I love jury duty

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Honor

de-cool
I was called yesterday for jury duty and I was actually selected. the case was a man snatched a purse from a young homeschool mom who was on her way to a sewing class. this chick fought him until her purse broke and he ran off... then she JUMPED ON THE HOOD OF A MOVING CAR to get the car to stop (which it didn't) and then some men came and made the woman driver stop the car and held her and the guy until police came. We (the jury and I) were to deside the guilt or innocence of the driver (purse snatcher pled guilty) after MUCH time spent proving both sides we were told to deisde if she knowingly and willingly aided and abedded to the crime of theft by sudden snatching. I got to be the floor person. we came to the unanimous desision that she was guilty. I must say... I was really excited to be picked. then I was facinated by the whole judical process and finially I was HUMBLED beyond words that we were charged with the desision to deside the fate of this woman. it was an experiance I will remember for the rest of my life.
anyone else ever been on a jury? of so what was the case and what was the outcome?
 

Michael

Puritan Board Senior
Whoa. I had to read that a few times and with the aid of my wife just now figured out what happened in your story! :)

Sounds like a neat experience. I've been called but never served on a jury. Pretty awesome that you got to be a part of it! Thank you for doing your part and serving well!
 

au5t1n

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I edit court depositions for a court reporter before the final transcript is turned into the attorneys. So I read about cases all the time, and most of it is much less interesting than your exciting experience. Often, people are trying to get money off of personal injuries in grocery stores, etc. The objections aren't as dramatic as on TV, either. Mostly it's just a quiet "Objection; form" in the background. What is great, though, is when attorneys get into heated arguments in legal speak during a deposition.
 

LawrenceU

Puritan Board Doctor
I have served on two juries. One convicted a jerk of attempted rape, kidnapping, and assault. After the trial we found out that he was already serving time for attempted murder. I was the forman on that jury.

The other, which actually was before the above, jury was a capital murder trial. He was convicted and sentenced.
 

Honor

de-cool
dude!!!!! that is crazy.... how long did the trials take? the capital murder one... did the guy get the death penalty?
 

AThornquist

Puritan Board Doctor
Cool stuff! I haven't had an opportunity to serve on jury duty yet but I have always wanted to. I have sat in on various trials just for the fun of it though, especially when murder was involved. It's all very interesting.
 

LawrenceU

Puritan Board Doctor
dude!!!!! that is crazy.... how long did the trials take? the capital murder one... did the guy get the death penalty?

The attempted rape, etc. was five days. It could have been one except for one woman on the jury who refused to go along with the legal definition of kidnapping. The judge almost replaced her because of her belligerence.

The murder trial was two weeks. Yep. He got the death penalty. . . and deserved it.
 

Curt

Puritan Board Graduate
I have been called several times; served once. It was a domestic violence case. Both parties had court-appointed (and taxpayer funded) translators. The (very) young ADA prosecuting, was much more interested in checking herself out than doing her job. It was obvious that the man was guilty, but she made no case. We had to vote Not Guilty.

That was not fun.
 

Honor

de-cool
Laurence......wow.... that is nuts... how did you feel afterwards? I mean she just got a felony count of theft by sudden snatching. which is a min of one year and a max of 20 years. and it was tough for us... I knew we did the right thing but it still made me feel bad, I can't imagine how you felt
 

Zenas

Snow Miser
I would love to serve on a jury. Unfortunately, most attorneys will burn a preemptory in order to keep another lawyer off the jury.
 

Honor

de-cool
really? whats a preemptory?
ok can I ask you a question? the other jurors and I wondered this... do all attorneys hate the district attorney?
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
I would love to serve on a jury. Unfortunately, most attorneys will burn a preemptory in order to keep another lawyer off the jury.

I got picked for a solicitation case when I lived in Dallas. It was an interesting and educational experience.
 

Zenas

Snow Miser
really? whats a preemptory?
ok can I ask you a question? the other jurors and I wondered this... do all attorneys hate the district attorney?

There are two ways to challenge a juror: "preemptory" challenges and "with cause" challenges. "With cause" means you have to give a reason why they should be disqualified as a juror. "Preemptory" means no reason is needed, they are simply disqualified. The local rules of hte court will typically dictate how many "preemptory" challenges you get.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
ok can I ask you a question? the other jurors and I wondered this... do all attorneys hate the district attorney?

