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My Disappointing Experience with [Jury Duty]

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  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    Its not always in the prosecutions favor with modern juries. Shows like CSI and the like have people convinced they need DNA evidence for everything and when the prosecutor doesn't present DNA evidence some jury members believe its because the person is innocent.

  • 3lwap03lwap0 Registered User regular
    SniperGuy wrote:
    Or probably even understand that you're innocent until proven guilty.

    But we know that's bullshit. Juries are usually composed on 11 people not smart or motivated enough to get out of it. To the jury, the fact that you're there sitting next to a defense attorney is strike 1. This gets even worse when you've got a minority sitting there, possibly covered in tattoo's or maybe some gold plated dental work, or maybe fulfills some ethnic stereotype - that's even worse. You can even put the guy in a suit and have'em sit up straight, but that makes it strike 2, and the trial hasn't even really begun yet.

    Christ, I'm having Clay Davis flashbacks from The Wire.

    I think Pringles original intention was to make tennis balls... but on the day the rubber was supposed to show up a truckload of potatoes came. Pringles is a laid-back company, so they just said, "Fuck it, cut em up!".
  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    3lwap0 wrote:
    SniperGuy wrote:
    Or probably even understand that you're innocent until proven guilty.

    But we know that's bullshit. Juries are usually composed on 11 people not smart or motivated enough to get out of it. To the jury, the fact that you're there sitting next to a defense attorney is strike 1. This gets even worse when you've got a minority sitting there, possibly covered in tattoo's or maybe some gold plated dental work, or maybe fulfills some ethnic stereotype - that's even worse. You can even put the guy in a suit and have'em sit up straight, but that makes it strike 2, and the trial hasn't even really begun yet.

    Christ, I'm having Clay Davis flashbacks from The Wire.

    This is totally bullshit and I really wish people would stop repeating it like its some kind of serious fact. There are plenty of people who serve on jury duty who are normal functioning adults.

  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    Although it is generally considered magically confidential, a few different cases and reports have given insight to how a typical jury deliberates
    Jury deliberations are confidential as they're going on, but the jurors are free to talk about everything that went on after the case is over. There's a cottage industry of people who interview jurors after certain cases to get insight into what worked and didn't at trial.

    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • YarYar Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    Thanatos wrote:
    And then you get juries made up entirely of layabouts and retired people.

    There was a ridiculously high showing of retirees. Like 4 or 5 of our 12 I think.

    mcdermott wrote:
    The only question I have is whether a failure to reach a verdict on one count would affect the guilty verdict on the others...I'm assuming not, though that would change matters a bit.

    We had to be unanimous on all counts before we could turn in any decision.

    mcdermott wrote:
    But here we see why kitchen-sink charging is such a huge part of the plea bargaining process; because regardless of how outrageous the charges they manage to somehow connect to your actions (shoplifting? try domestic terrorism!) you know damn well there's a significant risk that you'll get a jury that just wants to go home, and figures you're guilty enough of something that fuck it, hang him and let's bounce.

    Exactly. The DA knew he had a good case on most of the charges, and so he threw this unsubstantiated one in for good measure, because he knew a jury isn't likely to hold out on one among many.

    mcdermott wrote:
    I've yet to do jury duty; somehow every single time I get the notice, it's during a period of either military duty or a pre-planned vacation. But I'll never go out of my way to avoid it, because I figured there's a non-zero probability that I'd be the lone reasonable person on the jury.

    When my summons arrived, I was watching footage of Marines in Vietnam while on the couch with my FiL, an Army vet of Vietnam. I figured my selective service wasn't nearly so bad as it could have been. Truly, the least I could do.

    Preacher wrote:
    That's a good idea in theory, until you deal with a case like a mafia boss or something and then you've given 12 people their death sentence.

    Not really... I mean, the defendant and his attorney are already there for jury selection, where you are required to state your name, details about spouse and children, occupation, general area where you live, etc. Juror intimidation is frequent, but it's also the sort of thing that gets the book thrown at you worse than cop-killing does. I think a video camera in there would have helped me stand up for the right a little better.

