I have jury duty, so no blogging for most of today.
As 'Rumpole' would say….See You In Court. For a few seconds of voire dire anyway.
Previous post: Called for Jury Duty.
The chances of your ending up on a jury would seem slim indeed–taking papers to grade?
As a lawyer, I’ve never made it past the first round of voir dire until this year. I got picked to sit on the jury of a DC criminal trial, which surprised me given that in my previous job I defended police officers in section 1983 cases. It was very interesting seeing things from the other side. I’ve always felt that all law school students should be required to watch the frontline episode where they were allowed to film actual jury deliberations, and this was even better. I got elected foreperson and I have to say it was difficult to lead as a layperson and not as a lawyer, although I do think I managed it.
My wife and I have each been called a couple times. As part of her studies she read about jury manipulation, so she always gets let go immediately. Last time she was dismissed before the woman who, per her report, answered every question with a giggle. Never any words. Just a giggle. “Could you convict if you knew it would involve the death penalty?” Giggle.
I get let go fast, but not that fast. Last time around, I was second after the man who looked like he had terminal cancer. I think in my case it’s the glower: I glare real good. I think it scares the defense attorneys. Kinda too bad: I am a true believer in reasonable doubt. But I am a truer believer in not wasting my time on juries. What can I say, I am a poster child for free rider problems.
I sympathize with Cathy. I’ve been on two juries in DC in the past five years, and I’ve practiced law since 1977. Lawyers in DC are not automatically excluded from petit jury or grand jury service.
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