It was many years ago, but I've been on both sides. In small towns, at least, the criminal defense attorneys and the prosecutors are going to know each other, are going to have to deal with each other on a regular basis, and may well go to the same churches and social functions. If there is animosity, it's probably for non-professional reasons, unless one or the other is a real snake.

Same thing with the bankruptcy bar - you are going to be dealing with the same folks over and over again. If someone is unprofessional, word gets around pretty quickly.
 

Claudiu

Puritan Board Junior
I have jury duty on Feb. 8th!
Since I'm intrigued by the judicial process as well it will be exciting to see it happen right in front of me and me actually participating.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
I was up to try the case of a crazy who molested an 11 year old girl then bit the ear off a guy at the psycho hospital. He wanted out on parole. I was too busy and asked the judge to let me off, but I didn't feel bad since San Luis Obispo is the most conservative county on the West Coast, and I knew the guy would be denied parole.

You did well, Jessica.
 

Andres

Puritan Board Doctor
I would love to serve on a jury. Unfortunately, most attorneys will burn a preemptory in order to keep another lawyer off the jury.

:ditto: Since I work in law enforcement, I'll never get picked. I would love to do it though and I think it would be a neat experience!
 

smhbbag

Puritan Board Senior
Since I work in law enforcement, I'll never get picked. I would love to do it though and I think it would be a neat experience!

Granted, I know virtually nothing about this subject, but it just seemed a natural assumption that law enforcement personnel would not be eligible to serve on a jury, due to a conflict of interest. Additionally, it has to be very difficult for an officer to deal with people who commit crimes all day, and then go sit on a jury and hear the evidence with an open mind.

Even if the trial is in state or federal court, and the officer works for the city, his department, in all likelihood, gets funding and resources from the employer of the prosecutor.

But, as I think about it, that reasoning would rule out a ton of people. If we rule out everyone who works for the state, or works for an employer who gets funding from the state, then quite literally there is almost no one left to man the jury! (Excuse my sexist language)

Even though the conflict of interest is technical, and many in those professions would still be able to use sound judgment, it seems this would be one more example of the problems that come when, essentially, pretty much everyone either works for the state, with the state, or in some other way associated with the state.

Maybe I'm setting the bar too high, but think about it the other way. If a potential juror were an employee of the defense attorney's law firm, or worked for a contractor for that law firm, I'm quite certain it would be viewed differently. It's a conflict of interest on one side of the court room, but not the other. Then again, the judge himself is employed by the same institution as the prosecutor.

I'd be interested to see someone who actually knows this stuff comment on this idea. I'm sure this is not a new question or something no one has addressed. Just some ramblings that popped into my head :)
 
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Andres

Puritan Board Doctor
Since I work in law enforcement, I'll never get picked. I would love to do it though and I think it would be a neat experience!

Granted, I know virtually nothing about this subject, but it just seemed a natural assumption that law enforcement personnel would not be eligible to serve on a jury, due to a conflict of interest. Additionally, it has to be very difficult for an officer to deal with people who commit crimes all day, and then go sit on a jury and hear the evidence with an open mind.

Even if the trial is in state or federal court, and the officer works for the city, his department, in all likelihood, gets funding and resources from the employer of the prosecutor.

But, as I think about it, that reasoning would rule out a ton of people. If we rule out everyone who works for the state, or works for an employer who gets funding from the state, then quite literally there is almost no one left to man the jury! (Excuse my sexist language)

Even though the conflict of interest is technical, and many in those professions would still be able to use sound judgment, it seems this would be one more example of the problems that come when, essentially, pretty much everyone either works for the state, with the state, or in some other way associated with the state.

Maybe I'm setting the bar too high, but think about it the other way. If a potential juror were an employee of the defense attorney's law firm, or worked for a contractor for that law firm, I'm quite certain it would be viewed differently. It's a conflict of interest on one side of the court room, but not the other. Then again, the judge himself is employed by the same institution as the prosecutor.

