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Old 09-04-2010, 02:25 PM
 
Location: So Ca
5,017 posts, read 4,718,685 times
Reputation: 3708
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovehound View Post
The system does not benefit by having jurors who don't want to serve. A simple statement to the judge that you don't want to be there and won't be a good juror should be enough.
But things have changed with jury duty in the last ten or so years. When I served last year, the judge made it clear that probably none of us wanted to be there but that we all had a civic duty. He was taking no hardship excuses and said that even he himself had to serve on a jury periodically. And that was the end of that. There were jurors there who had infants at home, were students, were driving two hours one way to get there, owned their own businesses and had no one running the business while on jury duty, etc. My mom was happened to be in the hospital at the time and I really wanted to be with her but that was not considered a hardship excuse.

Gone are the days when we could check a box on our summons that said we had a good reason for not serving, mail it in, and not receive another summons for the next 2 to 4 years.
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Old 09-04-2010, 02:56 PM
Status: "Keep some sunshine on your face!" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Mountain Ranch, CA The heart of Calaveras County
6,002 posts, read 10,820,413 times
Reputation: 4664
When I lived in Alpine county, the juror pool was only 400 names. Back in the '70's they would make us drive from Bear Valley on the west side of the Sierras to Markleeville on the east side. The pass was closed by snow and you had to drive around on highway 88. It took about 4 hours (at least) to get there. They finally decided to call folks from the west side only in the summer. We would get called a lot, but like most court cases, once the accused sees the 12 jurors, they start liking the idea of a plea bargain.

Most of the cases were Fish and Game violations and I'm willing to bet that every single juror was convinced that the accused was guilty as the F&G warden usually didn't waste his time on tickets unless he had you dead to rights.
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Old 09-04-2010, 10:08 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
2,820 posts, read 3,201,210 times
Reputation: 2609
Jury duty is probably the single biggest downside to living in LA. In terms of convenience. LA county is so spread out, only a moron in charge would create it so, you may get called anywhere, even a place you don't live, or aren't familiar with.

My brother had to serve in downtown LA earlier this year. What fun! Why can't only downtown residents serve in downtown? And likewise other residents? It'd cut down on traffic. Probably cut down on no shows. Make things more convient. (But jury duty and convenience don't go hand in hand).

The system is an abomination, and they deserve no shows. Plus the "pay" is insulting to anyone with an IQ over 80. If new york is $40 a day, then california deserves at least $25. New Yorkers have all that public transportation.

I get this very big brotherish vibe from it. Besides the actual jury duty, it's like a way to control you. Control the mail you open (and send back). Control the way you have to report and respond to it. It's almost like you're guilty before you're proven innocent. You have to "prove" you can get out of it, or have a legitimate excuse. Why does the government get involved in what may be a private reason, or excuse from service?

There's a lot of ways that they can improve it, make it less invasive, less insulting. It's a lot like going to the airport. And everyone having to take off their shoes.
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Old 09-06-2010, 11:09 PM
 
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
10,007 posts, read 12,863,839 times
Reputation: 11464
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovehound View Post
I don't see why not. Judges are not elected and/or appointed because they are idiots. I'm sure every judge has seen a reluctant juror. What could make less sense than forcing that person to serve on a jury? Particularly when that reluctant juror decides to even the score.

I think the only thing required is for a person to stand up in court and say, "Your honor, I really don't want to be here and if you force me to be here I will mess up your trial." What kind of idiot judge would want that? (It would take a lot of 'balls' to say that in open court.)

Let's face it. Some people are not suited to be jurors, and some of them even know that.



It didn't sound funny at all to me. I don't even understand why you think what you said is funny.
We have a Judge in Ventura County that could care less why you want to skip out of Jury Duty. He doesn't give much slack to anyone. I wouldn't call him an idiot, just a Judge that is sick of people getting out of their Civic duty. I for one would love to sit on a jury. Still I find and others I have talked to find that what I said was funny. How many people do you think would have an NRA cap on when they were sitting in Jury duty? I remember my dad serving some 15 years ago. It was a case involving a gun. They were asking the jurors what their experience was with guns. Most stated that they had a 22 at one time, or that they had never held a gun, or what have you. When they asked my dad what his experience with guns is, "he told the lawyer Varied and extensive". When the lawyer asked him to explain he told him that he had shot or owned at one time or another just about anything on the market either for use in the military or on the civilian market. They released him on the spot. I love that story. Get a kick out of it. May not be funny but using a version of that story will probably get you off the jury and back at home.
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Old 09-06-2010, 11:47 PM
 
Location: Ohio
9,741 posts, read 4,420,969 times
Reputation: 10704
Just tell them that having a trial is a waste of time................. you can tell whether or not someone is guilty just by looking at them!
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Old 09-07-2010, 01:03 AM
 
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
10,007 posts, read 12,863,839 times
Reputation: 11464
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annie53 View Post
Just tell them that having a trial is a waste of time................. you can tell whether or not someone is guilty just by looking at them!
Now that is funny. Do you agree Lovehound
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Old 09-07-2010, 09:01 AM
 
