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darwin
>> Denizen of the Citizens Band <<

USA
5400 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  00:15:02  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I got called into jury duty today. I ended being dismissed because I take care of my son for 3 or 4 hours each day and we don't really have anyone to take my place without my wife missing work. I actually felt terrible being dismissed because I've never done jury duty and I do feel like its a duty that citizens should fulfill and the little that I saw seemed really interesting (it was nothing like the movies or TV). Up until the moment the judge asked me if I had a hardship that would prevent me from serving I didn't know if I would beg out or not. I kind of wish I hadn't.

Have others served on a jury? Was it interesting or boring?

Scarla O
= Cult of Ray =

United Kingdom
947 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  00:41:13  Show Profile  Visit Scarla O's Homepage  Reply with Quote

I've never been asked ;(
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shineoftheever
> Teenager of the Year <

Canada
4307 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  01:43:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
canada does the same thing but the send request by mail to like 2000 people for each case so they just hope 100 or so show up to jury selection. most people just toss 'em in the bin and pretebd they never got the letter. i've never been asked.

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Homers_pet_monkey
= Official forum monkey =

United Kingdom
17122 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  05:45:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have always wanted to be asked.

About so many things though.


I joined the secret forum, and all I got was this lousy secret

Edited by - Homers_pet_monkey on 04/27/2005 05:45:57
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kathryn
~ Selkie Bride ~

Belgium
15320 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  06:28:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What a great and poignant answer, Homers.

darwin, your sense of civic duty is admirable, as is your
curiosity. Having sat thru dozens upon dozens of hours
of jury selection proceedings, I'd rather watch
paint dry.


I still believe in the excellent joy of the Catholics
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Erebus
* Dog in the Sand *

USA
1834 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  06:36:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Guess I'm gonna be a contrarian here, but heh, why stop now, right?

I've been called three times, serving on two juries. Once was a medical malpractice case in which a surgeon apparently left a surgical towel, or "sponge", in a guy’s chest cavity. About a week into the trial another of the jurors told me in private that her son had been mistreated by a hospital following his motorcycle accident and that she was looking at her jury duty as an opportunity to "get some justice". Of course I knew this was improper. I went home that night stewing over what to do and then the next morning wrote a note reporting the matter to “Bailiff Wendy”. A couple hours later I got a call directly from the judge, and after my explanation he called me and the two sides’ counsels into his chambers. Upshot was that given a shortage of replacement jurors, a mistrial was declared.

The second trial I was on was a child molestation case in which another juror and I thought that the case against him had not been demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt, so we held out against the other ten jurors and eventually produced a hung jury, and therefore another mistrial. During this trial I encountered jurors saying things such as “well, I don’t know whether he’s guilty or not, but I’d feel terrible if he were and we acquitted him, so I’m voting guilty.” No conception of responsibility to find beyond reasonable doubt!

Both of these experiences were appalling, leaving me with even greater contempt for my fellow citizens. Jury of my peers, my ass! If I’m ever tried for anything I’ll do everything I can to get a trial by judge. So, far from feeling a “duty” to serve on a jury, I think only those with IQs above that of a walnut should be allowed to serve. You cannot possibly overestimate the ethical obtuseness of the common man.

[edit: fixed four irritating typos]

Edited by - Erebus on 04/27/2005 18:03:41
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Cult_Of_Frank
= Black Noise Maker =

Canada
11523 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  07:28:22  Show Profile  Visit Cult_Of_Frank's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Yeah, those are both awful stories, though I guess thanks to people like you, both are also cases of it working out.

I think people really don't understand the innocent until proven guilt thing anyway. The newspaper prints something stating that "so and so is alleged to have done such and such" and the person is publically stoned even if it's complete rubbish. Even AFTER being cleared of a charge, some people choose to continue to believe they're guilty. And while I'm sure we have many mistakes, is it fair to assume such things based on your complete lack of knowledge, most of which comes from media sensationalism?

Personally, I'd be glad if more people like Darwin were interested in sitting on juries.


"Joined the Cult of Frank / And you'll be enlightened"
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KimStanleyRobinson
* Dog in the Sand *

1972 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  07:38:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I did not enjoy it.

We deliberated for nine hours and and caused a mistrial for what we all believed in our hearts to be a serial child molester.

Child molestation trials should not be held in courtrooms.
They should be held in dark alleys by big guys with baseball bats.


Rock me, Joseph Alberto Santiago.
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BLT
> Teenager of the Year <

South Sandwich Islands
4204 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  08:26:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have been called three times and served on one jury, a criminal case of assault and battery. I was Alternate #1, which meant I was present for the 6 days of testimony and evidence, however when the jury went into deliberation I got to sit out in the hall with Alternate #2. All in all, they were nine horribly boring days.

The lone bright spot was getting 1.5 hours for lunch each day and enjoying fine ethnic foods in Little Tokyo and on Olvera Street.
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PixieSteve
> Teenager of the Year <

4698 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  08:38:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KimStanleyRobinson

Child molestation trials should not be held in courtrooms.
They should be held in dark alleys by big guys with baseball bats.


