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Was my judge in the wrong??

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Re: Was my judge in the wrong??

Postby Madison » Mon Oct 05, 2009 1:47 am

luckygehrig wrote:
Madison wrote:Yeah, sounds like she was quite unprofessional to me. But one thing to consider is that practically everyone tries to get out of serving, so I'm sure it gets old for judges to hear the string of reasons all day (not making an excuse for her, but I can imagine how frustrating it must be). Most people simply can't vanish off the Earth for 3 weeks. Being a student, a normal person with a job, or even a homemaker doesn't mean things are different and one group as a whole would suffer less consequences than the other groups. The vast majority of people (!) simply cannot vanish for 3 weeks, period.

What I don't understand is why don't the courts allow people to volunteer for jury duty? I know quite a few people (granted, most are retired) who wouldn't mind serving every so often. One of my neighbors (a housewife who doesn't work, she's maybe 25 years old) recently served and she thought it was really cool to be on a jury, listen to the lawyers make their case, and then deliberate with the other jurors to decide who proved what. She said she'd serve regularly if they'd let her because she found it so interesting. Seems allowing volunteers would at least help as far as getting jurors and messing up fewer lives in the process. Heck, they could even go the route of having "professional" jurors (I'd guess it would only take a couple hundred people per city on average) and quit calling people for jury duty completely. Having a panel of experienced jurors might actually be a good thing in a courtroom. :-?

Personally I always wind up getting tossed due to my stance on things. Been tossed for fully supporting the death penalty (defense counsel used a challenge to remove me) and I've been tossed for disagreeing with the law (funny part is that the law has now been changed to reflect exactly what my stance is - go figure :-b ).


Professional jurors are usually called judges. ;-) There are numerous instances in civil trials where a case is heard by a judge sitting without a jury and they decide issues of both fact and law. However, in the criminal system, one is entitled to a jury trial. I think there'd be a big problem with allowing people to volunteer for service (i.e. people could lie their way onto juries that they know are going to be picked that particular day). Although most people probably wouldn't abuse the system, there would certainly be those that would which would entirely defeat the purpose of a jury trial.


There are quite a few trials each day, so someone intentionally trying to get on a jury for a specific trial would prove quite difficult since it would be a complete crapshoot. Still a good point though, so maybe professional jurors are the way to go. Judges are much more qualified on "law" than a professional juror would be :-b , so the two are quite different. Having people who serve on juries all day every day wouldn't damage or hurt anything at all in the court system though, so it does leave me wondering why no state (at least none I know of) has taken that avenue.
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Re: Was my judge in the wrong??

Postby ayebatter » Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:51 am

luckygehrig wrote:

Although most people probably wouldn't abuse the system, there would certainly be those that would which would entirely defeat the purpose of a jury trial.



Not to mention the fact, that after hearing multiple trials, full time jurors just may become jaded enough to stop awarding multi-million dollar awards for spilling hot coffee on oneself. ;-)
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Re: Was my judge in the wrong??

Postby luckygehrig » Mon Oct 05, 2009 2:18 pm

Madison wrote:There are quite a few trials each day, so someone intentionally trying to get on a jury for a specific trial would prove quite difficult since it would be a complete crapshoot. Still a good point though, so maybe professional jurors are the way to go. Judges are much more qualified on "law" than a professional juror would be :-b , so the two are quite different. Having people who serve on juries all day every day wouldn't damage or hurt anything at all in the court system though, so it does leave me wondering why no state (at least none I know of) has taken that avenue.



I understand that, but you can certainly improve your chances of getting on a particular jury by showing up that day if you knew when jury selection was going to begin. I think I agree with your overall point though that the jury system definitely needs to be fixed. Everyone has an excuse (or nearly everyone anyway) to get out jury duty which leads to some pretty awful juries. Not really sure what the answer is, but maybe volunteer jurors could be an answer. Put a limit on it though so that they can only volunteer once a year or something so that they don't become professional jurors.
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