5,375 posts, read 6,646,338 times
Reputation: 2747
Quote:
Originally Posted by CA4Now View Post
But things have changed with jury duty in the last ten or so years. When I served last year, the judge made it clear that probably none of us wanted to be there but that we all had a civic duty. He was taking no hardship excuses and said that even he himself had to serve on a jury periodically. And that was the end of that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SOON2BNSURPRISE View Post
We have a Judge in Ventura County that could care less why you want to skip out of Jury Duty. He doesn't give much slack to anyone. I wouldn't call him an idiot, just a Judge that is sick of people getting out of their Civic duty. I for one would love to sit on a jury. Still I find and others I have talked to find that what I said was funny. How many people do you think would have an NRA cap on when they were sitting in Jury duty?
(replying to both of the above)

I absolutely admit I'm shirking my civic duty, but with what I believe is a good reason. My reason ends up almost like the guy wearing the NRA hat except I can't take my hat off. I'm an engineer. I'm trained in science, trained in thinking logically. I get called for jury duty, get called into court for vor dire and the judge and attorneys interview me, and always send me back to the jury pool waiting room. They have only my looks and my stated occupation to base their rejection upon. I don't see how their rejection could be based upon anything other than my science and logic training. They do not want people who think for themselves! They want sheep!

So I got sick and tired of cooling my heels in the jury waiting room with periodic visits to a courtroom only to be sent back. It turned into a silly game in my case, a travesty. If I'm not going to be called for a jury then why should I play their silly game and sit in a waiting room when I could be doing something productive like earning a living?

I would go play the game if every now and then I got to sit in on a real trial and participate in determining a verdict. It became clear to me that would never happen.

Quote:
having a trial is a waste of time................. you can tell whether or not someone is guilty just by looking at them!
Quote:
Originally Posted by SOON2BNSURPRISE View Post
Now that is funny. Do you agree Lovehound
It shouldn't need to be that silly, and that's obvious that the person saying that is being provocative. Same thing as the NRA hat.

Let's say somebody wants to get off jury duty and the judge refuses to accept any excuses and forces the person to serve. Let's say that person shows up in court for all the sessions and then when the jury goes into deliberation he just says, "Oh gee I don't know, maybe he's guilty, maybe he's innocent, how should I know? I don't want to guess, and I don't want to be responsible for sending an innocent person to prison, don't want to be responsible for letting a dangerous criminal back into society. I don't know whether he's guilty or not and I refuse to vote either way."

What do you think if that ever happened? One juror turns the entire trial into a monumental waste of time, a hung jury has been forced because the reluctant juror decides to make a point. I don't see how the judge can order a juror to pick one of either guilty or innocent. The trial would end up in a hung jury and the prosecutor would have to decide whether to retry the case.

Supposing the reluctant juror could communicate that to the judge before the trial started, don't you think it would make sense to just send that person home?


My own opinion about juries is that they're there to legitimize the government's prosecution of criminals. With the jury the government can say "you were tried and found guilty by a jury of your fellow citizens." Without the jury the whole thing turns into a government decree, not much different from when the king heard the charges and then off with the heads of the criminals.


Ah well it should make little difference in my case. I expect to be leaving California in 3-4 months and even if I get a summons to jury duty (and it doesn't get lost in the mail) I can probably just postpone it long enough to get out of state, and then buh bye jury duty!

I wish things were different. I wish they had let me actually sit in on a jury. I wish they hadn't wasted my time, and I hope that at least some of you readers understand this is my reaction to having been messed with one too many times.
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Old 09-07-2010, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
2,303 posts, read 2,389,820 times
Reputation: 2872
Reading all these post obviously backs up what I said in my earlier post.
So many that have posted in this thread state excuses to get out of jury duty.
With my suggestion, you wouldn't need any excuse to get out of it because you wouldn't be considered for jury duty unless you applied for the job to be a professional juror.
I also think that this jury business could be handled by a private company instead of the state.
Bob.
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Old 09-07-2010, 06:51 PM
 
5,375 posts, read 6,646,338 times
Reputation: 2747
Quote:
Originally Posted by CALGUY View Post
Reading all these post obviously backs up what I said in my earlier post.
So many that have posted in this thread state excuses to get out of jury duty.
With my suggestion, you wouldn't need any excuse to get out of it because you wouldn't be considered for jury duty unless you applied for the job to be a professional juror.
I also think that this jury business could be handled by a private company instead of the state.
Bob.
The problem with that is that it wouldn't be the citizenry convicting the criminals anymore. It would be the state with a pseudo-private arm rubber stamping the police convictions of criminals.

We are on a very slippery slope.
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:03 PM
 
Location: Ohio
9,741 posts, read 4,420,969 times
Reputation: 10704
Just from the posts in this thread, it is obvious that some people would like to serve on a jury and others would not.

I do not think FORCING people to serve on a jury against their will is a good idea.

For instance........you are forced to serve against your will..........you are miserable or you are losing a load of money because you are missing work. The jury takes a vote..........you change your vote to match the majority.........just so you can get the hell out of there.

It may not be the right thing to do...........but I will bet it happens all the time.
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