please excuse me, yer honor : LUSENET : Unk's Troll-free Private Saloon : One Thread

I've been selected to participate in the legal system. I was waiting for the school bus in the dark when I pulled it out of the box. Reading it by occasional headlights was difficult and at first I thought I had a warrant out for my arrest. That was a fun few minutes.

We don't watch lawyer shows. Our family strategy to avoid problems with the law is to never, never, never break it. So far this has worked well. The paper says I must answer within ten days.

Of course, I will comply with the request for information leading to the seating of myself on a jury...but this isn't a local's a district court jury thingy.

The three official excuses didn't fit me. I went to my boss to ask for a note explaining how indispensible I am. Apparently I overrate my production...

So...I don't wanna serve on a jury considering anything important...I need really good excuses.

Let 'er rip, ladies and gentlemen, and hurry!

-- helen (, November 07, 2001


Just go to the interview, Helen. When they ask hard questions, tell them that you suspect they hadn't intended to phrase the question in that manner because it was two-faceted, had nothing to do with the case, etc. They won't pick you if it seems like your mind is too logical. I'm older than you are, and I've NEVER been selected for a jury. [Come to think of it, though, I've only been called ONCE in my life and sat there reading a book before they dismissed us all.] However, a friend of mine from work once told me what HE did, and it sounded like a good method.

-- Anita (, November 07, 2001.

The last time I was summoned for jury duty..I had a choice of three dates to pick from.

The date I chose from the three was Feb.29,2000 {Evil Grin}

Needless to say...court was cancelled for that day..heh!

-- Peg (been summoned three times @nd. never had to serve), November 07, 2001.

Just call yourself "Hang'em High Helen" and I think they will excuse you : )

-- capnfun (, November 07, 2001.

Just go. Odds are you won't even be selected to be questioned to be selected. If you are selected to be questioned just be over zealous in your answer.

For example, if it is a drug case and the prosecutor asks about your views on drug laws, tell them that you feel that possession of anything under ten pounds of marijuana ought to be decriminalized as it is obviously for personal use. Or if a defense attorney asks you if you believe in the concept of innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt state that the police wouldn't arrest a person unless they were guilty. Alter your answers to play into the type of case you'll be hearing. Answers like these tend to minimize your selection.

BTW, I was on jury duty in July and August of this year and was only called once and didn't even get selected to be interviewed. But I thought of some great answers to the questions that they were asking those being interviewed.

-- Jack Booted Thug (, November 07, 2001.

Helen, the following methods have worked for me WITHOUT FAIL SEVEN CONSECUTIVE TIMES.

1) When asked a question by either side during the jury selection process, say "Pardon me" as if you were not paying attention, or are hard of hearing. Use this one wisely, it must seen genuine, don't do it every single time, but do it enough. This is a real good one if done in a convincing way, lawyers on either side do not want a juror who does not pay attention or is hard of hearing.

2) When you answer a question, go on and on and on and on about it. The goal is to appear as a long winded yet somewhat dull person.

3) If the case has ANYTHING to do with drugs or any type of "consensual crime" use the phrase "Jury nulification". You will not be picked ever after having used that phrase. And I mean ever. All you have to say in a drug or prostitution or gambling etc case is, "I will listen to the facts of the case, but I must also tell you that I believe in jury nulification." You will not be picked.

Take a book with you, I always do. You may spend a full day there, mebbe two. But you will recieve the princely sum of $15 per day for your trouble.

-- Uncle Deedah (, November 07, 2001.

Do you know any law enforcement personnel??? I have a good friend that is a detective with the Albuquerque Police Department. And I don't know about where you live, but here, one of the standard questions is,

"Is anyone in your family or an aquaintance a member of law enforcement?"

I answer yes, I am out of there within 30 minutes. It has worked four times now...

sniffin' at handcuffs...

The Dog

-- The Dog (, November 07, 2001.