    Modern Man wrote:
    I don't know why the other jurors fought you so hard on charge number 7. You were all ready to convict the guy of 6 felonies, so it's not like finding him not guilty on charge 7 would mean he walks.

    I thought the same. I expected I might have at least one or two who agreed with me, and even if I didn't, that the rest would cave since it wouldn't matter. The judge sentences on the whole, and almost certainly gave the exact same sentence he would have had we gone NG on that one count. I think everyone just thought I was crazy. The case was, on the whole, very one-sided. The defense attorney, I later found out, had been arguing with the defendant the whole time, telling him that he had to plea and that there was no way we'd let him off without any felony convictions.

    I think that was the biggest thing working against me. The Defense literally had no case and presented none. But if the DA fails to prove a charge, and the Defense doesn't bother to challenge it, the defendant shouldn't be the one to suffer for it. The burden is to prove, not to defend.

    Yar on
  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    It seems like a better solution to Jury Duty would be volunteer Jury Duty. Where, if you have circumstances in your life (you're poor/need medical time and reasons/etc) you should be able to put in "times I could be a juror" into a hat and opt in that way. Otherwise, by default, you're assumed to served when called if you don't volunteer ahead of time.

    I'm scared shitless of being called for duty because I'm the sole earner in my home and serving jury time could fuck us because hey, my girlfriend could need to go to the hospital as she can't drive and really doesn't have ambulance service (they charge us caboodles if we need to use it for non-emergency issues... like organ rejection). Apparently this isn't good enough to get out of jury duty.

    bowen on
  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    We had to be unanimous on all counts before we could turn in any decision.

    What happens to double jeopardy if you had deadlocked on the 7th count?

    Nvm, finished reading your post.

    Edit: I find jury duty a ridiculous idea simply because I do not believe it could be executed as intended and I support judge panels all the way.

    zeeny on
  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    bowen wrote:
    It seems like a better solution to Jury Duty would be volunteer Jury Duty. Where, if you have circumstances in your life (you're poor/need medical time and reasons/etc) you should be able to put in "times I could be a juror" into a hat and opt in that way. Otherwise, by default, you're assumed to served when called if you don't volunteer ahead of time.

    I'm scared shitless of being called for duty because I'm the sole earner in my home and serving jury time could fuck us because hey, my girlfriend could need to go to the hospital as she can't drive and really doesn't have ambulance service (they charge us caboodles if we need to use it for non-emergency issues... like organ rejection). Apparently this isn't good enough to get out of jury duty.

    Any number of those factors can get you out of jury in washington state? Is New York that backwards?

  • YarYar Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    Preacher wrote:
    Its not always in the prosecutions favor with modern juries. Shows like CSI and the like have people convinced they need DNA evidence for everything and when the prosecutor doesn't present DNA evidence some jury members believe its because the person is innocent.

    I got the sense that everyone thought I was being that guy. But, I mean, seriously, you're telling me that a forwarded email that appears to be a invitation to join a social network, without any evidence whatsoever about the original invite itself or who sent it, is sufficient for a guilty verdict on felony aggravated stalking?
    zeeny wrote:
    We had to be unanimous on all counts before we could turn in any decision.

    What happens to double jeopardy if you had deadlocked on the 7th count?

    Nvm, finished reading your post.

    Edit: I find jury duty a ridiculous idea simply because I do not believe it could be executed as intended and I support judge panels all the way.

    We asked the judge, and he said we would have left us in there until we fell asleep, and then would have told us to be back at 9am Saturday morning. Judges don't like hung juries, especially not in a case as one-sided as this one.

    Yar on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Yar wrote:
    mcdermott wrote:
    The only question I have is whether a failure to reach a verdict on one count would affect the guilty verdict on the others...I'm assuming not, though that would change matters a bit.

    We had to be unanimous on all counts before we could turn in any decision.

    Wait, so you can't deadlock on a single charge, but convict on the rest? This seems absurd, and if so it needs to be fixed.