Rock me, Joseph Alberto Santiago.



you're an idiot?


Oh let it linger
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KimStanleyRobinson
* Dog in the Sand *

1972 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  08:50:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yes, I'm an idiot.
Are you a parent?
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PixieSteve
> Teenager of the Year <

4698 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  08:54:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Cult_Of_Frank

I think people really don't understand the innocent until proven guilt thing anyway.

"Joined the Cult of Frank / And you'll be enlightened"




Oh let it linger
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Cult_Of_Frank
= Black Noise Maker =

Canada
11523 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  08:57:15  Show Profile  Visit Cult_Of_Frank's Homepage  Reply with Quote
No offense, but should that matter?

Is everyone ever involved in a child molestation trial automatically guilty because of paternal/maternal instincts? Is the assumed guilt proportional to the heinousness of the crime?

If they are guilty, then I agree with you and argue that you don't go far enough. But it would have to be proven in a fair and unbiased setting by rational people first.


"Joined the Cult of Frank / And you'll be enlightened"
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KimStanleyRobinson
* Dog in the Sand *

1972 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  09:06:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The man walked.

he was up on 10 counts of abuse over 15 years up to and including rape and sodomy.

We gave not guilty on 9 and hung on the one that there was (11 of us thought) enough evidence to convict on which was a lesser innapropriate sexual contact with a minor.

I thoroughly understand the innocent until proven guilty thing.
It is why he walked.

The parental comment had to deal with feelings - as did the comment about men with bats.

If you are NOT a parent you WILL NOT understand.

Pixiesteve, [edit - removed cold prickly].

*big fucking smiley*

Edited by - KimStanleyRobinson on 04/27/2005 09:46:13
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KimStanleyRobinson
* Dog in the Sand *

1972 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  09:19:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
ok.

the entire process is very improvisational.

child molestation cases are the most difficult because there is usually NO "evidence"...you have to decide who to believe.
This man did not take the stand in his own defense.
The defense barred a note written from the daughter to the mother describing the abuse from being admitted into evidence.
The defense barred the jury from being able to review the contents of the defendant's computer HDs which were said to have contained at least 1600 pornographic images, a percentage of which were said to be of what appeared to be children as part of a sworn testimony of a prosecution witness. There was no real motive for the allegations other than to protect the youngest daughter from the man - he had no money...retribution and protection seemed to be the only motives.

There is hardly ever any evidence in a molestation trial.

It is not mathematics.

You do not leave your personality, your beliefs and your feelings outside the jury room.



Rock me, Joseph Alberto Santiago.
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BLT
> Teenager of the Year <

South Sandwich Islands
4204 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  09:21:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I wouldn't call a mistrial "walking." It's not like double jeopardy is going to get in the way of re-trying him.

And if you feel that strongly about it, why don't you get a gang of vigilante parents together and take him out?
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TRANSMARINE
* Dog in the Sand *

USA
2001 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  09:25:04  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I guess there is no documented law in USA which states in any texbook or annal that jury duty is mandatory. Now, I am just going off what a friend has said (he studied a little law and now works in the space division of Boeing...heh), but apparently it's true. He has been ignoring his summons for years, and has gotten away with it ever since he responded to a city inquiry of his absences which said he would be cited with charges for not showing. He asked them to prove to him where he is, by law, obliged to fulfill this duty. His request was ignored, and thats the end of the story.

Catchin' blue in his eyes that were brown

-bRIAN
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KimStanleyRobinson
* Dog in the Sand *

1972 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  09:34:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
steve, now I have two questions for you:

1. Have you ever served on a jury?
2. Are you a parent?

I was good for the job as was every person on the jury because they are taxpaying, voting citizens and capable of making rational decisions. This is not a fascist state. People from all backgrounds, income levels, education and yes - intelligence levels - are fit to sit on a jury in this country.
There are those that would change this...to have a select segment of the population sit on the jury or do away with the jury altogether.
Do the math on that one.
Fast forward that a few decades or so.

BLT, he walked.
They'll retry him on the one charge but the prosecution told me that they felt that it was highly unlikely they could get the girl into court again as the first time was extremely traumatic.

He quite likely committed what i beleive to be one of the top three most socially damaging crimes and he walked.

Edited by - KimStanleyRobinson on 04/27/2005 09:43:06
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PixieSteve
> Teenager of the Year <

4698 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  09:35:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
was your case an exception to the no evidence rule then?


Oh let it linger
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KimStanleyRobinson
* Dog in the Sand *

1972 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  09:38:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You aren't answering my questions.
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PixieSteve
> Teenager of the Year <

4698 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  09:38:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
i appologise for calling you an idiot. i am pretty fucked off you told me to eat shit but would feel a hypocrite if i asked you to apologise first. i don't wish to argue with someone who is so emotionally caught up in such a case.

