Just in case you’re wondering if I’ve run off to Las Vegas or something, I can explain. Posting is light at the moment because I have jury duty. I’ll catch up at the weekend, if not sooner.
Commiserations to our B&W juror.!
Yeah, what an unpleastant duty it is for you to be lumbered with – by the courts.
Is it grand jury service? Or dare one ask?
Well, all you can do, [along with the other jurors,] is to use the directions given by the judge and use them to the best of your knowledge.
Good luck in the court – hope it is for you not a too stressful experience.
No actually it’s kind of fascinating – once you get into a courtroom. The sitting around waiting is indeed deadly boring, but court isn’t.
Mind you…it’s only jury selection so far. Which is going so slowly that we were dismissed for two hours, so I’m at the central library – though not for long.
Once it’s over I can tell you all about it, if it turns out to be of interest.
What’s this commiserating with OB about serving on jury duty? It’s taking part in an extremely important democratic process – being judged by other citizens in an open court of law. I’ve always wanted to be called and have no patience with people who try and get out of it.
I hope OB does not get selected for jury service.
I believe the rule, ‘contempt of court’ does not apply in America.
Thank goodness for that indeed.
[Sometimes jurors have made remarks that have called into question whether a verdict was properly arrived at].
I hope the courts hurry up and dismiss OB, she does not need this kind of hassle in her life.
They ever get me in the dock, I hope I get you in the jury.
I had one month of jury duty in a very interesting case a long time ago…a manslaughter case that involved 6 days of deliberation and lots of intricate issues. It was one of the most enlightening things I’ve ever done. So my feeling is–good luck!
Aw, thanks, Don. That’s a real compliment (jury duty is serious stuff).
No, KB is right. I did think of it as a hassle when I got the notice, but then I talked myself into seeing it the right way – and now that I’ve been through part of it, I see it more that way. The judge takes it very seriously. I gotta tell you, it’s quite impressive.
Ah, but OB, just remember, you aren’t allowed to talk back to either of the counsels, explaining to them the fallacies in their reasoning, and criticising their attempts to appeal to ‘base emotions’…
Or you could just turn your brain right off, and assume that, since they’ve been arrested & put on trial, they MUST be guilty of SOMETHING… GUILTY! GUILTY! GUILTY!
“Off with the goolies now!”
(or deport them to Australia, that sort of thing)
Hey, it’s a staunchly traditional form of reasoning that’s served the right-wing of the conservative party over here exceedingly well for a few hundred years…don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!
I was jury foreman once. It was actually an ok case (guns and drugs!), but the prosecutor was trying very, very hard for the “Most Boring Man in the Universe” award, so it was difficult.
No, but I can talk back in the jury room!
Actually I think I’m almost certain to be successfully challenged for cause. I’ll tell you why when I can.
My guess is that you are to much of a free thinker for either side to take a chance on you?
Richard, noooooooooo – I’m conceited but not that conceited! No it’s much more specific than that – which is why I can’t talk about it. (The idea is that talking about the case [at all, in any way, to anyone] introduces extraneous ways of thinking into the juror’s mind. We’re required to shut up in order to avoid forming preconceptions.)
Oh Tingey for heaven’s sake – what planet do you live on? Jurors don’t run the trial!
OB: Did you finally get selected for jury service?
M-T, no, the selection process is still going on. I go back for that on Monday.
On two jury services in the UK, I remember being told: Don’t be afraid to join in. Except for clarification sought through the foreman, nobody did.
Suggested Google search:
Jurors’ active participation
To join in? In the sense of speaking up during the trial? In the sense of telling one of the lawyers ‘You’re making [in Tingey's words] a complete and total scientific/technical bloomer’? Really?
If so, the UK jury system must be way different from the US one.
I tried the google search and didn’t find a huge amount. There are some proposals but they’re fairly limited. I don’t think there’s a huge movement to get juries talking a lot during trials, much less setting the lawyers straight.
I don’t think there will be, either – that’s exactly the kind of thing jurors aren’t supposed to do during a trial. We’re supposed to pay attention to what we learn in the courtroom and as far as possible shelve what we know outside it. For the jury’s purposes there’s supposed to be a radical separation between inside the courtroom and everything else.
Yes, OB, it didn’t seem to be very serious encouragement (for a revival of a notional status quo ante? – the restoration of lost rights?) – and juries never becoming oldhands, it would never catch on. On one occasion the prosecution was rabbitting on for ages at the accused about the dimensions of a makeshift entrance; I was sorely tempted to rise and suggest that if it was that bloody important, why didn’t the police measure it? I didn’t.
The torture of having to suppress these urges…
Re: Voire Dire. I read this on Tarrant County, website. “Jurors will be questioned by each of the lawyers under the supervision of the judge. This interview process is called voir dire. The voir dire is a way for the parties to select an impartial jury. You may be questioned individually or as a group to determine selection of the jury. For example, the lawyer may ask you questions to see if you are connected to the trial or if you have any prejudice or bias toward anyone in the trial.”
Presumably, voire doire procedures are somewhat similar in each & every American state? BTW, have you as yet passed this stage of the process? Or is is still too early in your neck of the American woods.
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