    Spoiler:
  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    I've heard proposals for professional jurors. A rotating pool of people hired to do the job for a year or so on a full-time basis.

    I can see downsides and upsides to this.

    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    Preacher wrote:
    bowen wrote:
    It seems like a better solution to Jury Duty would be volunteer Jury Duty. Where, if you have circumstances in your life (you're poor/need medical time and reasons/etc) you should be able to put in "times I could be a juror" into a hat and opt in that way. Otherwise, by default, you're assumed to served when called if you don't volunteer ahead of time.

    I'm scared shitless of being called for duty because I'm the sole earner in my home and serving jury time could fuck us because hey, my girlfriend could need to go to the hospital as she can't drive and really doesn't have ambulance service (they charge us caboodles if we need to use it for non-emergency issues... like organ rejection). Apparently this isn't good enough to get out of jury duty.

    Any number of those factors can get you out of jury in washington state? Is New York that backwards?

    Apparently. Because I'm not the one with the issue, I can't get out of it. If she was completely handicapped and I was her caregiver, that would be different. But because we're poor and just not wealthy enough to afford a 2nd car, nope, not good enough.

  • BubbaTBubbaT Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    Preacher wrote:
    BubbaT wrote:
    I would like to see all jury deliberations be taped. They are part of the criminal justice system, and I advocate video-taping of all other stages of the system (arrest, interrogation, etc), so why not this stage as well?

    Then if you go to the video replay and see jurors blatantly disregarding judge's orders, or saying bullshit like "I don't care about the evidence, let's convict him so I can get home in time for Monday Night Football", that verdict needs to be thrown out.

    That's a good idea in theory, until you deal with a case like a mafia boss or something and then you've given 12 people their death sentence.

    If the mob boss on trial wants to target the jurors, he won't do it by watching them on video and then trying to figure out their identities by looking at their faces. He'll just bribe the court clerk to hand over a copy of the juror roll, complete with name, address, phone number - the works. The court bureaucracy already knows the specific identities of the jurors, and is much easier for the mob to penetrate.

    Matching a person's identity based only on their face is tough even when it's the FBI doing it, working off mug shots and known photos of the person. Discovering the identity of a random person from a picture of their face is much tougher. Especially for the mob, it's not like they can put up photos of the person they're looking for at the post office, or on the side of a milk carton.

    Plus the mob boss has already seen the jurors' faces, in the courtroom during the trial. And if the verdict is guilty he knows that each and every juror, whose faces he's already seen, has voted to convict.

    I'm not seeing how taping the jury deliberations puts the jury in added danger at all. It's not providing the mob boss with any info he doesn't already have. If you're in the unusual situation where an anonymous jury has been seated, you can put black dots over their faces in the video, the way they censor boobs on TV.


    edit: bah, it seems everyone else already covered this. i should read whole threads more.

    BubbaT on
  • YarYar Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote:
    Wait, so you can't deadlock on a single charge, but convict on the rest? This seems absurd, and if so it needs to be fixed.

    That's how it works. The State lumps charges together based on what they believe they can try and convict together as a whole. As I told the DA directly afterwards, he shouldn't have included that charge, or he should have made sure to strike someone like me from the jury.

    Although it wasn't allowed as evidence, we were basically able to deduce that this guy had a lot of other things he was being accused of and tried on, in different trials.

    Modern Man wrote:
    I've heard proposals for professional jurors. A rotating pool of people hired to do the job for a year or so on a full-time basis.

    I can see downsides and upsides to this.

    A guy on my jury asked why it isn't done this way. My answer was that it would defeat the purpose. Instead of a jury of your peers, it would be a jury of government employees, employed by the very Court trying you, and with career agendas that would likely interfere with a fair trial.

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote:
    Yar wrote:
    mcdermott wrote:
    The only question I have is whether a failure to reach a verdict on one count would affect the guilty verdict on the others...I'm assuming not, though that would change matters a bit.

