Might have jury duty... =S

awkwardamanda

Well-known member
I got a summons in the mail on Monday.:confused: It is now Thursday night. I have to call tomorrow. They sure as hell don't give you much time. You have to respond within a week, but Monday is a holiday, so that translates to four days. WTF? This is the second time I've gotten summoned. I got out of it last time because I was in university. I might not be able to this time. I'm hoping I can get exempted. I'm losing my job in about six weeks due to store closure. How the hell am I supposed to even look for a new one? I don't know yet when the trial will be or how long it's expected to take, but this could be a real problem. What if it takes weeks? If an employer wants me to come in for an interview and I can't because I have jury duty, then I lose an opportunity. If someone is considering hiring me and I tell them I need time off right away they'll likely pick someone else. Or I could get hired somewhere and then tell them, in which case they'll likely be pissed off and I'll be off to a bad start. If it's going to be a few days shortly after I'm done work, then there won't really be a conflict. But if it's going to be a couple of months after and could take long then I feel this is unfair to me. In all honestly, I don't expect to get a bunch of interviews or offers right away, but the possibility of missed opportunities really pisses me off. I just don't know if they're gonna buy that excuse or if they're just gonna think I'm some entitled biatch. I dread making phone calls to begin with. It's even worse hell when I'm nervous about the conversation and dread any sort of insult or rejection. I don't really expect to get out of it so all I can hope is that I don't get selected. I'd be terrible on a jury. I'm too shy and nervous. I'd likely be fretting about something or other the whole time. It sounds like an awful experience. I really don't need this crap right now. I've been busy. I haven't had much sleep lately. Life is hell enough as it is.
 

Roman Legion

Well-known member
As far as I know, due to my occupational specialty in the Army, I am disqualified from serving on jury duty in the US. Not sure the trouble you can get in for just not going in Canada, but I'd look at that. (At least, that would be my first thought.) If that didn't work, you can always just tell them you will not vote over the matters of someone else as you are not qualified to judge anyone (Maybe the philosophical road might work?).
 

bcsr

Well-known member
I know in the U.S. I got out of jury duty just by checking the sound mind/body exemption on the back and mailing the card back in. If you have to call, I'd just call and tell them you have an anxiety disorder which would not allow you to be a suitable juror. Done.
 

OceanMist

Well-known member
One time I had a job interview and I had to leave during lunch of jury duty.

I tried explaining to the judge over the phone that me getting a job is far more important than me sitting in a court room that I shouldn't have to be at.

I thought it was crazy that this guy was trying to threaten me with the law if I didn't come back. It got to a point where I just told him, "Well, you'll have to come down to where I have an interview and handcuff me then, because I am going to that job interview. Me getting a job right now is way more important then me sitting on a jury that has like 50 other people that can make a decision without me."

I think the whole jury duty thing is so dumb. They take people out of work which for some people means risking losing their job. Most bosses may understand why you have to leave, but there are bosses that will just notice that you are gone and get mad about that even if you tell say you are leaving and that can contribute to firing you.

I think jury duty just hurts people in most cases because it stops people from showing up to their job and also stops people from looking for a job if they don't have a job.
 

GraybeardGhost

Well-known member
I was summoned for jury duty back in February, so I know exactly how you are feeling. I don't know how the jury system works in Canada, but here in North Carolina, potential jurors have an opportunity to go before a judge several weeks before the date they are supposed to report for service and request to be excused. If you are presented with such an opportunity, even if it's only a day or two before, I suggest you take it.

I didn't, because I assumed that no one would believe my excuse, and I didn't want to have to make an extra trip to the courthouse for nothing. As a result, I ended up having to endure about two hours of social anxiety hell, which culminated in having to explain to the judge why I couldn't (or rather, shouldn't) serve, out loud, in open court, in front of well over a hundred complete strangers. The reason I gave, which was entirely true, was that I have bipolar disorder, OCD, and ADD, and that as a result I would have a very difficult time following the course of the trial and comprehending the evidence presented. In short, my service would actually be a disservice, and a waste of everyone's time. Fortunately, the judge was a sensible man, and he immediately excused me, but it was still pretty darn humiliating. Afterwards, I went downstairs and very nearly collapsed from the stress of the day.

If only I had gone in on the earlier date to talk to the judge, I'm sure I would have been excused just as quickly, and I would not have had to endure that afternoon of white-knuckle anxiety and panic, not to mention the extra month of worrying beforehand. Good luck, and I hope you're able to learn from my mistake.

