The jury gods have been venting their wrath on me lately. After going decades without ever being called, I was summoned here in Arlington back in 2002, then spent a full year on a federal grand jury in 2003, and now Arlington has nicked me again.
Yesterday was the orientation session. The court functionary explained how everything works, including the fact that by law, each juror's payment is $30 for each day served.
When it came time for people to line up and explain why they shouldn't have to serve, a surprisingly large group waited to voice their excuses privately. I was sitting in the front row of the audience reading the handouts, and paying no attention to the sotto voce conversations in front of me, until the court administrator suddenly raised his voice (accidently and in surprise, I'm sure) and said, "No sir, you don't have to pay us $30 a day. We pay you $30 a day!"
At least a half dozen of us heard this and had all we could do to keep from busting a gut.
Well, hats off to the guy who might have been willing to serve AND pay!
I know people hate jury duty and I respect that, but I've always been happy to serve (and have 3 times) on a jury.
God willing I will never be before a jury, but if so, I don't want a group of disgruntled, unhappy people!
Good luck AR. Do I assume it's not grand jury this time?
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Well I think it is offical I'm the only person to likes jury duty. I was on two civil trials the whole process was interesting to me. Plus in the last trial I got to award some money. That was a funny story A/R! We only get $15 per day in California, but as a state employee I wavier the jury payment(I recieve my normal salary) and only recieve the miles one way to the courthouse.
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Once called and was one of last not to be chosen for the trial. Then 18 months on Federal Grand, it was quite an experience. Of course my boss did not like me having to be gone one day a week for that long and would complain to me. I would just shrug it off and was glad to be away from her for the day. She would have to do my job on that day.
Then called and asked to be excused because it had only been 4 months since off the grand and the court forgot to notify me that excuse had been approved so spent a day waiting only to be told "Oh your were excused ", why didn't they notify me!
Had summons for Federal Regular for last Dec when we were on cruise and was excused, but now am on my 2 weeks, call every day to hear the recording that nothing is scheduled but keep calling. Only a few days to go.
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I, too, enjoy jury duty (somewhat). The last jury I was on was a murder trial. It was not a "very clean scene" and I had nightmares from it.
The last time I was called was for municipal court. The first case I was the last person in the panel, so they never got to me. The second case, the guy was representing himself, for a traffic violation. The panel was reshuffled and I was the first person seated. I wasn't called. I'm really a nice looking person, honest! I thought that was kind of funny.
Good luck, AR!
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I too have served three times. My name came up again this past March - but when I mailed them my medical problems I'm presently dealing with they never called me in - so I'm off fo now. I really don't enjoy it. I hate making decisions, and have ADD, so it is hard to pay attention unless the case is really interesting. The first case I served on the person who filed the suit became deceased and the court stenographer had to read all his testimony, it was quite boring.
I was selected for duty last year - a criminal trial. We convicted the guy in about 30 minutes.
The funny part was listening to all the lame excuses from the people who wanted to be excused. One lady said she had three kids at home - unsupervised. One was 19, one 17, and one 15. She couldn't leave them alone, because they would kill one another. She also said she was opposed to the death penalty, but this wasn't a capital case. She also said she had Attention Deficit Disorder. Finally, she said she had Restless Leg Syndrome. Guess what? She was excused!
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Actually, although I seemed to be griping in the original post, I really don't mind jury service either. I might have felt differently before I retired, but I was never called during my working years. Once you do it, you tend to realize that, no matter how pedestrian the case may be, the framers really got this stuff right, and the system at its best really does seem to be about the best we can get. The other thing you realize, of course, is that it takes people of good will from top to bottom to make it work right, so anything those of us who fit that description can do to help out, we should do gladly. Sounds like Pollyanna, I know, but I really feel that way.
Besides, where else can you find the kind of humor like the guy who tried to be excused because he couldn't afford to pay the $30 a day?
When I was a grand juror, we showed up one morning in about the third month of our year of service and noticed that one of the guys was missing. "Where's Mr. Schmedlap today?" I asked our administrative den mother when she came in. "I'm not at liberty to discuss that," she said. "However I do have an announcement to make to the entire jury. The judge instructs you to refrain from sending love letters to the US Attorneys during your term of service."
We all erupted in hysterical laughter. On past cases we had several female US Attorneys who were, frankly, easy on the eyes, come before us. Apparently, Mr. "Schmedlap" had been smitten by one of them and chose to express his feelings about her in writing.
We never saw the guy again, and an alternate took over.
I was called up for a case and was excused, clearly it was for a drug trial, it the arrests had been all over the media, I told them frankly I was glad he was arrested and thought they ( many were arrested) were guilty as sin and didnt see the need for a trial......and I was excused, quite happily so. They were all found guilty.
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