    We had to be unanimous on all counts before we could turn in any decision.

    Wait, so you can't deadlock on a single charge, but convict on the rest? This seems absurd, and if so it needs to be fixed.
    No, it doesn't - that's the safeguard against the DA throwing the kitchen sink, in theory.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum
    Spoiler:
  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote:
    Yar wrote:
    mcdermott wrote:
    The only question I have is whether a failure to reach a verdict on one count would affect the guilty verdict on the others...I'm assuming not, though that would change matters a bit.

    We had to be unanimous on all counts before we could turn in any decision.

    Wait, so you can't deadlock on a single charge, but convict on the rest? This seems absurd, and if so it needs to be fixed.
    No, it doesn't - that's the safeguard against the DA throwing the kitchen sink, in theory.
    I don't follow. If the DA tacks on charges he can't prove, then the jury can just find the defendant not guilty on those charges. I don't see the point of holding up a jury verdict on the 6 charges that they were unanimous on.

    Convict the defendant on those 6, and handle the 7th just like you do any other hung jury situation.

    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote:
    Yar wrote:
    mcdermott wrote:
    The only question I have is whether a failure to reach a verdict on one count would affect the guilty verdict on the others...I'm assuming not, though that would change matters a bit.

    We had to be unanimous on all counts before we could turn in any decision.

    Wait, so you can't deadlock on a single charge, but convict on the rest? This seems absurd, and if so it needs to be fixed.

    No, it doesn't - that's the safeguard against the DA throwing the kitchen sink, in theory.

    Except that as we've seen here, it...doesn't work? As a society, we seem to lump people (erroneously) into "good people" and "criminals," and once you're a criminal we don't really feel too bad tossing a couple extra years your way if you were guilty of most of that shit.

    Spoiler:
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Modern Man wrote:
    mcdermott wrote:
    Yar wrote:
    mcdermott wrote:
    The only question I have is whether a failure to reach a verdict on one count would affect the guilty verdict on the others...I'm assuming not, though that would change matters a bit.

    We had to be unanimous on all counts before we could turn in any decision.

    Wait, so you can't deadlock on a single charge, but convict on the rest? This seems absurd, and if so it needs to be fixed.

    No, it doesn't - that's the safeguard against the DA throwing the kitchen sink, in theory.

    I don't follow. If the DA tacks on charges he can't prove, then the jury can just find the defendant not guilty on those charges. I don't see the point of holding up a jury verdict on the 6 charges that they were unanimous on.

    Convict the defendant on those 6, and handle the 7th just like you do any other hung jury situation.

    Well, the more charges you tack on the greater the risk that any individual charge results in a hung jury for the lot.

    But in reality, it sound here like what happens is whoever is holding out on that charge will likely eventually roll and go with the majority.

    Spoiler:
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote:
    Modern Man wrote:
    mcdermott wrote:
    Yar wrote:
    mcdermott wrote:
    The only question I have is whether a failure to reach a verdict on one count would affect the guilty verdict on the others...I'm assuming not, though that would change matters a bit.

    We had to be unanimous on all counts before we could turn in any decision.

    Wait, so you can't deadlock on a single charge, but convict on the rest? This seems absurd, and if so it needs to be fixed.

    No, it doesn't - that's the safeguard against the DA throwing the kitchen sink, in theory.

    I don't follow. If the DA tacks on charges he can't prove, then the jury can just find the defendant not guilty on those charges. I don't see the point of holding up a jury verdict on the 6 charges that they were unanimous on.

    Convict the defendant on those 6, and handle the 7th just like you do any other hung jury situation.

    Well, the more charges you tack on the greater the risk that any individual charge results in a hung jury for the lot.

    But in reality, it sound here like what happens is whoever is holding out on that charge will likely eventually roll and go with the majority.

    Hence the "in theory" part.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum
    Spoiler:
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    In reality, prosecutors and defense people love playing metagames with the jury. Just like how in theory they totally don't base any jury strikes on race, sex, etc., and they totally don't play with where the person is tried because certain places are much more likely to convict certain folk.

