneys don't want people like me on the jury. All this is doing in my case is costing me the time, my clients the aggravation, and the county the cost they will have to pay me for showing up plus mileage to the courthouse. Our tax dollars at work

    This is one judge that will never have my vote again. And I intend to make everyone I know aware of his arrogant attitude.

    Ruth
    So, you voted for this guy? It seems you only have yourself to blame.

    Electing judges is a uniquely American insanity*, but as it's the system you have, it's the fault of those who voted for them if judges don't act as those voters would like them to.

    *No sane system allows the selection of judges to be based in public opinion.

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    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ruth Harris View Post
    Got the questionnaire in December and filled it out as usual, requesting to be excused due to the fact that I am the only employee in our office and it would leave my clients with no accounting software support if I was not available.

    Unfortunately, our new (first term) judge has decided that he will allow no work related excuses. My contact in the circuit clerk's office told me that he made it very clear to them that there was no work related excuse he would accept. He has been denying all of them, whether it is a family's sole supporter or even if it forces a business to close for that duty. This is atrocious in my opinion. I can't even file a complaint against the judge for this outrageous stance since it is not considered misconduct. It is bad enough in my case, but causing financial hardships to small business owners and those who are the only breadwinners for their family is beyond reasonable.

    So tomorrow, off I go to voir dire. And I suspect that I will be excused anyway since I have three close family members who are in law enforcement, one locally. Defense attorneys don't want people like me on the jury. All this is doing in my case is costing me the time, my clients the aggravation, and the county the cost they will have to pay me for showing up plus mileage to the courthouse. Our tax dollars at work

    This is one judge that will never have my vote again. And I intend to make everyone I know aware of his arrogant attitude.

    Ruth
    So, you voted for this guy? It seems you only have yourself to blame.

    Electing judges is a uniquely American insanity*, but as it's the system you have, it's the fault of those who voted for them if judges don't act as those voters would like them to.

    *No sane system allows the selection of judges to be based in public opinion.
    But no one runs on a 'I'll make YOU stand jury duty' platform. They keep that shit secret. How's a voter supposed to pick a candidate who does the job but won't interfere with my convenience? Huh?

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    I've been called for jury duty 5 times, was seated three times, and luckily, all three were one-day trials. One offense was domestic threat, another was drunk driving in a golf cart...I forget the third, it's been too long. The first one I did was kinda interesting, the other two less so. I did get to see the quality of local lawyering, and boy, do we have some ham actors in the local bar, a bunch of Perry Mason wanna-be's. There's one heavy-set lawyer who's such a blowhard that he's comical. (He's on billboards around town with the message 'Need a Fighter in Court?' I was actually glad that we had no choice but to convict his client, after being subjected to his gassy defense speeches.) (That was the drunk on a golf cart case, and since they had breathalyzer evidence on him, it was a jackass move to go to trial.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by crazyfingers View Post
    I was called to jury duty once. Some people seem to get called all the time. I don't get it.
    Yeah, my wife used to get called a lot more than I did. I got annoyed with the idiots that didn't get it about her English not being up to jury duty. (One-on-one misunderstandings get corrected much better than when you're simply listening.) Can't you just note it in your file not to call her? For some years she was also exempt for professional reasons--once again, note it! The notices every year or so kept on until the over-70-don't-call-me exemption actually stuck.

    Meanwhile, I don't get called even every 5 years. I call in, get in the system and then the night before get told I don't need to come in.

    I think the fact that I'm not claiming an exemption makes a difference--I'm considered to have completed service even if I'm told not to come in, that takes me off the list I thought for 2 years.

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