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Thread: Jury Duty!

  1. #1
    Administrator PhilDernerJr's Avatar
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    Jury Duty!

    My number was called to appear for jury duty tomorrow. Though I won't be getting much sleep tonight, I'm pretty excited.

    Most people complain about the judicial system, but will do anything to avoid participating in it. They complain about their job, but the second they get the day off to sit and do nothing, they claim they are racist or don't know English. I enjoy it.

    What are your thoughts and experiences on jury duty?
    Email me anytime at [email protected].

  2. #2
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    Re: Jury Duty!

    honestly.. it sucked. It was the worst 3 weeks i can possibly think of. It was slow, boring, and i fell asleep countless times.

    The only positive thing is it was 3 weeks away from work and i was still getting paid.. but the check from the court is less then minimum wage.

  3. #3
    Senior Member cancidas's Avatar
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    Re: Jury Duty!

    i had to serve as well, on 02 Jan to be exact. i ended up not getting selected, but having a book with me was a major plus! was released later the same day.
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    Re: Jury Duty!

    I had jury duty a few months ago. It was pretty interesting, and it was a nice change of pace from having to go to work for a few days. Well, that and the whole civic duty thing...

  5. #5
    Senior Member moose135's Avatar
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    Re: Jury Duty!

    I've been called several times, and was selected for a jury twice, both civil cases. In the first one (a malpractice case about 12 years ago) right after they swore us in, the judge called a recess and sent us to the jury room, and the two sides settled, something they wouldn't have done unless they were facing the start of a trial. The second one, two years ago, we went to a verdict on a personal injury/auto accident case (we found for the defendant). All in all, I enjoyed the experience, it was interesting to see how the system works.

    As Matt said, bring a book!

  6. #6
    Administrator PhilDernerJr's Avatar
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    Re: Jury Duty!

    I've got two books to bring, and I understand there's wifi in the waiting area, so a laptop might come with me.

    In typical Kramer style, I'll have a breifcase full of crackers, too.

    Last time I had jury duty, I was 18 and eager to enter adult life. I'm 27 now and still waiting to do that, but still.

    I was selected for a criminal trial in a stabbing. The first witness was the victim. When the DA asked him if the person who stabbed him was in the room, he said no. When asked directly if the defendent was the person who stabbed him, the victim said no. The DA became confused and asked for a recess. We were sent to the jury room and 30 minutes later were called back, to learn that the trial was over. It turns out the defedent's brother had threatened the victim. He was arrested on federal charges of tampering with a witness, and the defedent took a plea. Good times.
    Email me anytime at [email protected].

  7. #7
    Moderator Matt Molnar's Avatar
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    Re: Jury Duty!

    I served at the civil court on Sutphin in Spring of 2001. First day, a Wednesday, sat and watched TV and read books from morning til late afternoon, when I was put on a panel for a pretty simple 6 juror personal injury trial, where a window installer fell off his ladder and was suing the homeowner. Ran out of time to complete jury selection that day, went back the next morning and I ended up not getting picked. Went back to the waiting room the rest of the day, and part of the next day, Friday. Friday morning I get called for a much larger panel, and they take us across the street to the Supreme Courthouse. This is a wrongful death case against several defendants...a few doctors and a hospital. CRAP, this sort of thing will take weeks, I think. We break for lunch, we come back, still answering questions. Finally after several hours of talking to potential jurors, the attorneys and the judge decide it's not going to get done that day, and they'll just start over with a whole new batch of jurors the following Monday. PHEW! We were all dismissed.

    I've always found this sort of stuff to be fascinating, but at the time I was unemployed and happy to be getting a check! If I get called again, which will probably be soon, I'll still be excited about it, but it will be sort of a pain at the same time.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member lijk604's Avatar
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    Re: Jury Duty!

    First time for me was 1990 - had to go to Brooklyn Federal Court. Spent 3 days in the juror selection pool, called into an interview room once, and did not get selected. Around 1998, it was off to Suffolk County Court, and after 2 days I was on a medical malpractice lawsuit. 2 and a half days of testimony listening to the ins and outs (sorry for the pun) of a DRE (digital rectal exam). After lunch on the third day we were sequestered about 2 hours, then brought into the courtroom to be told that the parties had settled. The last summons I got was in 2006, but they never got to my number so I'm clear now until 2010. It is definitely an interesting process, and would not mind serving again.

  9. #9
    Administrator PhilDernerJr's Avatar
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    Re: Jury Duty!

    I'm not allowed to say much, but the process went fairly quickly and smoothly today, and I was selected for a jury. I was told I can expect to be in court for most of next week. Fun stuff.
    Email me anytime at [email protected].

  10. #10
    Administrator PhilDernerJr's Avatar
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    Re: Jury Duty!

    I also want to point out that, while in public situations like jury duty, or DMV visits, when you're with a massive collection of members of society, but still technically alone because they are all strangers, I get bored and must entertain myself. I make jokes that maybe only I find funny, but oh well, at least I'm having a good time, right?

    I was making several jokes today, but the most successful one was going up to a court officer or fellow juror (obviously not while court was in session) "Man....it smells like due process in here," with a wave of the hand in front of my nose as though I'm complaining about the scent. People don't know what due process is, apparently, and they think I'm talking about some kind of processed human waste. A guard responded "It wasn't me," a juror replied "Government buildings always smell." I got an "I don't smell it iyet," and my favorite of the day was "Well, these people are animals."
    Email me anytime at [email protected].

  11. #11
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    Re: Jury Duty!

    So you have a week off of work then I take it. When I served on a case we got there at 9 am left at noon and did that for a week. It was like having a vacation. I don't mind serving at all, its not really that bad and just think if we didn't have a system like this? A few hours out of one's life to ensure a fair trial for someone is a small price to pay.

  12. #12
    Administrator PhilDernerJr's Avatar
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    Re: Jury Duty!

    Today ended my time as a juror.

    Myself and 11 others convicted a man of weapon's possession and resisting arrest. There were some variables involved that made us wonder if the person that committed was crime was actually the defendant or not, but the level of doubt was no reasonable, and we turned in a guilty verdict.

    It was not like anything I expected. I found myself feeling very nervous and also feeling a tremendous amount of pity for the defendant. My general beliefs in life tend to be "throw away the key", but when you're sitting there in a courtroom, you're making a decision that really affects someone's entire life, and of those around him. This very young man had a fiance who was very pregnant, and a mother who was extremely upset about everything. Their sobbing from the back of the courtroom as the verdict was read was very heart-wrenching and genuine, and it's unfortunate that the defendant didn't have better judgement.

    The defense put up a very poor case as well, and that was a good portion of why I felt badly for him. The Assistant DA, who operated alone, was really on-point, and knew his stuff. His performance and handling of the case was very admirable.

    The jury itself was extremely diverse, and excellent and even representation of the citizens of our city. Everyone was very open minded and fair during deliberation, which I at first thought would not reach a verdict, as I thought 2 or 3 of them would not budge from their original feelings.

    A really wild experience. Ask questions if you have.
    Email me anytime at [email protected].

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