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Thread: Have You Ever Served On A Jury?

  1. #1
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    Did you ever get a summons to be a juror and served?
    Did you, or do you, feel that you can listen with an open mind?
    Can you decide things without personal predjudices?
    Or do you openly admit that your personal perspectives creep into the way you look at things, and cannot get past them?
    It's a tough job, to be sure, but that is why they take so much time and question the potential jurors so thoroughly.
    Do you have what it takes?

  2. #2
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I was on Federal jury duty and regular. Only two times in my life so far. It is nothing like you see in the court room tv shows or movies. Really I was ready to convict most of the fellow jurors on the jury I was on for being so soft hearted toward a mean, nasty, soon knock you in the head to look at you drug addict. Jury chairman is not a scary job, just someone to keep the votes counted and fill out the form to give to the judge. One we had to award a settlement. All 12 of us wrote down what we thought was a fair amount. It was added up and then divided by 12. The answer was the amount we awarded. As far as not having any pre set opinions, you hear the case and it was plain on the trial I had, it didn't matter what I thought, the person did a terrible thing and had to be voted guilty. We had to set the sentence too, that was when the arguing was worse, bleeding hearts wanted the min. the others wanted max. plus.

  3. #3
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo
    I was on Federal jury duty and regular. Only two times in my life so far. It is nothing like you see in the court room tv shows or movies. Really I was ready to convict most of the fellow jurors on the jury I was on for being so soft hearted toward a mean, nasty, soon knock you in the head to look at you drug addict. Jury chairman is not a scary job, just someone to keep the votes counted and fill out the form to give to the judge. One we had to award a settlement. All 12 of us wrote down what we thought was a fair amount. It was added up and then divided by 12. The answer was the amount we awarded.
    I'm curious, having never been on a federal jury,...so you think these ppl gave all the right answers to the lawyers and prosecutors, so they would be chosen to serve on the jury, and then when they got in the deliberating room, you saw their true colors?
    well, ppl do put their best foot forward in public, oftentimes, but where is their conscience? their belief in fair trials?
    I hope they didn't do it for the money. :shock:

  4. #4
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    Money ??? Do you get paid for jury duty above & beyond in the US ???

  5. #5
    Super Member SaraSewing's Avatar
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    My jury stories: When I was a stay-at-home mom, I was expecting my 4th baby. She was due in just a few days (and was born at 9lb 12 oz). They excused me from serving based on "appearance". They laughed that they didn't want to pay jury wages for the both of us!

    The other time I was on a jury I was in nursing school. It was a drunk driving case. The defence was the guy wasn't "that" drunk. Our jury was quick. We determined that we didn't have to decide what was drunk or not, the state had already determined that. So, according to the law, we went on blood alcohol, plus the destruction to property. I was paid $35/day. It was more than I was making as a student, which was nothing!

  6. #6
    Super Member SaraSewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thimblebug6000
    Money ??? Do you get paid for jury duty above & beyond in the US ???
    Yes, I believe the the law in most states is that you take your wages of $35 (average) and turn it to your employer, and they have to make up the difference. It's their part in civic duty.

  7. #7
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    there's an ad for free jury selection video at the bottom of the page! I clicked on it, and they wanted your email info and such.
    hmmm? I don't think you get something for nothing very often, and probably not on the net.

  8. #8
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I have been contacted twice...the first time I had to call in every night for 2 weeks to see if I would be needed...that was a real pain for my employer!!!
    The second time I was excused as I was just in a car accident and could not sit long enough to serve.
    In my state potential jurors are chosen lottery style using your drivers licenses or state issued ID cards.

  9. #9
    Super Member Lisanne's Avatar
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    Thimblebug6000, jury duty pay is nowhere near even minimum wage for the hours spent there, and many working people then lose the wages they could have made by going to work. Some employers pay full wages for jury duty as a fringe benefit, but most don't.

    Quiltncrazy, interesting questions.

    I never served on a jury, though I got a summons just as I graduated college. In fact, I'd moved halfway across the country by the time it was forwarded to me. Happily, they didn't require me to go back, though at the time I would have been interested to see what it was like.

