I have never been called for jury duty before in my not so short life. Between my real name and career I am apparently just not what an attorney wants on a jury. I have been called to testify and joked with the prosecutors a few months ago about never serving on a jury...... There is no guarantee that my group will even be called up but the instructions that came with the notice are vague.
Make me smart on jury duty, please.
Engineer here, and the victim of 3 burglaries 1 assault, and 1 fraud. Between the occupation hazard of being analytical to a fault, and my somewhat draconian views toward criminal behavior, the defense attorney couldn't get rid of me fast enough.
Just a couple days before my month of jury duty was over I was called in. I was not one of the main or alternate pool but so many people had made plans to travel right after their month on jury duty and this trial was expected to run into May that the pools were thinned out. Then the lawyers started asking VERY pointed questions of each potential juror including: Has a police officer ever treated you or yours rudely or unfairly?, Do you own firearms?, Has suicide effected you closely?, How do you feel about people who overcome disabilities?, and What are your rules on gun safety?
I was pretty much last but so many people were dismissed and I kid you not the prosecutor skipped the police/rude question for me(?) I have some bad stories.
The case drug out a few days. The short version now that it is public is that the fellow could not pay his mortgage on a nice little house, used up every possible option, and was being evicted. He broke out all of his guns and threatened to shoot himself. His girlfriend threw a fit, called everyone (except 911), and tried to talk him down for hours. Finally she decided to buttstroke him to sleep with another gun. He ended up shooting her in the collarbone.
The evidence was compelling and the defense became apathetic. The jury tried to make me the foreman but I was much more comfortable with a retired doctor who had been on a jury before. We could not come up with any probable scenario where he was not guilty of the main charge although one charge needed thrown out due to no real evidence (don't know what the police were thinking). The scary part was the former girlfriend testifying that he had not only threatened to commit suicide (for sex) before but that is how he shot his leg off. Despite most of us looking for some other explanation for the shooting it was not a long deliberation and seemed to slightly surprise the prosecutor and judge. Hopefully his sentencing will include some long term help for him.
I feel like I deserve at least 3 credit hours for philosophy after that. Definitely a learning experience.
I'm glad you got to serve after wanting to serve, and I'm glad you felt it was a worthwhile experience. On behalf of the system, I thank you.
Jury Duty is a responsibility that people should take very seriously. Just remember that some laws and some punishments for breaking laws are unjust an that you have the right of jury nullification. All you have to do is vote not guilty.
Something to remember that a criminal law professor told me:
If all the smart people find ways to escape jury duty instead of manning up and serving, in whose hands will you be if you are ever on trial? Think about it.