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      01-29-2010, 03:48 AM   #1
H2
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Jury Duty Experience

Post your funny/awful stories concerning jury duty. Saw the other thread on tips to get out of jury duty, and it reminded me of my jury duty experience.

I've been called for jury duty once (in 2000) and ended up serving on a criminal trial (attempted murder). It lasted three days. I had always wanted to be on a jury in the civilian world - was on a jury in the military once. It was quite a learning experience and I was surprised I was selected. Here are a few highlights.

- one man slit another man's throat at 2:00 am Halloween night after a party
- two interpreters: Vietnamese for defendant, Spanish for person with slit throat
- opposing lawyers in disagreement on the number of charges (8 vs. 7)
- jury not told what the charges were until deliberations started
- jury members sleeping during testimony and deliberations
- police claiming the defendant was drunk (no tests taken)
- slit throat person pulling out a bloody shirt out of a bag on the stand and yelling "He tried to kill me!"
- prosecutor having the defendant's 6 year old daughter testify against her father
- jury members yelling at other jury members during deliberations (me and another person hung the jury on two charges, which were then thrown out)
- multiple jury members thinking that if any single element of a charge was true, then the person was guilty of the charge

One particularly funny moment occurred when the plaintiff kept asking the judge why he had to answer the questions. The judge said "you have to answer every question until your lawyer objects." The very next question, the prosecutor stood up and said "I object."

After the trial, the judge asked the jury if we had any questions. I asked him why we were not told what the charges were at the start of the trial. He said he wanted us to concentrate on what people were saying and not what the charges were. I don't know if not providing the charges is typical or not, but I can see how it makes some sense.

Defendent was found guilty on 4 charges and not guilty on 3. It was a good experience, and I have now served my "duty" and have no interest on being on another jury. Learning point: if you ever have a choice between a jury or a judge deciding your fate, pick a jury.
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      01-29-2010, 10:40 AM   #2
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I was on a jury when I lived in Santa Barbara a couple years ago.
It was an assault with a deadly weapon case; a bum busted a bottle of champagne of another bums head.
(fuck a bottle of champagne.. some high class homeless peeps).

Funny thing was, they had to arrest all the witnesses for illegal camping just so they could testify sober.. Everyone of them had aka names like: Big Red, The Captain, Snoop, Princess, Jackie D...


It was comedy..
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      02-01-2010, 11:46 AM   #3
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I served on a case of unlawful firing. They older guy worked some construction and his truck got hit by a train or something.

The judge told us 1-2 days. I had up to a week from my employer.

The first on the stand was the guy who got fired. EVERY SINGLE DAMN QUESTION he answered "What?" then they had to ask him again. After 5 days he wasn't done with his questioning and the judge had to let me go. I told them if the next witness could hear, I might take a few days vacation to continue serving, but the first dude still wasn't done.
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      02-02-2010, 12:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richeerich03 View Post
I was on a jury when I lived in Santa Barbara a couple years ago.
It was an assault with a deadly weapon case; a bum busted a bottle of champagne of another bums head.
(fuck a bottle of champagne.. some high class homeless peeps).

Funny thing was, they had to arrest all the witnesses for illegal camping just so they could testify sober.. Everyone of them had aka names like: Big Red, The Captain, Snoop, Princess, Jackie D...


It was comedy..
Did those guys camp out under that big old tree by the train station? Is that giant tree still there? I used to live in SB when I was a kid. My grandpa used to run a car dealership right by there and the homeless (bums, in those days) used to live under that tree and around the train station...
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      02-02-2010, 12:22 PM   #5
richeerich03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gladius View Post
Did those guys camp out under that big old tree by the train station? Is that giant tree still there? I used to live in SB when I was a kid. My grandpa used to run a car dealership right by there and the homeless (bums, in those days) used to live under that tree and around the train station...
It was off of milpas, under the overpass.. there was a name that the homeless community used for that area but I can't remember what it was called..
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      02-03-2010, 12:24 PM   #6
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The tree is stil there by the trains station, but I think the city passed an ordinance that you can't sleep there any more.
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