Sunday, January 22, 2006

Getting out of jury duty…

Jury duty is fine for the folks who work for government or corporations that can be counted on to pay them while they do their civic duty. For the truly retired with too much time on their hands jury duty can be fascinating. I’ve spent endless hours in courtrooms and have found that people who love jury duty are the same folks who watch The Jerry Springer Show. Too many civil and criminal trials offer an inside view of America’s trashiest trailer parks.

But for real folks with their own businesses, jury duty can be a nightmare of inconvenience, lost business opportunities, clients and expense. People with a life have nothing to gain by sitting on some jury and a lot to lose.

Because I’m an ex-cop and still work as a private investigator both prosecutors and defense attorneys are afraid to have me judge their criminal cases. In civil cases the reasoning is somewhat different but they don’t want me there either. If I’m called for this service I get shuffled around to courtroom after courtroom and eventually sent home. For me the jury selection auditions are a giant pain in the ass.

I’ve learned one thing about jury duty over the years. People who serve on juries want to be there, (YIKES!) or they’re just not smart enough to get out of serving. The folks that are finally selected for trials are always the last people I’d want to judge me or anyone else that I care about.

I have a friend I consider very bright who came up with a novel way to shirk his jury duty. Whenever he gets a jury duty questionnaire in the mail he borrows a set a crayons from his daughter and uses them to fill out the form. Next he draws little pictures on this form of stick figures hanging from a gallows and such. The jury commissioners always promptly send him an excused notice.

11 comments:

Jury duty? No way Jose! said...

This article is just in time for me! I got that form in the mail Friday! Where are some crayons?

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't mind being on a jury....everyone is guilty and no one gets a dime!

Problem has been in the three times I made it down to the courthouse, is after they read my questionaire. I'm a copper, been the victim of a crime, been sued...and every other bad thing they ask. I've been interviewed twice but always excused.

They don't want me! I'm feeling so put out.

Anonymous said...

Are you really as thick as this post suggests? You diagnose the problem; sitting juries comprised of morons, and then suggest responsibility- ducking tactics to exacerbate the problem.

Butcher, baker or candlestick maker, we all share responsibility to ensure our courts dispense justice, not lowest common denominator- vouyeurism.

You truely are a great American.

Crimefile said...

I did not create the jury rules. These are what we have. It's a sad system. They will NEVER pick me for a jury and I'm not avoiding service!

Anonymous said...

You're an idiot....first off, how often do you get "called" for jury service?

Most states it's every 2 years....stop encouraging people to be so self-important. Why not encourage them to participate in what make our judicial system unique?

I'd like to see one instance where your friend's "plan" works...sounds like an urban legend...in all the states I've lived, you still need to show up in order to be dismissed, unless your friend is lying on the form and saying that he is not of age.....you hang with some real winners.

As for you "real folks with their own business" comment, are you serious..."real people" own their own business? So if you don't own your own business you're not a "real person?" Maybe if you ran your business correctly, you could stand to be away for a day or two and your company wouldn't fall apart....

PRESIDING JUDGE said...

The system will never work with people like YOU!

That's right we're BLAMING YOU!

Anonymous said...

I live in Cook County (Chicago) Illinois, and the system for picking jury candidates is beyond comprehension. People are chosen off the voters rolls but there is no rhyme or reason involved. I've been in the same house for 20 years and have received three summons for jury duty in that time.

Anonymous said...

if you don't want to go to jury duty, just don't answer and send in the questionnaire. unless someone comes to your door and makes you sign for it, there is no way for them to prove you received it. i get those questionnaire's and shred every single one of them. be doing it for years.

Anonymous said...

i'm supposed to call or go to jury
duty in a couple of days i'm an angry person who has been victimized numberous times with no justis for me i also barely make ends meet in this economy i also have short term memory loss and prostate
enlargement issues i also have issues being around other people especially people i don't know
because as far as i am concerned most people are idiots and i want zero to do with any of them anyone who would pick me to be on a jury is a fool same goes for anyone who thinks that even someone like myself has a "civic duty" to be there i can not be objective nor can i be fair because no one has ever treated me that way.
the point is not everyone should
be considered for a jury
btw how do they evewn know you recieved a letter my mail gets stolen on a semi regular basis
my neigbors even told me they saw some mexican kid stealing my mail at christmas time no wonder i didn't get any cards or anything.
as it stands right now the system is flawed as well as those who believe in it no matter what.

Anonymous said...

The guy above me is hilarious!! June 16,2008 comment but I usually shred the notice and put it in the trash.No one hasn't paid me a visit yet and made me sign anything.I've been doing this for 6 years.I received 2 notices in those 6 years.

button said...

a guy said "i can tell if they are guilty or innocent by looking at them".he was rejected for jd.a guy i know said "i would hang him" when asked if he could be a fair juror.he was tossed from jd. a number of people said they had read of the murder case and decided on guilt or innocence.they were tossed from jd.a guy said" my wife and i were victims of an arned robbery by a minority like the defendant and cant give a fair trial to him."he was tossed.it was true.he was a victim.