    I wouldn't want to now. I'd keep an open mind, but I'm too gullible. I know people lie or skew things on the witness stand, and I'd believe everyone. I'd hate to be wrong about someone's guilt or innocence.


    I think some people try to be on a jury and others try not to be selected. For someone who will be forced to lose work wages, it's a hardship, so I think lots of people try not to be selected.

  10. #10
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisanne
    Thimblebug6000, jury duty pay is nowhere near even minimum wage for the hours spent there, and many working people then lose the wages they could have made by going to work. Some employers pay full wages for jury duty as a fringe benefit, but most don't.

    Quiltncrazy, interesting questions.

    I never served on a jury, though I got a summons just as I graduated college. In fact, I'd moved halfway across the country by the time it was forwarded to me. Happily, they didn't require me to go back, though at the time I would have been interested to see what it was like.

    I wouldn't want to now. I'd keep an open mind, but I'm too gullible. I know people lie or skew things on the witness stand, and I'd believe everyone. I'd hate to be wrong about someone's guilt or innocence.


    I think some people try to be on a jury and others try not to be selected. For someone who will be forced to lose work wages, it's a hardship, so I think lots of people try not to be selected.
    I think your right, more try to avoid being selected. It is a lot of work.
    I for one, don't want to sit in on the 'big' cases...hear the details and such. I don't even watch some shows before bedtime. Too hard to turn it off.

  11. #11
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for posting this. I got a jury summons a couple of weeks ago and completely forgot about it until I opened your thread. I immediately went searching and found it. I am supposed to report on the 28th of September.
    I have gone twice, but never got called. I spent my whole day reading a book.

    I'm trying to decide if I should request a specific day. I can send my card back in and request a day that week that I will report or I can send my card back with a specific day in another time period. Work is an issue, my boss would not be happy if I had to report on a work day!

  12. #12
    Super Member canmitch1971's Avatar
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    Many years ago I was a juror in a murder trial. The guy went to his mother's and beat her to death with a hammer. They tried to get him off by saying he was insane when he did it. He went to a hardware store and bought some duct tape and a hammer. He got someone to take care of his pet rabbit. He took the bus to his mother's town, broke into her house and killed her. He then cleaned himself up, called a taxi and went home. It was the hardest thing I have ever done but I think I did it well. I concentrated very hard on getting all the facts etc. I am glad I did it but never again. We found him guilty and he got life without payroll. It took a lot out of me. I was drained when I got home. It took me about 3 or 4 days to recover.

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    Quote Originally Posted by saravincent
    Quote Originally Posted by thimblebug6000
    Money ??? Do you get paid for jury duty above & beyond in the US ???
    Yes, I believe the the law in most states is that you take your wages of $35 (average) and turn it to your employer, and they have to make up the difference. It's their part in civic duty.
    I sat on an all day jury selection that paid me for the day of $12! I was glad it was me they called and not dh for how were we to pay for the house at 12 a day? Here no one makes up the difference. I wasn't picked to go on to the trial. That went on for 2 weeks and they took a bus out of town for it. I would still do it again w/o complaint.....but, I believe 'you do the crime you do the time'....:)They prob won't call me:)LOL Skeat

  14. #14
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loretta
    I have been called but as soon as they hear I have worked in a prison, they excuse me. Not sure how I feel about that.
    gee, without talking to you? almost like, since I have eaten before, I can't be a judge for cakes and cookies at the county fair... not quite the same, I know, but, I have a SIL, that works at one, and he is very decent and fair, figures, you know what you did to get in here...learn from it, straighten up, do your time, and get out and go on your way.
    Course he doesn't work with the worst offenders, either.

  15. #15
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    From what I saw of the judges I had, they were not pleasant to the jurors that tried to get off jury duty. The only ones they excused was a mom with two kids that needed special care, and a man who was very hard of hearing, and this was out of 100. The ones that said their employer couldn't do without them, the judge said let's bring your employer here and let him/her hear me tell them why you can be excused, give the info how to contact your employer to this nice gentleman right there. Next! The company I worked for gave me time off with pay, they did for all jury duty employees. Said paperwork cost more to deduct the jury pay then it was to just pay for the day. I never was asked if I was opposed to the death penalty, or if I had issues about race, religion, or other things they ask on tv. I was asked my work history and family background. If the lawyers wanted you on the jury you got picked.