  • lordrellordrel Registered User
    I served on a quadruple homicide jury a few year back. It was eye opening, to be sure. You always see those TV trials where they wrap up everything in a neat little bow. Sure, we were presented a lot of evidence (from both sides), but then kind of left to put it all together ourselves. Some school teachers, an ER doctor, a former attorney, and a few other professions I don't remember have to sift through mountains of physical and forensic evidence, witness testimony, expert testimony, medical reports, psychological reports ect. Then vote if he did it, and should he die for it. We did struggle on a few points, with one particularly strong hold out who didn't believe testimony from the ex girlfriend. As we debated, given the entire picture that testimony ultimately did not provide reasonable doubt. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life, but also something I think is extremely important and a foundation of our legal system. I would do it again if asked.

  • YarYar Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote:
    Well, the more charges you tack on the greater the risk that any individual charge results in a hung jury for the lot.

    But in reality, it sound here like what happens is whoever is holding out on that charge will likely eventually roll and go with the majority.

    It's a balance. You're supposed to group those things together which can reasonably be tried and proven together, as a single "case." If this 7th felony count (actually it was the 6th of 7) had been tried separately, it is very unlikely it would have gone guilty. Or, at the least, the DA would have to submit all the same evidence that was submitted on the other 6 charges in order to convince a jury to convict on the very weak evidence that was realted to the 7th.

    However, like I said, we got a sense that this guy also had charges against him for burglary, obstruction of justice, and other stuff not in this case. Had all of that been lumped in, there is an even greater chance of a jury getting hung, or getting lost and voting NG on charges.

    Just to be clear, we can decide guilty on some charges and not guilty on others. In fact, the spec tree on our decision also included additional charges that we would need to deliberate on in any case where NG was determined on one of the main charges. It's just that we must have a unanimous G or NG on each item before we can turn any of them into the clerk and the judge can begin sentencing.

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    This is super-interesting for me, since I got a letter a few weeks ago indicating I'm the jury roll for next year. Which I suppose means there's a fairly decent chance of being called up for it (I had no idea we actually ran the system this way in Australia).

    Also depressing.

    Dis' wrote: »
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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    I know enough about the legal system that if I were ever on trial for something that I hadn't done that I'd seriously consider waiving my right to trial by jury, counting on members of the judiciary to be a lot wiser to typical prosecution tricks than Joe Citizen. Especially if it was somehow something high-profile, because the media gets out the crucifix to nail you on when you get arrested.

    DarkPrimus on
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  • jjbuck05jjbuck05 Registered User
    Feral wrote:
    Semi-hypothetical question.

    Let's say 12 jurors unanimously convict a defendant. However, their reasoning is undeniably spurious: "We do not believe that there is any credible evidence establishing the guilt of the defendant. However, we just don't like him. We think he's ugly. Therefore, we find him guilty."

    What would happen?

    Some arcane procedural things would have go happen, but long story short, the judge can ignore the jury's verdict and enter a not guilty verdict. That being said, if a judge allows a case to go to a jury in the first place, such a decision would basically be the result of him changing his mind mid-trial. It's pretty rare.

  • YarYar Registered User regular
    jjbuck05 wrote:
    Feral wrote:
    Semi-hypothetical question.

    Let's say 12 jurors unanimously convict a defendant. However, their reasoning is undeniably spurious: "We do not believe that there is any credible evidence establishing the guilt of the defendant. However, we just don't like him. We think he's ugly. Therefore, we find him guilty."

    What would happen?

    Some arcane procedural things would have go happen, but long story short, the judge can ignore the jury's verdict and enter a not guilty verdict. That being said, if a judge allows a case to go to a jury in the first place, such a decision would basically be the result of him changing his mind mid-trial. It's pretty rare.

    Nothing at all would happen unless one of the jurors told the judge about it, or one of the attorneys polled the jurors and discovered it somehow.

  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    "Hey man, I actually see what you're saying now, but I just want to go home."
    Another juror next to me muttered something about time being precious.

