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When it comes to jury service, I ...

Displaying poll results.
Am eligible, but have never been asked.
  13587 votes / 40%
Have been considered but never chosen.
  8407 votes / 24%
Have been a juror or alternate (petit jury).
  3971 votes / 11%
Have been a juror or alternate (grand jury).
  692 votes / 2%
Live in a country with juries, but am ineligible.
  1981 votes / 5%
Don't live in a country with jury trials.
  5157 votes / 15%
33795 total votes.
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  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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When it comes to jury service, I ...

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  • Ineligible (Score:4, Interesting)

    by neoprint (949158) on Saturday May 07, 2011 @12:36AM (#36054526)
    They won't let people in NZ with a crminal record do jury duty I think. My story? Well I used to be a street racer and got busted doing 183KM/h in a 50KM/h zone. Yes, it was stupid. Yes, I know people are going to flame me about it. Yes, I have learned from it and haven't had so much as a parking ticket since I was busted
    • by countertrolling (1585477) on Saturday May 07, 2011 @12:48AM (#36054556) Journal

      In the states, if you steal trillions of dollars, you can be a judge, jury, and executioner.. but more likely, you'll have to settle for a job at the white house

  • What's with the French terms? I've been a juror, but there was no French involved.

    • Re:Petit? Grand? (Score:5, Informative)

      by artor3 (1344997) on Saturday May 07, 2011 @01:00AM (#36054596)

      I don't know what country you were in, but in the United States there are two types of jury. The grand jury has more members and decides if there's enough evidence for the case to go to trial. The petit jury (more commonly called the trial jury) determines guilt/innocence/etc.

      • by WillKemp (1338605)

        What a mindbogglingly bizarre system!

        • Re:Petit? Grand? (Score:4, Informative)

          by DERoss (1919496) on Saturday May 07, 2011 @11:43AM (#36056526)

          The concept of two juries -- grand and petit -- traces back to 12th century England. In the U.S., the Constitution (5th amendment) requires that a person must be indicted by a grand jury before being tried in federal court for a felony. That is, a person cannot be tried for a federal felony merely by being accused. This traces back to abuses by crown prosecutors in the colonies, where criminal trials were held to prosecute individuals who expressed anti-British political sentiments.

          However, this does not apply to the states, where a person can be accused by a prosecutor in front of a judge and arraigned by the judge. An indictment and an arraignment have the same effect. In both cases, however, the prosecutor must convince either a grand jury or a judge (1) that a crime actually occurred and (2) there is some evidence that the accused might have committed the crime.

          In California, most state felonies are tried after an arraignment. Grand juries are used when a prosecutor needs to obtain testimony from witnesses who fear appearing in court. Because grand jury proceedings are secret (even names of witnesses are not disclosed), such testimony is easier to obtain and may lead to additional evidence against the accused. At trial, however, some of those witnesses may be required to testify again since the U.S. Constitution (6th amendment) requires that a defendant be allowed to see all testimony against him or her. That is, innocence or guilt of a defendant cannot be determined by a petit jury based on secret grand jury testimony but can be based on non-secret evidence discovered through grand jury testimony.

        • by Vegeta99 (219501)

          Ha. He didn't even mention some things:

          - The Grand Jury does not always indict people. Sometimes it is done by "information" ie, the prosecutor shows the judge probable cause or some nonsense.
          - The jury right in America, at least as far as a civil trial is concerned (I haven't studied criminal procedure yet), is not absolute. It's "preserved" the way it was in 1791, when the amendment was added. That means if you ask for $$ you probably can get a jury, but if you ask for an injunction, you can't.

          • by Zcar (756484)

            The jury right in America, at least as far as a civil trial is concerned (I haven't studied criminal procedure yet), is not absolute. It's "preserved" the way it was in 1791, when the amendment was added. That means if you ask for $$ you probably can get a jury, but if you ask for an injunction, you can't.

            Yep. The difference between courts of law and equity which used to be (Federally) separate. Now I think only Delaware (in the US) maintains separate courts of law and equity.

            • by Vegeta99 (219501)

              Bingo. That's actually (part of) the analysis.

              Has the party properly requested a jury? They must do so within 10 days of the last pleading (a complaint or an answer, generally) directed towards an issue.
              Has a statute expressly authorized a jury?
              Did the claim for which a jury was requested exist in 1791? If it did, was a jury allowed then or not?
              If the claim didn't exist prior to 1791, is it seeking legal or equitable relief? Legal relief is money, or some "equitable looking" things like ejectment (think: ge

              • by Vegeta99 (219501)

                Err, yeah. Shouldn't post so quickly. It makes sense in DE, where everyone incorporates, because even though equitable relief means that the judge gets to kinda do his own thing and rule as he sees fit, that's more predictable than a jury.

    • by Vegeta99 (219501)

      It's law french. You usually see latin in the legal world, but they like to fuck with law students by throwing in some french:

      Venire panel: The group of people that they pick the jury from.
      Voir dire: The process of whittling down that group of people down to the number of people needed.
      Petit Jury: A jury empaneled to decide facts.
      Grand Jury: A jury empaneled to indict persons.