  16. #16
    Super Member sewmuch's Avatar
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    About 3 years ago I was called for a 30 year old cold case.....his DNA popped up on the data base.....rape and murder of an 8 yr old child, left in her backyard, Mom was out partying when crime committed....he was the one, they had saved all the evidence....very interesting to me, never having been selected before, lasted about 2 1/2 mos.....didn't have to go everyday...they waste lots of time.....met a lot of nice folks too.....

    He got the death penalty and is in San Quentin.....

  17. #17
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    I served on a jury (still don't know if I was a regular or alternate) for an asbestos case (years ago). I think we were paid about $15 a day and maybe $0.15 per mile for mileage.

    The county selects us - I'm not sure what the method is.

    It seemed like there was a lot of hurry up and wait. Plus it seemed so choreographed - and one couldn't ask the questions that I thought I should have been asked - (I think I fell asleep a couple of time)

    It turned out that the case was settled out of court and we weren't told the results. The judge seemed pretty down to earth and considerate of the jurors.

    I was surprised I was selected - maybe because it was at the end of the day and there weren't many people left to choose from - one of the questions asked was how I felt about smoking - and I told them that I thought smoking could exacerbate a condition - and I also told them that I felt that just because something was "legal", that didn't necessarily make it "right"

    I think using the word "exacerbate" spoiled my hayseed country hick image. Which expression I find offensive, by the way. Why? Because people have to have "smarts" to survive in whatever environment they are in. I have no street smarts whatsoever, but I do know where the milk comes out of a cow. (Although I was pretty old before I realized a cow had to have a calf before she would produce milk)

    I've often wondered how much information/facts a jury actually gets to make a really informed decision.

    I found that my butt got tired, my back bothered me, my feet got antsy, and I had a hard time staying awake.

  18. #18
    Super Member azdesertrat's Avatar
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    My employer pays us for jury duty,and then the county or city pays gas mileage if it is over a cetain milage.I have reported several times,but was never actually picked to serve.And I have no problem telling them my opinions,they rally want to know that helps them decide wether or not to keep you

  19. #19
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    I think i listened with an open mind up to a point. i used to think if someone was arrested and brought to trial, they were 90% guilty. sad but true. since the O J trial (I watched it every day) I've changed my mind. i can't sit on a jury anymore. i must know!!! 100% and that's almost impossible. i can't "think" someone guilty anymore. it's too important!
    O J's trial blew my mind. such is life.

  20. #20
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    I got escorted from the court room by the baliff when I reported for jury duty. The defense attorney asked the question " Do you think that an innocent person could be charged with a crime?" My answer was: " I don't know who in this courtroom is guilty- but someone in here is, the court system personnel, police officers, etc. are too busy to 'create' false charges. Who in their right mind would create more work for themselves by charging an innocent person with a crime?" The judge told me to stop talking and the baliff was ordered to take me out of the court room. Had the rest of the day off to goof off :) :) :) :) :)

  21. #21
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    I've been called for jury duty 3 times. Always for the county, not the feds. They say its a random pick of registered voters. They pay you here, but in the city it barely covers your parking fees and lunch!! I work for a huge corporation, so they do pay us anyway. I sat on a civil jury for a guy who said working in a blueprint company caused his asthma, but he was still smoking (and I was a smoker at the time also) and his disability didn't stop him from hanging out on the fence at the race track in all the dust! He lost!! And I've been on 2 rape cases. One guy we convicted and he got 25 years, could try for probation after 7. its a little creepy to think he might be out there now with my name and address... I just had a feeling he was guilty from the start, tried to keep an open mind, but after the girl he raped got up and testified, I had no doubt, neither did anyone else on the jury!! After the trial and we were released, the judge talked to us and said we did a good job, that this wasn't the first time this guy had raped, but this young lady was the first willing to go through with a trial. It was nice to get that feedback from him. the second rape case, we let the guy go. It was back and forth for me until it came out at the end that the girl accusing this guy was pregnant. She was white, he was black, and her family was as prejudiced as could be. The impression I got, since she didn't accuse him until after she found out she was expecting(yes, after, no DNA testing, no rape kit) was that she was looking for an excuse for her family. He had no problem admitting he'd had sex with her when and where she said, but that she consented. Again, we got a thumbs up from the judge when he spoke to us after the trial.
    I was called again after that, and sat waiting to be called into a courtroom for two weeks!! I got alot of reading done, and learned to play euchre!!

