questionswhat is the best jury duty excuse you've used or…

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"There's no point in sitting through 35 days of this crap if she still gets to walk out free after murdering her daughter! AND I'll miss the Woot-Off!"

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My friend wore a shirt that said, "Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out."

He didn't get on the jury.

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if the police charged him, it's pretty obvious he's guilty

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@mellielou: Back in the early 80's my sister was on a jury hearing a sexual assault case in which a young former Marine was charged with raping a young woman he'd met on the beach. She invited him to her family's beach-front home for a soft drink, and the end result was brutal and ugly. The initial round of juror votes was to acquit him, since (as two elderly jurors insisted) she invited him inside. My sister objected strenuously, noting that the defendant and the victim both knew the girl's family was expected home momentarily, that the girl's friends has testified she didn't even date yet, and that the man had beaten her quite viciously. Another juror then mentioned that his own son was a Marine, and they were heavily trained in assault tactics. Eventually the jury found the guy guilty.

(cont'd)

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(cont'd) The judge, however, thought he should get a second chance and sentenced him to a halfway-house facility. He walked away from there a month later, headed up north, and was later convicted of raping two other women and, if I recall correctly, killing one of them. The judge ended up being the first female justice on the Florida State Supreme Court.

Ever since that case, I have done my best to help competent, intelligent people understand how very important it is that they serve when called for jury duty.

My question to you was worded poorly, and I apologize for any insult I might have given. I'm just always curious why so many people try so hard to avoid jury duty, which to me is the foundation of our judicial system.

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I said "No, sir. I have absolutely no problem with shooting an armed intruder who breaks into my home. Center of mass. Double tap."
And I look like such a nice girl too. I wasn't trying to get excused, but was trying to let the prosecution know I was on their side. In small town Florida, most people don't like it when someone breaks into their homes and will open fire without a problem.

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@lavikinga: I'm with you on this one. My default mode is to assume anyone in my home without an invitation plans to do me harm, and I fully expect to beat him to the draw. It might be genetic: a treasured family story is my mother, due to deliver my sister within the week, drawing down on a salesman with his foot in the doorway. He blustered that she wouldn't dare shoot. "Wanna bet?" sez she.

I'm a bleeding heart, do-gooder, card-carrying liberal with a fairly wide streak of pragmatism thrown into the mix. I still have her little Beretta, along with a couple of more useful weapons.

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I sat on four civil trials many years ago and found them very interesting; the most recent time I was called for duty the court filled the necessary quota before getting to me.

Why do you want to skip out on your civic duty? In Florida, for most trials it's very difficult to get a pass from the judge.

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@magic cave: Are you referring to Barkett? She was a nun in a former life. Kind of wonder if that altered her impractical outlook on thieves and murderers. I don't believe in legislating from the bench.

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I sat through a painfully long session to seat a jury and the best way to squirm out of your civic duty is to claim you don't like police. Keep in mind if the judge feels you are using a lame excuse just to avoid jury duty they can charge you with contempt of court.

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I am not comfortable judging another human.

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btw, this is a reason why this system does not work. everyone 'smart', busy, doctors etc find a way not to serve.

same with city counsils and other types for goverment meetings etc, normal people have jobs and families, most crazies make it to your city meetings voting and proposing craziest ordinances.

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Not that it was on purpose or that this was even the cause, but I got deselected while waiting to go jury selection; I was reading a Tom Clancy novel.

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I have been called once. It so happened that the time they wanted me, I had other plans already. In the county where I live, if you are called you get one free pass where you can delay your duty up to some number of months, so I asked to serve two months later which was granted.

Two months later I showed up and went through the jury selection process. They passed on me, having filled the pool before they reached a point where they needed to decide to accept or reject me. That was day one. Day two I just needed to call and see if they needed me, and I was told the answer was no, they thanked me and said I was done for this round. I did not need to call or appear again for that round of jury duty.

I think the case was something about a guy with existing warrants, pulled over for a routine stop, and had contraband on him (perhaps as parole violation). Not very exciting, and I never heard how it went. It only took two days for me to be excused.

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@lavikinga: I was indeed referring to Rosemary Barkett. The case to which I referred was very early in her time on the circuit court bench, and I'd like to think that her sentencing decision was part of her learning curve. (Damned tough way to learn, though, especially for the bstrd's subsequent victims.) I've been in concurrence with many or most of her decisions since then, but to this day my sister spits on the ground at the mention of Barkett's name.

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Have been called to serve many times but only impaneled once... Civil case claimants lawyer decided my training and occupation would work against his case and used one of his get rid of a juror free cards...

Interesting to watch the selection process games...

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"The defendant is my brother, so I'm pretty sure he is guilty."

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I answered, honestly (and in private, with just the judge, and both lawyers, able to hear me), that I felt the police were arresting too many people, and not shooting enough of them.

It was a case of assault and attempted armed robbery, where the two witnesses for the prosecution were the intended victim, and the arresting officer, who arrived in time to prevent the robbery, no witnesses for the defense, other than the perpetrator, and I am happy to state that the trial was half a day, he was found guilty (duh), and sent away for life (hooray for the 3 strikes law).

One lawyer looked at the judge and said I believe we can excuse this juror. The other lawyer agreed, and that was that.

I'd recommend strongly not voicing opinions like this other than in private, since you can (and should) be held in contempt of court.

[Footnote: I have been happy to serve on other juries. It was just that one I objected to.]

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@magic cave: I don't necessarily want to "skip out", it just happens to be that my experience so far has been pretty meh. One was to sit for 3 days hearing a trial, then the judge dismissed us because the prosecution admitted they were lying in order to get money from the defendant. Another time was to go through lengthy jury selection process while 8 months pregnant, and I indicated early on that it was not advised by my dr to sit so long to avoid blood clot problems that I was being monitored for, which I had a dr note, they didn't care.

I find it fascinating to hear the stories. I'll probably post some that I hear, if they are interesting enough.

Of course we all have busy lives, and I'll be spending more in child care and gas than what I'd earn in jury duty pay. So part of me doesn't want to serve, but the other part of me is truly intrigued by the process and cases.

If I reveal where I have to go, a majority of you might encourage me to skip out.

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I'm not a US citizen. Although that one won't work any more as of last summer.

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@prosperouscheat: really? I was under the impression that jury pools are drawn from voter registrations.

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My best excuse was I knew the prosecutor's witness and I would display favoritism since she grew up two doors down from me.

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I had a child born 10 weeks premature. That worked. Being in school also worked, so sign up for an online course at your local community college.

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I porked the judge in a stall of the bathroom in the Waffle House.