I know in the U.S. I got out of jury duty just by checking the sound mind/body exemption on the back and mailing the card back in. If you have to call, I'd just call and tell them you have an anxiety disorder which would not allow you to be a suitable juror. Done.

@bcsr: As a LEO, wouldn't you be automatically exempt from jury duty? I'm pretty sure that's how it is here. Maybe its different in Texas?
 

gustavofring

Well-known member
So they just randomly select people for this to make a decision on wether someone's guilty...? :confused:

And you HAVE to show up otherwise you're against the law?
 
I know in the U.S. I got out of jury duty just by checking the sound mind/body exemption on the back and mailing the card back in. If you have to call, I'd just call and tell them you have an anxiety disorder which would not allow you to be a suitable juror. Done.
Not quite as straight-foward as ticking a box, here in the world's an*s of NZ. I had to write a fairly long letter explaining why i would find it too stressful. I went in first day, into room full of people (was bit late), so that was embarassing, i said sth & they all laughed (had a bit of Saskia/Falkor's extroversion, so may have been cracking the odd joke, as was bored & nervous, think that was it). But after that day (for selecting the jury teams?), i felt very bad/stressed afterwards, & few days later realized i couldn't cope with a FULL WEEK (or 2) of it!!!. So i got an exzemption.
And the great thing about it, is that i haven't had ANY MORE jury summons in the ~15 years since!!! :D
 
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bcsr

Well-known member
@bcsr: As a LEO, wouldn't you be automatically exempt from jury duty? I'm pretty sure that's how it is here. Maybe its different in Texas?

That incident was a long time ago, but I'm not actually sure if strictly being law enforcement exempts me. I don't recall seeing that, so I don't believe so.
 
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laure15

Well-known member
I had my first jury duty a few months ago and it was a terrible experience. In the courtroom when all the lawyers, judge, and clerk were examining us and looking at us, I got so nervous that I started shaking and sometimes staring. I almost couldn't control it. I kept fidgeting around. After I got out of the courtroom, the lawyers started deciding which potential jurors to choose and one of the first things that I heard is a lawyer mentioning my name and saying negative things about me. It was embarassing because the potential jurors outside of the courtroom could hear this too and I could feel some people looking at me and chuckling. They knew the lawyers were talking about me, and the lawyers didn't even bother to lower their voices.

Some people got out of jury duty with their religious philosophies and informal clothing.
 

coyote

Well-known member
Excuse me, but what is 'jury duty'? I keep hearing that on these forums. Is it something like service in the army? Sorry, I'm not from the USA.

So they just randomly select people for this to make a decision on wether someone's guilty...? :confused:

And you HAVE to show up otherwise you're against the law?

in our legal system, people accused of a crime have a right to have their trial heard before a jury of their peers - in other words, a panel made up of people in the community.

in order to make sure there are enough suitable candidates to serve on the jury who are not biased or have other connections to the accused or to the legal system, the court randomly picks members of the local community who are required to show up and wait in the courthouse until they're either assigned to a trial or rejected as unsuitable

it is a duty and an honor to be part of the judicial process. the common people actually get to determine the course of law - if they participate.
 
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gustavofring

Well-known member
Aha, thanks Coyote.

Wow, that's the most ridiculous thing I've heard in a while, no offense. It sounds borderline fascist that you HAVE to show up at those things, as a public duty, or you can get arrested.

Plus, so just any moron can sit in a jury?

I'm glad in my country it's left to the professionals...
 

coyote

Well-known member
Aha, thanks Coyote.

Wow, that's the most ridiculous thing I've heard in a while, no offense. It sounds borderline fascist that you HAVE to show up at those things, as a public duty, or you can get arrested.

Plus, so just any moron can sit in a jury?

I'm glad in my country it's left to the professionals...

well, it's not like they go break down your door in the dead of night and haul you to jail - that's the whole point of the legal process

you are issued a summons to appear, if you refuse to do so, you will receive a citation and ordered to pay a fine, if you refuse to do that, they'll find you in contempt of court and issue a warrant for your arrest. that just sits on the books until you get in trouble for something else, like pulled over for speeding or something - then the police will see that you have the warrant and arrest you. you'll be released on bond and ordered to appear in court to answer the charges, and the cycle continues. at any step along the way you can opt to face the music and do the right thing. if you just keep avoiding it, you'll end up getting in serious trouble for something very minor - then you will have to go to trial to defend your actions, and be judged by a jury of your peers...

yes, any moron can sit on a jury - they also get to elect the people who make the laws in the first place

"of the morons, by the morons, and for the morons"

like most things in life, our entire system depends entirely on what we all choose to put into it
 

Rembrandt Broam

Well-known member
Aha, thanks Coyote.