    Yup, this has been more or less my experience as well (never been on actual jury duty; was called as a witness to a murder, and used to find the time on weekends to just sit in on court sessions). Jurors just want to get in and get out, most don't understand what strong evidence is or is not, most aren't skeptics - so we get half-assed verdicts that are made for the wrong reason, even if they lead to the right end conclusion.

    I have no idea how to even 'fix' this issue, other than to try and raise the floor on public education & encourage critical thinking. And, well, try to make people more aware of what they're doing to other people when they send them to jail.


    I'm glad to hear you stuck it out for as long as you did, though. Arguing against 11 peers is quite the task.

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  • nightmarennynightmarenny Registered User regular
    The Ender wrote:
    "Hey man, I actually see what you're saying now, but I just want to go home."
    Another juror next to me muttered something about time being precious.

    Yup, this has been more or less my experience as well (never been on actual jury duty; was called as a witness to a murder, and used to find the time on weekends to just sit in on court sessions). Jurors just want to get in and get out, most don't understand what strong evidence is or is not, most aren't skeptics - so we get half-assed verdicts that are made for the wrong reason, even if they lead to the right end conclusion.

    I have no idea how to even 'fix' this issue, other than to try and raise the floor on public education & encourage critical thinking. And, well, try to make people more aware of what they're doing to other people when they send them to jail.


    I'm glad to hear you stuck it out for as long as you did, though. Arguing against 11 peers is quite the task.

    Encouraging a strong social responsibility is the only way I can think to help that.

    Quire.jpg
  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    There have been lots of proposals to 'professionalize' jury duty in assorted ways.

    Steam
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  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote:
    Three times I've been called now. Once over my honeymoon, and twice over my annual training with the Guard. Kinda annoying. I'd be more than happy to do it.
    I've been called 4 times. Each time it's after I've moved out of the county which is calling me. The first three were off by 400 miles and 3 years. It was really annoying. I'd registered to vote and changed residence and everything and still kept getting called for my hometown.

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  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    A coworker of mine was on a jury for a sex crime a few months ago. She was there for several days because she was the lone holdout. I don't remember the specifics of it, but he had been a previous offender, and had kept clean since then. Almost all the evidence against him was circumstantial, the victim didn't have a positive ID on him, that kind of thing. Unfortunately for him, the one charge that was clear, was his not doing his weekly or monthly checkin this one time. He even had a solid reason for it, but I forget what it was. The whole jury was trying to convict him on the whole slew of charges, and the check in one was the only one she felt had any merit.

    Eventually she caved, which really sucked for the guy, because his original crime had happened long enough ago, that his sex offender status was going to expire in a couple months. But now it got renewed and is for life.

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  • CabezoneCabezone Registered User regular
    I've always wanted to sit on a jury, even if the experience was maddening. The closest I got was my first time at 18 but I got tossed by the defense. Every other time I have been out of the country or been on the reserve list and never called.

  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    professional jury duty strikes me as having similar problems to other proposed solutions, in that there is going to be a particular kind of person who would want to be a professional juror, and would have the kind of education or training that would make them "skilled" jurors

    probably very particular

    Evil Multifarious on
    Inquisitor wrote: »
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  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    I was on a jury in a personal injury case a couple years ago, and it while on balance the jury was probably pretty good, it really exposed some problems with the system.

    Without going into too much detail, the plaintiff in the case had been in an auto accident and was pursuing the employer of the delivery driver who hit her (fault was not in dispute) for costs incurred in her ongoing injury treatment. Issue in the case was to what extent plaintiff's injuries were the result of the accident and to what extent they were pre-existing (she had some pre-existing medical issues.)

    After four days of testimony from various experts on both sides, they kicked us to the jury room. I was inclined to side with the plaintiff for the most part because their witnesses seemed more credible, but not out of any deep understanding of the issues at hand. In the jury room were two people who wanted to hand her the keys to the kingdom, one guy who thought she was a huckster and shouldn't get anything, and everyone else fell somewhere in between or had no idea what to think. We were given access to years of billing and medical records, none of which were referenced against each other and none of which we really had the ability to evaluate.

