Flutterby™! : Jury Duty

Next unread comment / Catchup all unread comments User Account Info | Logout | XML/Pilot/etc versions | Long version (with comments) | Weblog archives | Site Map | | Browse Topics

Jury Duty

2001-10-18 14:54:32+00 by Dan Lyke 8 comments

Off to Jury Duty today. I didn't get a chance to re-read up on the FIJA documents, alas.

[ related topics: Politics ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:33:01+00 by: ziffle

From FIJA:

Sometime in the future, you may be called upon to sit in judgment of a sincere individual being prosecuted (persecuted?) for trying to exercise his or her Rights, or trying to defend the Constitution. If so, remember that in 1804, Samuel Chase, Supreme Court Justice and signer of the Declaration of Independence said: "The jury has the Right to judge both the law and the facts". And also keep in mind that "either we all hang together, or we most assuredly will all hang separately".

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:33:01+00 by: Mars Saxman

Sorry to hear it, Dan... hope it isn't too miserable.


#Comment made: 2001-10-18 23:29:58+00 by: Alec Marlow [edit history]

dan if want to get out of jury duty just tell them the truth cya btw sux...

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:33:01+00 by: Dan Lyke

Well, I can't talk too much about the case, although I can say something 'cause we just got to the first three questions (it was a long poorly coordinated day), but my worst fears have been realized, and I am ethically bound to continue through the selection process, and morally bound to not perjure myself.

I wish life were easy.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:33:02+00 by: John Abbe

I failed to get enough info from FIJA before a jury duty, and ended up telling the judge "no" when he asked if i would agree to follow all of his intructions. So i got kicked off the jury. Not what i wanted, but good to know if i ever want to get out of jury duty. FIJA recommends staying on the jury, and just explaining jury rights to your fellow jurors if/as it becomes relevant.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:33:02+00 by: ziffle

I predict you will be removed form the jury pool. A 'Jury of our peers' means 'you agree to much of their nonsense' -- so if you answer truthfully you will be gone 'forthwith' as they love to say - they do not want independent thinkers.

I was asked in court to swear to tell the truth 'so help me god'. That was interesting. I had gone in several weeks earlier to ask the judge what to say, since there are no 'gods'. That was also interesting...

Finally the they told me to say "I affirm'. I wanted to ask in court, if they could define god then I could answer the question. But alas I chickened out as I wanted to win, and my money was more important to me than their silliness that day. Did I cop out?

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:33:02+00 by: Bryant

I had jury duty last spring, and wound up on the jury as an alternate. Apparently being a long haired intellectual isn't seen as a drawback. Maybe the person carrying a copy of Atlas Shrugged set the bar for independent thinking and I slipped under it, or something.

I spent a lot of time during selection thinking about how I felt about being on a jury. I'm an anarchist, so it's not as if I have any inherent attachment to the justice system in this country. However, they didn't ask us if we believed in the legitimacy of the legal system, they asked us if we'd be willing to follow the judge's instructions.

Huh, thought I. Well. I am taking advantage of the things which the government provides. Soooo.

The interesting question for me was this: what do the plaintiff and the litigant want? I'm there for them. I'm not there for myself.

It'd be different for me in a criminal case, I think.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:33:03+00 by: Dan Lyke

In almost all cases I'm actually glad to serve. In criminal cases I'm probably liable to be a bit pesky 'cause generally I think that these are situations where one or both sides know the facts, and are trying to bullshit a jury on the topic for their own personal gain.

Civil trials are slightly different.

In this case, however, it was about growing and selling marijuana. There was an ancillary weapons charge, which I would have felt comfortable investigating, but my biases about drugs were quickly revealed during questioning and I got booted.

Damn. And yet, to do otherwise would feel like perjury. Anyway, from about the time the charges were read yesterday I knew that the only way I was going to get out of this duty without moral question was sheer luck and ignorance, and that combination didn't come through.

It was a good reminder to go over the FIJA web site, and I think I owe them a couple o' bucks. Getting to be an expensive fall non-profit donation wise.