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Old 05-28-2015, 12:40 PM
 
3,528 posts, read 6,533,682 times
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I've heard stories of jury duty where one person on the jury disagrees with all the others but it's not for a logical reason. Not like in the play/film 12 Angry Men.

There's even a dish TV commercial where one guy is disagreeing with all the others but he's just being a pain.

Do people do this just to get attention? Or because they don't want to go back to their everyday lives?
Have you seen it happen?
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Old 05-28-2015, 01:21 PM
 
9,238 posts, read 22,905,067 times
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I'm sure there are people who do this just to be contrary, or to feel important, but when I did it, it was truly out of conviction. I eventually backed down, and regretted it later. I was young, and just very self-conscious about holding other people up.

It was a lawsuit in which two drivers were suing each other, plus a guardian ad litem was representing two injured children who were passengers their parent's car, and the children were also suing both parties. So we had to determine what percentage of culpability each driver had in the accident. So in car #1 mother was driving, father was in the passenger seat, and the kids were in the back. In car #2, it was just a man driving. All 5 people had medical treatment and expenses, so the suit was mostly to determine how much each person's insurance would have to pay.

I concluded that the accident was 90% the mother's fault, and only 10% the other man's fault. But the other jurors felt bad for the mom, couldn't wrap their heads around why the kids would sue their mom(they didn't--it was the insurance companies). So they thought the accident was like 60% the mom's fault and 40% the other man's fault. I forget now, but we had all these factors to consider, and since it ended up being 10 factors that contributed the accident, figuring out a percentage would be nice & easy (50/50, 60/40, 70/30, 80/20, 90/10, 100/0) and all we had to vote on was which party was at fault for each factor.

The deliberation went on & on, and I was adamant that the mother was mostly at fault, and the man was only responsible for one factor. The others kept pushing for 60/40. I finally wimped out and gave in, and we decided on 80% mom's fault and 20% man's fault. But I felt really upset after. I was younger, in my 20s, and not as assertive as I am today. After the trial, the judge came in to talk to us, saying he always likes to do this with juries, especially ones that deliberate more than a day for a lawsuit. He actually said that with all his experience, he believed it was 90% the mother's fault and 10% the old man's fault (exactly what I had said!) I at least got to give the other people a smug look, but I still felt like a total wimp. That 10% difference meant tens of thousands of dollars. I held out as long as I could, but gave in because I felt ganged-up on, and they all wanted to go home. At least I got them down from 60/40.

Years later, I was an alternate juror in a child molestation case. I was convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the guy did it, based on all the facts, but more than half the jurors thought he was not guilty (based on what I thought was their misunderstanding of one part of the applicable law) and they were able to get the others to agree to not guilty in a few hours (a Friday night and they all wanted to leave). I'm glad I was only an alternate juror, because I didn't get to vote. I would have created a hung jury, but with my current level of assertiveness, I'd have stuck to my guns. It would not have been about getting attention, feeling important, or just being difficult, but about being certain this guy molested a 6 year old child (who testified before us in court by the way!) After the not guilty verdict, the judge actually said to the guy that he'd just "won the lottery" with this jury, and then it was revealed that there was all this other evidence that we had not been allowed to know about, that made it crystal clear this guy molested this little child, but it had been thrown out for various legal reasons. I still keep an eye out for that guy's name in the news for the next time he decides to molest a child...
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Old 05-29-2015, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Whittier
3,004 posts, read 6,276,441 times
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I think the jury system is broken.

So by logic I'm an impartial juror.

The system has more to do about emotion and peer pressure, than facts and logic.

If the law is sound or the defense has set up reasonable doubt that's all you have to look at.

You can "feel" all you want, but you have to vote based on what's presented and not what's not.

That being said, I'm unfortunately very agreeable. Regardless of facts I can usually justify either side, and would probably agree to whatever the majority wants. That may sound heartless, or sheepish...but it's the truth. That's why I try not to put myself in those types of positions.

As far as my jury story...I was never on one. I made it to the juror interview stage after filling out a 10 page questionnaire for a murder trial involving a couple of low level gang members, who, were underage at the time of the murder. The death penalty was on the table.

They asked me if I believed in the death penalty. I said no. To be honest...although I lean against the death penalty, I said it more to get off the jury than to remain on it. In any case, saying no in front of all the those people was kinda tough. I was dismissed and I'm glad I wasn't on that case.
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Old 05-29-2015, 10:34 AM
 
4,761 posts, read 14,292,211 times
Reputation: 7960
It is the nature of groups of people to not agree - on ANYTHING!