Oh let it linger

Edited by - PixieSteve on 04/27/2005 09:44:58
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KimStanleyRobinson
* Dog in the Sand *

1972 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  09:45:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You still aren't answering my questions.
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PixieSteve
> Teenager of the Year <

4698 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  09:47:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
1 - no
2 - no

i'm not gonna post here again.


Oh let it linger
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KimStanleyRobinson
* Dog in the Sand *

1972 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  09:52:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you.

I apologize for telling you to eat shit and for being overly emotional about this, but i was there.

Ok, tea and crumpets, anyone?
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Homers_pet_monkey
= Official forum monkey =

United Kingdom
17122 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  10:22:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I still wanna get asked.


I joined the secret forum, and all I got was this lousy secret
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kathryn
~ Selkie Bride ~

Belgium
15320 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  10:36:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Homers, you're still poignant.

KSR, you're my hero for many reasons.

What people tend to forget or not realize is that it's very
rare for a child molestation case to even make it
that far up the ladder, to actually end up before a judge
and jury. I have never followed such a trial without
being convinced of the total guilt of the accused.


I still believe in the excellent joy of the Catholics
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Cult_Of_Frank
= Black Noise Maker =

Canada
11523 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  10:54:09  Show Profile  Visit Cult_Of_Frank's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Were you present in the courtroom when the testimony/evidence was presented?


"Joined the Cult of Frank / And you'll be enlightened"
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kathryn
~ Selkie Bride ~

Belgium
15320 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  10:59:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've attended something like 10 trials start to finish, plus
I've tracked dozens of cases which (and this was my
last point) fell apart when inevitably the accusers
couldn't cope with the process.


I still believe in the excellent joy of the Catholics
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Cult_Of_Frank
= Black Noise Maker =

Canada
11523 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  11:01:02  Show Profile  Visit Cult_Of_Frank's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I imagine that would be rough.


"Joined the Cult of Frank / And you'll be enlightened"
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darwin
>> Denizen of the Citizens Band <<

USA
5400 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  11:13:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Erebus - I agree with COF maybe the system often works because of conscientious people like you. Maybe not, but I still respect your efforts to keep the process as impartial and rational as possible

BLT - I would think being an alternate is the worse possible situation. All of the work; none of the responsibility.

I was the second potential juror called. They called 18 out of the about 50 people there to sit in the box. They first went through the hardships, which is where I was dismissed, and were next going to do questions from the judge and then lawyers. What kind of questions do they usually ask? I was thinking I might get thrown off because I'm an egghead PhD, but I didn't stick around to see. I would also probably require a pretty high level of proof before I would convict anyone.
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Carl
- A 'Fifth' Catholic -

Ireland
11544 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  11:13:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by kathryn

I've attended something like 10 trials start to finish, plus
I've tracked dozens of cases which (and this was my
last point) fell apart when inevitably the accusers
couldn't cope with the process.


I still believe in the excellent joy of the Catholics



WOW.
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fumanbru
* Dog in the Sand *

Canada
1453 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  17:03:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
i was on jury duty. manslaughter case. i was pretty excited at the time to get chosen cause i knew work would pay my wages while i was away fulfilling my civic duty. it ended up being a joke. felt kind of bad for the accused knowing that his life was in the hands of a jury.

at one point we had 11 non guilty and 1 guilty. the next day it changed to 11 guilty, one non guilty. it ended up being a hung jury. many of the jurors just wanted to go home and could be very easily convinced to vote one way or the other.

the case itself was entertaining. the accused was attending a two day drinking/drug binge with friends and family on an indian reserve. the rcmp thought the deceased died of a drug overdose but the autopsy showed that he was probably kicked to death. not a lot of evidence because all the witnesses knew each other so they didn't want to incriminate their friend. all in all a very interesting experience!


"I joined the Cult of Frank/ and I got a free t-shirt with this dude on it."
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fumanbru
* Dog in the Sand *

Canada
1453 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  17:12:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by darwin



What kind of questions do they usually ask?


at my case the potential jurors weren't asked any questions. it was very interesting. there was a room of about 200 potential jurors and they were choosing for 5 cases. for my case i was the 19th person called up. then they would ask you to stand and each lawyer would look at you and say "yae" or "nae". no shit. no questions. completely based on looks. i was very surprised. not like i had seen on la law.


"I joined the Cult of Frank/ and I got a free t-shirt with this dude on it."
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kathryn
~ Selkie Bride ~

Belgium
15320 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  17:22:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You are saying you were not asked any hockey-related
questions, FuManbru?


I still believe in the excellent joy of the Catholics
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floop
= Wannabe Volunteer =

Mexico
15297 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  17:49:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by fumanbru
[ it ended up being a hung jury.



but was it a hung jury?








i didn't want to post that, but did anyway. i am channeling VoVat
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fumanbru
* Dog in the Sand *

Canada
1453 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2005 :  19:11:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by kathryn

You are saying you were not asked any hockey-related
questions, FuManbru?


I still believe in the excellent joy of the Catholics



no hockey questions! shame on our legal system.


"I joined the Cult of Frank/ and I got a free t-shirt with this dude on it."
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