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

  1. Top | #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TSwizzle View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ruth Harris View Post
    Voir dire took forever due to lots of chatty people answering questions by giving their life story.
    This is the part I hated the most. It's so annoying.
    Over here, jurors are presented to the two sides lawyers, either of whom can veto their selection, but with basically nothing but appearance to base their call upon. No questions are permitted; It takes a couple of minutes to empanel 12 jurors.
    That doesn't give them anything to go on to figure out if you're going to be biased.

  2. Top | #22
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post

    Over here, jurors are presented to the two sides lawyers, either of whom can veto their selection, but with basically nothing but appearance to base their call upon. No questions are permitted; It takes a couple of minutes to empanel 12 jurors.
    That doesn't give them anything to go on to figure out if you're going to be biased.
    Exactly. That's a good thing.

    A jury is supposed to be representative of the public. Biases (in any direction) are impossible to eliminate; Rejecting jurors based on their answers to questions only makes the problem worse.

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    I forget what trial it was for -- I think the charge was domestic threat -- but, in the impaneling process, which was in open court, it became clear that the defense attorney was going to ask each potential juror about their drinking habits and their opinion of heavy drinkers. I'm an abstainer, as it happens, but I feel funny admitting that to other adults. I guess it makes me feel like your aunt Wilma, from Spokane. So it came my turn, and I testified truthfully that I never drink anything, from beer through whiskey. I can still hear the attorney and his surprised inflection: "You don't drink at all? And why is that?" What a pain!! I suppose the courtroom thought I was some born-again zealot. And it didn't get me off the jury! I had to go on the panel! Which makes me wonder what sort of response would have gotten me off.

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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 Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post

    Over here, jurors are presented to the two sides lawyers, either of whom can veto their selection, but with basically nothing but appearance to base their call upon. No questions are permitted; It takes a couple of minutes to empanel 12 jurors.
    That doesn't give them anything to go on to figure out if you're going to be biased.
    Exactly. That's a good thing.

    A jury is supposed to be representative of the public. Biases (in any direction) are impossible to eliminate; Rejecting jurors based on their answers to questions only makes the problem worse.
    Well, we cannot eliminate all biases, but i would like to feel thst between prosecution and defense, they trim off either end of the bell curve.

  5. Top | #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post

    Over here, jurors are presented to the two sides lawyers, either of whom can veto their selection, but with basically nothing but appearance to base their call upon. No questions are permitted; It takes a couple of minutes to empanel 12 jurors.
    That doesn't give them anything to go on to figure out if you're going to be biased.
    Exactly. That's a good thing.

    A jury is supposed to be representative of the public. Biases (in any direction) are impossible to eliminate; Rejecting jurors based on their answers to questions only makes the problem worse.
    So you're ok with someone walking because a racist on a jury refuses to convict someone of that race?

    Or they're determined to convict because it's their ex- on trial?

  6. Top | #26
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post

    Exactly. That's a good thing.

    A jury is supposed to be representative of the public. Biases (in any direction) are impossible to eliminate; Rejecting jurors based on their answers to questions only makes the problem worse.
    So you're ok with someone walking because a racist on a jury refuses to convict someone of that race?

    Or they're determined to convict because it's their ex- on trial?
    No one juror can convict a defendant. In my jurisdiction, a verdict must be unanimous. It takes all twelve jurors to convict or to acquit. And jurors are required to declare to the judge if they have personal knowledge of the defendant, or even of the crime scene - at which point they are usually replaced (or if they fail to declare their prior experience, are in serious trouble if caught out). A defendant's ex would be recognized in court by the defendant (if by nobody else), and would be very unlikely to get away with failing to declare an interest.

    So no, I am not "OK with" your two ridiculous ad-hoc scenarios, and nor are they remotely plausible.

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    I've been on two and they were both federal court. One went on for five weeks and we found several doctors and chiropractors guilty of defrauding an insurance company. The other one was a drug possession charge. I was an alternate juror on that one so did not go back to deliberate guilt or innocence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post

    Exactly. That's a good thing.

    A jury is supposed to be representative of the public. Biases (in any direction) are impossible to eliminate; Rejecting jurors based on their answers to questions only makes the problem worse.
    So you're ok with someone walking because a racist on a jury refuses to convict someone of that race?

    Or they're determined to convict because it's their ex- on trial?
    No one juror can convict a defendant. In my jurisdiction, a verdict must be unanimous. It takes all twelve jurors to convict or to acquit. And jurors are required to declare to the judge if they have personal knowledge of the defendant, or even of the crime scene - at which point they are usually replaced (or if they fail to declare their prior experience, are in serious trouble if caught out). A defendant's ex would be recognized in court by the defendant (if by nobody else), and would be very unlikely to get away with failing to declare an interest.

    So no, I am not "OK with" your two ridiculous ad-hoc scenarios, and nor are they remotely plausible.
    There is a considerable suspicion that OJ walked because of the first one.

  9. Top | #29
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post

    No one juror can convict a defendant. In my jurisdiction, a verdict must be unanimous. It takes all twelve jurors to convict or to acquit. And jurors are required to declare to the judge if they have personal knowledge of the defendant, or even of the crime scene - at which point they are usually replaced (or if they fail to declare their prior experience, are in serious trouble if caught out). A defendant's ex would be recognized in court by the defendant (if by nobody else), and would be very unlikely to get away with failing to declare an interest.

    So no, I am not "OK with" your two ridiculous ad-hoc scenarios, and nor are they remotely plausible.
    There is a considerable suspicion that OJ walked because of the first one.
    He wasn't tried in my jurisdiction though. It couldn't have happened under our system, despite our simpler and quicker method of jury selection.

  10. Top | #30
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    I find jury duty interesting.

    I’ve been called a couple of times. Once to federal jury duty, the rest to county/local. The federal one is ineresting, you are “called” for a month and have to check in each Friday night for whether you should appear on Monday. If you appear and get selcted, and serve, you are still on duty and can get called again he following week.

    So on federal duty I got three trials; one was two days, the others were a single day. The first one was a guy suing his employer for an injury, but the jury found that it was his own fault, violating safety protocol and also he did not appear to be actually hurt (claimed his achilles tendon was severed and hadn’t walked without a drop-shoe for four years, yet his two calves were the same circumference.). One of the jurors wanted to give him a lot of money because she felt sorry for him. We talked her out of it. I was satisfied with that outcome.

    The next was an interesting experiment, where a person could come to court for a “Trial” trial and they got 6 jurors, a judge and two hours each side to present their case and see how a jury would react. Non-binding. It was supposed to be a way of reducing frivolous court cases. I like the idea. Anyway we heard evidence about a guy who was the cook on a boat (maritime law, hence federal court) who was injured stepping off it because employer didn’t have a ramp or something and he hit his face and fell into the water with a broken face. We determined that the company was not so negligent nor the guy so disfigured as to require punitive damages, but we did think they owed him his medical bills. So that was a satisfactory outcome, too.

    I don’t even remember the third one, but I do remember that they were trying the bombers of “the United Freedom Front”, so there was a shitload of security that was totally new to us and they took my plastic-handled crayola scissors from my knitting bag.

    I got called to a couple of more but was always dismissed. I don’t mind serving. I think it’s interesting and I would hope to have thoughtful people on a jury.

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