Same with "committees", home owner groups, city councils, and of course all other elected government representatives. Following is a bit on this...

Design by committee - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 05-30-2015, 09:09 AM
 
2,362 posts, read 1,925,236 times
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try serving on a jury in Detroit
lawyers don't like smart educated people...especially if they have strong convictions
they want the jury filled with dump people
Detroit corners the market on dumb people
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Old 06-02-2015, 07:41 AM
 
Location: London
12,275 posts, read 7,144,139 times
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It's disturbing when you think about how many rulings are determined by peer pressure. Why not have 13 jurors and go by majority?

If I was in court, I'd want jurors to actually make a thought-out decision. Not "Well I just voted guilty because Billy Bo Bob and company did, and they're itching to get out of here so they can get a footlong at Subway."
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Old 06-02-2015, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Elsewhere
88,592 posts, read 84,838,467 times
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I was on a jury for a murder trial. I was named as an alternate before the deliberations.

The defendant didn't actually kill anyone but was being tried for murder because he got someone else to kill for him. The judge read four conditions that had to be proven in order for him to be charged with murder by having someone else do it as his agent. I would have liked to discuss one of those points of that law with the other jurors. I'm not sure he met it.

They found him guilty. I do not feel bad. He was 20 when they convicted him, and that was 21 years ago. He got life with a minimum of 30 before parole. His victim was 19.
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Old 08-03-2015, 09:30 PM
 
179 posts, read 268,646 times
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On the last jury I was on only three of us wanted to look at the testimony. There was NO evidence. All the rest of the people wanted to just find the guy guilty and that was that.

I pray he was guilty or we put an innocent man in prison.

And they say jury of your peers. These people involved in this case were definitely not my peers. So many illegitimate children and one boyfriend had fathered one and another fathered another.

One woman said she was raped by one man living in the house. There were six of them living in a 1,000 sq ft house. Six years after the event she called 911 and reported it. She came to court that day sucking her thumb and carrying a doll.

We had absolutely nothing to consider but three of us felt we should at least go over all the testimony again which we prevailed on but they still felt he was guilty because he was arrested for it.

Very frustrating and a horrible experience but now here two years later I got my next jury summons.
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Old 08-04-2015, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
5,404 posts, read 15,999,223 times
Reputation: 8095
Ditto...I've been called for jury duty 3 times....only once did I have to actually sit through a trial...it was god-awful. I NEVER want to do that again. BTW, we were all in agreement, but I don't think any of our decision was based in fact....the "evidence" was jumbled, and "iffy"...the "witnesses" were not great...one was his buddy who had already been convicted.

We asked the judge for clarification on some issues, and were told "No".
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Old 08-06-2015, 08:52 AM
 
2,695 posts, read 3,773,513 times
Reputation: 3085
Quote:
Originally Posted by harhar View Post
I think the jury system is broken.

So by logic I'm an impartial juror.

The system has more to do about emotion and peer pressure, than facts and logic.

If the law is sound or the defense has set up reasonable doubt that's all you have to look at.

You can "feel" all you want, but you have to vote based on what's presented and not what's not.

That being said, I'm unfortunately very agreeable. Regardless of facts I can usually justify either side, and would probably agree to whatever the majority wants. That may sound heartless, or sheepish...but it's the truth. That's why I try not to put myself in those types of positions.

As far as my jury story...I was never on one. I made it to the juror interview stage after filling out a 10 page questionnaire for a murder trial involving a couple of low level gang members, who, were underage at the time of the murder. The death penalty was on the table.

They asked me if I believed in the death penalty. I said no. To be honest...although I lean against the death penalty, I said it more to get off the jury than to remain on it. In any case, saying no in front of all the those people was kinda tough. I was dismissed and I'm glad I wasn't on that case.
Overall, I agree with this. I get summoned for jury duty almost every year and I know others who never get called. I think that right there is part of the problem with my perception of the legal system. I try to answer the questions, so I can get out of the selection where as when I was younger, I "wanted" to be selected. In jury selection, the attorneys seem to want the people who are the least informed. There are many problems with the entire jury system. With that being said, I do hope I'm never on the other side, being judged by my peers.
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