  • I would be proud to do jury duty, but I have IBS and I'm pretty sure that this might disqualify me (were I ever contacted). When might I be asked about this type of information? How long are juries in the seats between breaks? What is the system for taking breaks? Is it at the whim of the judge? Do jurors have to request them? Before a trial starts, are you given information about how long it might last?

    • by mrxak (727974)

      Typically you're given some idea how long the trial will last. The petit jury I was on, we were expecting it to be about a day, however it spilled over into a second day (prosecution witnesses took longer to testify, I guess, so defense mostly got pushed to the second day).

      It's really up to the judge when breaks happen, and there weren't really any in my trial except for lunch the two days. In theory you can slip a note to the bailiff if there's a problem, you need to use the bathroom, or whatever, and he'l

      • "Complaint" is a relative term: The first time I was chosen, about ten years ago I had to call in every Monday night for 3 months! Not a grand jury, purely trial. I received my summons in August 2000, and finished up after Thanksgiving. Luckily, the last two times - '06 & this last January - were only for three days. The jury coordinator said that the summoning is absolutely random, based on a Driver's license and voter registration, but I have my doubts: Several people said that they routinely ge
        • by hedwards (940851)

          That's probably still random. What we as humans perceive as random would in fact be severely lacking in entropy. You can frequently figure out who faked results in a statistics exercise when too few numbers repeat.

          I was on a jury a couple years back, and it was exceptionally long, took precisely a month. Around here you get an automatic out if you've served within a year, and because of our location, we can get a summons for municipal, superior or federal court. Which almost certainly increases the likelih

        • I call BS on the sheriff part of your story.

          First class mail is not a legal way to serve process. Their is no proof of receipt. You can ignore them unless you are stupid enough to call the number on the follow up threat. Calling the number is the only proof of receipt they have.

      • by Javagator (679604)
        It was certainly a valuable experience, if for no other reason than to see the court system in action.

        I was on call once and served on two juries. I was glad I got to see a jury trial from the inside once, but I really don’t like having to decide the fate of other people.

        In my state, the jury not only decides guilt or innocence, but also the punishment (a judge can reduce but not increase a sentence). The defendants in my trials were obviously guilty, but the defendant’s lawyers were tryi

  • ... but I keep telling them I can't serve due to my disabilities (speech, hearing, etc.). Yes, I did include my doctor's notes. So annoying! :(

    • by pavon (30274)

      It's really strange. When I talk to people either they get called for jury duty all the time, or they have never been called. I don't know the clerk just lost the paperwork on a bunch of us, or we have some obscure disqualifying factors or what. I vote every year, my vehicle registration is up-to-date, I am registered for the selective services, I have never been arrested, yet I have never been called for jury duty. On the other hand I know several people at work that are called nearly every year. I would a

  • I have been called 3 times, all 3 times when I showed up there was a note on the door saying that jury selection was cancelled that day and we should all go home. It seems to be a pretty common thing to happen around here.

    I am sure some of you will say that the note was probably fake. It was on the door to the courthouse on the inside of the door and the door was locked.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      Must be a small court. When I went on jury duty a couple years back, there were hundreds of jurors in the jury room that first day, the court building itself had something like 9 floors of which I think 8 had courtrooms on. I don't think that they ever do that here, probably the closest is if their's a bomb threat or shooting on premises.

  • by SilasMortimer (1612867) <> on Saturday May 07, 2011 @02:29AM (#36054866) Journal
    ...and could cut the number of physical jurors they need for a petit jury nearly in half, but they never pick us for some reason.
    • by hedwards (940851)

      In most jurisdictions you can volunteer for jury duty. It doesn't mean that you'll be seated on a jury, but you definitely can volunteer.

      • I've been called, but never picked. Otherwise, I would volunteer. I suspect it'd be the same thing again if I did. Maybe if I lived in a city smaller than Houston, but here, I might as well wait until I get the summons and see if they pick me this time.
  • by dingen (958134) on Saturday May 07, 2011 @04:19AM (#36055128)
    The only moment in history when jury trials were held in the Netherlands was between 1811 and 1813, during the French occupation. It was called "lekenrecht" at the time, which translates to something like "layman's law". From 1814 on, the concept was abandoned and never reinstated. There's no love for jury trial in the Netherlands.
  • Missing option ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alain Williams (2972) <> on Saturday May 07, 2011 @05:13AM (#36055266) Homepage

    ''I was asked but wiggled out of it''

    I am self employed, having to take a fortnight off — unpaid — would cost me a lot. If I had been employed my employer would have probably continued to pay me my full salary (not all employers do), but why should he shoulder the burden of supporting the legal system. The judges, barristers, ... all get paid properly so why not pay the jurors their normal salary ?