Wow, that's the most ridiculous thing I've heard in a while, no offense. It sounds borderline fascist that you HAVE to show up at those things, as a public duty, or you can get arrested.

Well if there was no penalty, a lot of people simply wouldn't bother, and the whole system would just collapse.

Plus, so just any moron can sit in a jury?

I'm glad in my country it's left to the professionals...

Which country are you from? If you were arrested for a crime there, who would decide whether you were innocent or guilty?
 

GraybeardGhost

Well-known member
It sounds borderline fascist that you HAVE to show up at those things, as a public duty, or you can get arrested.

Plus, so just any moron can sit in a jury?

I'm glad in my country it's left to the professionals...

The jury system is just one way we have to keep government, in this case the courts, accountable to the people. However, it also serves a darker function. The entire process—the summons, with its implied threat of arrest; the gauntlet of metal detectors and armed guards; all the formality and pomp of the selection process and trial; even the building itself and the courtrooms inside, which are specifically designed to emphasize the majesty and power of the state—is intended, I believe, to convey a very simple message to the masses, one jury pool at a time. That message is, "We are bigger than you, and we can squash you like a bug, so do as you are told or else." In that respect, the jury system is as much a way to keep the people in line as it is a means to guarantee justice. Of course, I might be a little bit paranoid, but I heard that message loud and clear, and it scared the hell out of me. I don't ever want to have to go into that "temple of doom" again.

Out of curiosity, gustavofring, in what country do you live, and what kind of system do they use there?
 

gustavofring

Well-known member
Okay, but what if you're against Jury Duty for some reason (practical, philosophical, political reasons)?

I live in the Netherlands, Judges give the sentence here. I think it's good, because "ordinary" citizens with little knowledge of the justice system are often blinded by emotion or bias. Just scrolling through message boards every once in a while (on news sites), it's clear that a lot of citizens are very revenge-driven and irrational. A good professional judge keeps a well balanced view of things.
 
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coyote

Well-known member
The jury system is just one way we have to keep government, in this case the courts, accountable to the people. However, it also serves a darker function. The entire process—the summons, with its implied threat of arrest; the gauntlet of metal detectors and armed guards; all the formality and pomp of the selection process and trial; even the building itself and the courtrooms inside, which are specifically designed to emphasize the majesty and power of the state—is intended, I believe, to convey a very simple message to the masses, one jury pool at a time. That message is, "We are bigger than you, and we can squash you like a bug, so do as you are told or else." In that respect, the jury system is as much a way to keep the people in line as it is a means to guarantee justice. Of course, I might be a little bit paranoid, but I heard that message loud and clear, and it scared the hell out of me. I don't ever want to have to go into that "temple of doom" again.

Out of curiosity, gustavofring, in what country do you live, and what kind of system do they use there?

one might also look at all the pomp and majesty and think "wow, cool, i'm a part of all this - this is a temple dedicated to the power of my singular and individual opinion!"
 

gustavofring

Well-known member
one might also look at all the pomp and majesty and think "wow, cool, i'm a part of all this - this is a temple dedicated to the power of my singular and individual opinion!"



Just teasing.
 

coyote

Well-known member
Okay, but what if you're against Jury Duty for some reason (practical, philosophical, political reasons)?

I live in the Netherlands, Judges give the sentence here. I think it's good, because "ordinary" citizens with little knowledge of the justice system are often blinded by emotion or bias. Just scrolling through message boards every once in a while (on news sites), it's clear that a lot of citizens are very revenge-driven and irrational. A good professional judge keeps a well balanced view of things.

judges can be bought, and even the "impartial" ones are political appointees or elected officials beholden to their constituents and political parties

it's much harder to influence twelve unrelated people from all walks of life

part of the jury selection process is to determine whether the potential jurors are biased - the defense and the prosecution both get to interview them to see if they are suitable, and either side can reject them, so can the judge. that's why they need so many people to serve on jury duty, so that there is a large enough pool to draw from
 
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GraybeardGhost

Well-known member
one might also look at all the pomp and majesty and think "wow, cool, i'm a part of all this - this is a temple dedicated to the power of my singular and individual opinion!"

Indeed one might, and I'll admit there was a certain "cool" factor to the experience, but in my case, unfortunately, it was entirely overshadowed by the "scared to death" factor.

I did admire the architecture of the place, though:


Buncombe County Courthouse
 
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