I'd be interested to see someone who actually knows this stuff comment on this idea. I'm sure this is not a new question or something no one has addressed. Just some ramblings that popped into my head :)

Jeremy, I don't think that it has anything to do with being a state/government employee. Rather, the attorney is going to assume that anyone employed in the field of law enforcement is going to favor the side of law enforcement in a case. Or if, the case isn't neccessarily a legal case, law enforcement may be biased against criminals (excuse me, alleged criminals).
 

smhbbag

Puritan Board Senior
Jeremy, I don't think that it has anything to do with being a state/government employee. Rather, the attorney is going to assume that anyone employed in the field of law enforcement is going to favor the side of law enforcement in a case. Or if, the case isn't neccessarily a legal case, law enforcement may be biased against criminals (excuse me, alleged criminals).

I'm certain that is how a defense attorney would approach the prospect of a potential LEO juror. I'm wondering about other state employees, and why they aren't likewise disqualified.
 

MMasztal

Puritan Board Sophomore
I would love to serve on a jury. Unfortunately, most attorneys will burn a preemptory in order to keep another lawyer off the jury.

Another :ditto: As a former military man, police officer and fraud analyst, I've been preempted every time I went to jury duty.
 

LawrenceU

Puritan Board Doctor
I'm really surprised that I was selected on the two juries that I served with. I have been summoned probably 15 times. (I think my card must be on thicker stock or something. . .) I am usually kicked out of the pool almost immediately when the lawyer asks me about my education and career: they don't like conservative pastors I reckon. It was interesting during the voir dire for the murder trial. One question asked was, 'Do you agree with the death penalty for murder?' followed with, 'Do you have a problem sentencing a man to death?' These were asked by the defense attorney! I think the attorneys were in collusion on that case. The guy was really bad.
 

JonathanHunt

Puritan Board Senior
I served on a case in London where a man was charged with drug dealing. He was from the Caribbean, and despite the evidence, the jury split along racial lines. I was the foreman. It was not that the black members of the jury thought he was innocent, they just seemed reluctant to convict.

Called back into court, we were told to see if we could convict on a 10-2 majority. We went away again and then asked to see the evidence. My memory is hazy now, but we were at the time 9-3 in favour. Then the evidence came in. The case was the police had arrested the man at about 2am having found a small wrap of drugs hidden in his car. That alone would have been a charge of possession.

But they went to his flat and found cling film, scales, a knife used for cutting, and one or two other things (but no sign of use) and some money. This was their evidence for dealing.

Unfortunately for the police, they testified in court as to where certain items were found - like they were all together in the kitchen, arrayed for easy use. The evidence bags were labeled with their true locations when found. There were contradictions which showed the case was made to look better than it was.

I immediately changed my mind - it was no longer 'beyond reasonable doubt'. One or two others went with me and in the end it was evenly tied for and against conviction, 6-6. What shocked me was the racism evident in one or two of the white jurors who wanted the man convicted regardless of their reasonable doubt.

We filed back in, I affirmed we had not reached a verdict, we were discharged. Later I phoned the court to see what had happened - the defence had put in a plea of guilty to posession and the prosecution dropped the more serious charges.

He might well have been guilty - but 'beyond reasonable doubt' means what it says.

I was glad to get the case, which lasted one day, because I had been turning up for duty every day for two weeks, and was on my final day. I would have been gutted to have had no courtroom experience at all! I left a lot of evangelistic tracts about the jury selection area as I remember.

Why was I chosen as foreman? Well, I was the only one of them making notes and they thought I was a safe bet. :lol:
 

O'GodHowGreatThouArt

Puritan Board Sophomore
If I ever get called to jury duty, I can guarantee you that I'll get asked to be thrown out of consideration if the trial is a capital murder case (against the death penalty). Doing the questionnaire won't even be necessary. The rest will probably be on a case by case basis, but I'm sure they'll let me off if they found out I'm still in school.

My dad hasn't been called to jury duty to my knowledge, but then again, he spent 10 years as an IRS agent (AKA: Fed with the black glasses. If you ever see one of them, just back away very slowly. They can bite.), so that likely explains it. I had been wondering why that was the case for a while.
 