    I think its a great experience everyone should go through. It is nothing like you see on TV and quite an eyeopener!!

  22. #22
    Super Member Lisanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo
    From what I saw of the judges I had, they were not pleasant to the jurors that tried to get off jury duty. ... The ones that said their employer couldn't do without them, the judge said let's bring your employer here and let him/her hear me tell them why you can be excused, give the info how to contact your employer to this nice gentleman right there. Next!
    The trick is not to ask to be let off, but to make yourself sound like someone they wouldn't want on the jury. Talking too much, the way Cathy did, or whining or making yourself sound biased and opinionated would do it. Not that I'm advocating it, but OTOH part of a fair trial is having a jury that's willing to be there and carefully consider the evidence rather than having their decision be based on someone's desire to get back to work.

    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo
    I never was asked if I was opposed to the death penalty, or if I had issues about race, religion, or other things they ask on tv. I was asked my work history and family background. If the lawyers wanted you on the jury you got picked.
    What you'll get asked really depends on the case. If it's not a death penalty case, they won't ask your feelings about it. Also first impressions - if you looked like someone who wasn't a problem for either side, they'd pick you and rserve their battles for other candidates.

  23. #23
    Super Member zyxquilts's Avatar
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    I've been called to jury duty several times, but only once was I actually picked to sit on the jury. My employer does not pay me if I'm not at work.
    In Los Angeles County, the only people who can be excused from jury duty without question are police officers. Everyone has to show up if their group is picked (we have to call in the night before for 5 days). No financial hardship or anything else will be pre-excused. That time I was selected, in my group was the past head judge of the Superior Court! He actually had been the boss of the judge of this trial. lol As soon as his # was called to go sit in the jury box, the first attourney that spoke excused him - the judge laughed & said that, darn, he was looking forward to talking about his jury experience at his hext Kiwanis (or Elks or some service club) meeting!
    Anyway, as I sat in the jury box, I got more & more stuffed up, but didn't notice at first. Then they sent us out to the hallway for 10 minutes & I DID notice that I could breathe again. As soon as I was back in the courtroom, sinuses snapped shut again! So I raised my hand & told the judge that I was having trouble breathing in there. The judge asked if I could take 'something' for it & I told him that I had already taken my allergy pill that day. Then he told the bailiff to find me a breathing apparatus!! Luckily, one of the lawyers excused me on the next round, so I didn't have to sit there with a big breathing mask on my face. Sheesh!

  24. #24
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    I've been called twice, excused once. The second time I sat on jury for a crack dealer. He proved he was guilty himself, but they went through the motion of the trial. Because he was only 25 there were folks on the jury that wanted to give him the benefit of a doubt and not sentence him to hard time. It was his 4th conviction, they were convinced he was guilty just didn't want to "warp" him with to much prison time.

    I listened to all the evidence, I listened to him stumble around on his answers, I listened to the charges he could be convicted of. Then the jury voted once, guilty.

    I would always do my duty. We got $9 a day but I turned it in to my principal and they paid me my wages. It was interesting seeing people try to get out of jury duty. That's the judges nightmare!

    Interesting question!

  25. #25
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    I do wonder how much value to put on a witness's testimony -

    I sometimes (frequently) can't remember what I did ten minutes ago - let alone x amount of time ago.

    And how accurate is a person's recollection of an event? Ask ones' kids when they are squabbling - there are as many accounts of the event as there are kids in it.

    And is the witness really allowed to tell the whole thing? Or are the questions skewed to only highlight one thing ?

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