    • by 6Yankee (597075)
      A fortnight, wow. About 10 years ago, my group leader got called for jury duty and we didn't see him again for six weeks! About a week of that was spent sitting in a side room on odd days just in case they actually got round to this case that day. Best part is, all twelve had decided the bloke was guilty within about ten minutes.
    • ^ This. I would love to have done it, but I just couldn't. What made me angry was that there are apparently millions (NZD) in unpaid/uncollected fines from people who have simply failed to turn up for jury service without any explanation.
      • In the USA legal process can't be served without proof of receipt. First class mail does not qualify.

        You can throw away any jury summons you receive via snail mail (unless you signed for it).

        I suspect NZ is the same and the reason the don't pursue the scoff summons people is that once the truth gets out even more people will ignore the summons.

        I got clued in when a judge in S.Cal actually got so sick of us ignoring him that he sent summons via certified mail to the 100 or so people that have ignored

        • by srmalloy (263556) on Saturday May 07, 2011 @03:17PM (#36057986) Homepage

          At least for the US, just show up for jury duty wearing a FIJA badge, button, or printed label, and when the judge gets to the question "Will you accept the law as I give it to you, even if you disagree with it?" tell them "I stand on my right, as recognized by the US Supreme Court in Sparf v. US, to judge both the guilt of the defendant and the law under which he is charged", and you'll be out the door again very quickly.

          • by Pharmboy (216950) on Saturday May 07, 2011 @07:02PM (#36059072) Journal

            Saying "I'm going to follow the law, as upheld by the Supreme Court" is not an instant ticket out. That is only going to get the prosecution to try to strike you, not the defense. And it isn't cause for dismissal, the prosecution (likely) can't use that as a 'strike for cause', and instead (depending on state) will be one of his few alloted 'strike without cause', assuming that state allows it at all. Be realistic, no one wants to serve, and they have heard it all. Bringing up a Supreme Court case from over 100 years ago isn't new, and likely will just piss off the judge, which in general, is not a good idea.

            You can also get heat for trying to get out by claiming you can't be unbiased, etc. during voir dire , including being threatened with contempt. Some judges have been known to hold you over, or to another case, just to be as much of an ass as you are being. They have a job to do, and you are not any more important that the other people sitting there. Really, you aren't.

            I've been called many times, never picked. Once they find out I worked a few years as a criminal defense investigator, the prosecution will request a strike for cause and have gotten it. If they pick me, I will serve. I won't like it, but I'll do it.

        • Why not just go? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by SuperKendall (25149) on Saturday May 07, 2011 @06:22PM (#36058890)

          By totally ignoring the jury process, you lose any right to complain about the choices juries make at trials.

          Being a citizen of the U.S. means that you have some MORAL obligations, and one of them is to provide, from time to time, services as an intelligent jury member to help make sure the court system works as intended.

          Happily not everyone is a selfish as you and so in the end the jury system worked, but if everyone thought as you do the system would collapse.

    • by he-sk (103163) on Saturday May 07, 2011 @04:53PM (#36058476)

      ... but why should he [my employer] shoulder the burden of supporting the legal system?

      Gee, I don't know, maybe because the only reason he is able to continue his business is that the state guarantees the enforcement of his contracts.

      • by blincoln (592401)

        "Gee, I don't know, maybe because the only reason he is able to continue his business is that the state guarantees the enforcement of his contracts."

        Back in the olden days, the jury-duty stipend was a lot closer to the amount the jury members would make at their normal job. It just hasn't been increased over time. If it worked then, why wouldn't it work now?

        I'm not saying that the court should pay jury members $5000/day if they're a billionaire executive, just that it's insulting to even be asked to put you

  • Where's the "I immediately throw the jury summons in the trash and ignore it" option? If you don't acknowledge receiving it, they can't prove it wasn't lost in the mail. Plus, as a consultant, doing jury duty means I don't make my mortgage payment.
  • by commrade (79346)

    As an American Felon, you don't get to serve on juries. They'll still make you come in to tell you that though. You don't get paid for that but you do have to miss work.

    Oh well, still better than the nullified civil rights thing.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I had my life handed back to me by a jury after someone falsely accused me of something.. somethat that would have put me in prison for 10-20 years.. after which I would have been locked up in an institution as a "sexually dangerous person".. and I didn't do anything wrong. The jury saw through the bullshit, and gave me my life back. My life, reputation, career, and family were all in ruins, but I had a chance to rebuild after finally getting through the gauntlet of a dirtbag ex (and not even MY ex..some
  • Am self employed, making me ineligible to serve (unless I want to lose my business).

  • by mmcuh (1088773) on Saturday May 07, 2011 @03:55PM (#36058172)
    In Sweden, jurys are only used in cases involving treason, espionage, incitement to war and things like that. The law says that jurors should be chosen from individuals known for their independence, honesty and good judgement. So I voted "Am ineligible".
  • I was notified by Los Angeles County for "on call" jury duty in 1998. I called in and told them, truthfully, that I moved away from Southern California three years earlier. They took me off the list and nobody has ever called me for jury duty since. Almost makes me think they put me on some kind of statewide "no jury duty" list by mistake rather than just taking off the LA County list.

If God had a beard, he'd be a UNIX programmer.


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