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Honor

de-cool
they'll let me off if they found out I'm still in school. Once a pastor and seminary professor, I'll probably never get selected . More time to teach and preach the Gospel, rather than deal with nut cases with hernias for brains.
pardon me but i don't really think that's fair. I talked to a woman on the jury and we talked about the love of Christ. I was able to see and hear about a woman who needs the love of our Savior to fill a hole she has that she is tring to fill with crack. I will never forget her and will continue to pray for her. Plus not all cases that go to court are nut cases with hernias for brains.... some are innocent people wrongly accused and some are truley horrible people that need the love of Christ in their life and by being on a jury you get to know them personally to some extent and you, in my opinion, have more of a heart to pray for that specific person. and who knows maybe you can even visit them in prison and tell them how they touched you and who you want to tell them about Someone who can truely touch them. We are called to go into all the world and last i checked the courts are still there.
 

O'GodHowGreatThouArt

Puritan Board Sophomore
they'll let me off if they found out I'm still in school. Once a pastor and seminary professor, I'll probably never get selected . More time to teach and preach the Gospel, rather than deal with nut cases with hernias for brains.
pardon me but i don't really think that's fair. I talked to a woman on the jury and we talked about the love of Christ. I was able to see and hear about a woman who needs the love of our Savior to fill a hole she has that she is tring to fill with crack. I will never forget her and will continue to pray for her. Plus not all cases that go to court are nut cases with hernias for brains.... some are innocent people wrongly accused and some are truley horrible people that need the love of Christ in their life and by being on a jury you get to know them personally to some extent and you, in my opinion, have more of a heart to pray for that specific person. and who knows maybe you can even visit them in prison and tell them how they touched you and who you want to tell them about Someone who can truely touch them. We are called to go into all the world and last i checked the courts are still there.

I apologize for the generalization. I accidentally implied that moronic/idiot = stupid, which is not the same thing. I also forgot that the courts are just as fallible as we are in many areas. You are right that we need to bring Christ even to those people. There will always be people though, that will never accept Him and would rather live as criminals than submit for even a millisecond to their Creator (even though they'll end up doing that anyway in time, but it's just a question as to whether it'll be at judgment or here on Earth).

You can't deny though that there's some people coming into court that have done very stupid things. There was a case that occurred about a week ago where a kid stabbed his friend to death over a Tony Hawk video game. Stupid move? Absolutely, but he did seem pretty upset about it. Maybe someone can use that to get the true Gospel to that kid and not have barriers to contend with.

There's definitely a need for prayer in the court system. As you mentioned, innocent people are often brought in, and sometimes even convicted, on crimes they never committed. Every now and then, you'll hear of a person that was in jail for 30+ years that was convicted of major crimes like statutory rape, murder, aggravated assault, that kind of thing, get set free because DNA testing did not match him/her to the crime. Some were even on death row. I do praise God though that He gave us this technology to help ensure that fewer people get wrongly convicted of a crime.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
I served on a civil case.

After we handed in our decision, we found out that this guy was going around causing car wrecks, then bringing lawsuits against the other driver. (In our case, he was hit by an old lady while he drove around with his lights off.) Thankfully, we only needed nine votes (out of 12) to decide the case. We had at least 2 people on the jury who said they would never decide against the minority plaintiff. What's scary is that our initial vote was 10-2 for the plaintiff. I held on with another guy to get the rest of the jury to more fully consider the information we were given.

I served as foreman and would be glad to serve again. I had to turn down a jury summons a few years ago because I had a brand new infant in the house.
 

Andres

Puritan Board Doctor
If I ever get called to jury duty, I can guarantee you that I'll get asked to be thrown out of consideration if the trial is a capital murder case (against the death penalty). Doing the questionnaire won't even be necessary. The rest will probably be on a case by case basis, but I'm sure they'll let me off if they found out I'm still in school. Once a pastor and seminary professor, I'll probably never get selected :D. More time to teach and preach the Gospel, rather than deal with nut cases with hernias for brains.

With all due respect brother, your last sentence seems like a bit of a contradiction. I am sure other faithful ministers of the Gospel on this board could testify better than myself, but isn't part of preaching the gospel loving people? Based on this and some of your other posts, you certainly seem to have lofty goals for yourself (PhD, pastor, seminary professor) but I pray that you never forget the most important calling and that is to love God and love people. And brother, I say this as one who daily needs to be reminded of that same calling, so please do not think I am above it myself.
 
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