    We actually had a half an hour or so of pretty good discussion of the case, until it became obvious that nobody really had a good rationale we could use to arrive at a number. In the end, we just worked backwards from the plaintiff's claim, removing individual charges until we had an amount that the required majority could agree upon. Justice, by some measure.

    What I found out later was that (don't read if you are on a personal injury jury)
    Spoiler:

    which I suppose should've been intuitive, but oh well.

    Anyway. On the whole I thought our group of 12 (actually 11; one juror was excused mid-trial) laypeople did about as well as could be expected. On the other hand, our ultimate decision wasn't based on any kind of actual, serious evaluation of the claim and the medical evidence. It makes me think that the system ought to have some kind of allowance for expert juries (or at least for juries to have some kind of officer/ombudsman who is empowered to assist them in deliberation on factual/research matters.)

    I sympathize with OP's situation, because this jury had a similar dynamic going by hour two of deliberation. Although if the woman's husband was literally on his deathbed, that seems like somebody who ought to be reasonably excused from jury duty.

    gkcmatch_zps97480250.jpg
    'we got hella people, they got helicopters'
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    Did the Judge believe that we were actually going to decide the case based on all the stuff he told us to do, or does he know that most jurors don't care about all the due process crap? In modern jurisprudence, shouldn't you have to be trained to make these sorts of decisions?

    I have a relative who was a fairly high-level judge, and as a consequence have gotten to casually question a couple about issues like this.

    They know. Oh god, do they ever know.

    But they also know that allowances for that kind of thing are built into the system. There are appeals, there are hung juries, there is the unanimous requirement (in criminal trials anyway.)

    gkcmatch_zps97480250.jpg
    'we got hella people, they got helicopters'
  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    professional jury duty strikes me as having similar problems to other proposed solutions, in that there is going to be a particular kind of person who would want to be a professional juror, and would have the kind of education or training that would make them "skilled" jurors

    probably very particular
    We could have everyone spend 6 months on jury duty when they turn 18, and another 6 months when they turn 65. An alternative to the draft.

  • InvisibleInvisible Registered User regular
    Pi-r8 wrote:
    professional jury duty strikes me as having similar problems to other proposed solutions, in that there is going to be a particular kind of person who would want to be a professional juror, and would have the kind of education or training that would make them "skilled" jurors

    probably very particular
    We could have everyone spend 6 months on jury duty when they turn 18, and another 6 months when they turn 65. An alternative to the draft.

    I don't think I want any body in either of those age groups deciding my fate.

  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    Invisible wrote:
    Pi-r8 wrote:
    professional jury duty strikes me as having similar problems to other proposed solutions, in that there is going to be a particular kind of person who would want to be a professional juror, and would have the kind of education or training that would make them "skilled" jurors

    probably very particular
    We could have everyone spend 6 months on jury duty when they turn 18, and another 6 months when they turn 65. An alternative to the draft.

    I don't think I want any body in either of those age groups deciding my fate.

    They already do! Especially old people.

  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    We could have everyone spend 6 months on jury duty when they turn 18, and another 6 months when they turn 65. An alternative to the draft.

    I would love this.

    I'm opposed to the draft because I refuse to participate in my country's military endeavours, but if we implemented it along with this alternative, I'd be all in favour.

    New foreign policy strategy:

    Obama and Merkel to call Putin a "coward noob" and "lucky bullshit noob only won lane because Ukraine went afk and Crimea fed" in all chat, demand 1v1 at Baron Pit.
  • So It GoesSo It Goes Justice.Registered User regular
    Preacher wrote:
    Its not always in the prosecutions favor with modern juries. Shows like CSI and the like have people convinced they need DNA evidence for everything and when the prosecutor doesn't present DNA evidence some jury members believe its because the person is innocent.

    stupid juries cut both ways

    hard

    NOPE.
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