Fer shame, fer shame, trying to dodge your civic duty! As a .gov worker we were called for JD at least every other year. The last jury duty I was called to had 200 people in the pool to serve on a murder case. Unfortunately this case had been widely publicized in the local media, when it happened, about 2 years before. First there was a 30 page questionnaire you had to answer. The attorneys went over them for a week and you had to report back, at which point people were excused, thinning out the herd so to speak. I noticed one woman who had a homemade fabric book cover, with handles, during the questionnaire period making lots of faces and writing furiously on her papers. When we had to go back the following week, she sat next to me. I noticed her book, which she had open and was reading, held the Bible. When they started calling those who were excused, she was the first. I assume she peppered her replies with religious quotes, much like Al-D might. Bada-bing! Gone! Unfortunately, I wound up on the jury, one of the most, if not THE most, depressing month I have ever experienced in my life, as it involved the death of a 7 year old Down's Syndrome child. You have to ask yourself, if it were you on trial, wouldn't you want sensible thinking people making judgments, and then be guided by your heart. I couldn't be dishonest in my answers. It is just something that doesn't work for me. Someday I will post the experience, should I decide to re-live it. Good luck Helen. Let your conscience be your guide.

-- Aunt Bee (, November 07, 2001.

Aunt Bee, your experience is PRECISELY why I don't want to serve. That, and the fact that around here it won't matter which way I vote, someone will kill me for it.

Thank you for all the wonderful responses. I shall implement every last one of them.

-- helen (, November 07, 2001.

Ok, I'm a newbie here and on my best behavior, but we all know good intentions fade quickly... (is there an evil smiley emoticon?)

If decent people - yes I consider each of you "decent people" - opt out of serving as jurors through non-cooperation, then folks who are on trial are left with the dregs of society to decide their fates. Or are you folks the exceptions?

I've NEVER been called for jury duty. I'm not an attorney. I've never faced a jury trial (fortunately). But if I had to go before a jury of my peers, I'd sure as hell want helen and her ilque (correct spelling JBT?) to decide my fate.

I refrain from playing the "patriot" card here. I'm the last guy to hoot and holler about anyone being unpatriotic. I'm contrarian through and through and would sooner see myself impaled on a swizzle stick than hang such a label on anyone.

In all honesty, I would like some elaboration as to why each of you chooses civil disobedience of this sort rather than participate in the justice system.

I hope this doesn't come off like I'm wagging my finger in your faces. Not my intention.

-- Rich (, November 07, 2001.


Have you registered to vote lately? If you are a registered voter you will be called... if not...


The Dog

-- The Dog (, November 07, 2001.

Oh and by the way, my method is not skirting my responsibility... I am just not LEGALLY elegible based on criteria... (snicker)


The Dog

-- The Dog (, November 07, 2001.

Funny, while I was in the shower I had the very same thoughts that Aunt Bee and Rich have expressed I shall elaborate.

I do not know why it is that I seem to be called for jury duty on a nearly yearly basis, and I certainly do not know why that call always seems to come at the busiest time of year for me. So, I usually try to duck out, as I am usually swamped with work during the fall/early winter, the time of year I seem to be called most often to jury duty.


I have a few times been called in August, my slow month, and have actually tried to do my civic duty, to serve, as one of the few, the proud, the jurors. And in fact some of those lessons I learned about getting out of jury duty were in fact learned by observing others, when I myself had little interest in escaping my civic duty.

Anyway, again...

One time I was called for a case that involved a man who had rented a car and had killed a family of four while he was speeding drunkenly down the off ramp from I-95 in the wrong lane. It seemed absurd to me that the fellow who actually rented the vehicle to the drunk should be held accountable for the actions of an obvious asshole, yet he was being sued. OTOH, I could certainly understand the remaining family members wishing to find someone at fault who could pay for the damages done by the drunk, who was a penniless jackass.

So when questioned by the plaintiff's attorney about my feelings in relation to the defendant (the guy who rented the car) being sued by the family, I responded "Well, didn't the guy who rented the car have insurance, shouldn't they be sueing the insurance company instead of the guy who rented the car?"

From the look on the face of the defendant's attorney you would have thought that I had just shit in his fruit-loops. Oh it was fleeting, but the look was there for a brief moment, I just happend to see it.

I was asked very few questions the rest of that day, and I was not picked for jury duty that time. It was not until later, when I was BSing with an attorney acquaintence of mine that I discovered what had happened.

He explained it to me like this....

The defandant's lawyer does NOT want you to think about insurance companies. This is because he WORKS for the insurance company. Folks who think they are awarding insurance company money tend to award LARGE awards, and insurance companies do not like large awards, thus, since I was the first one dumb (smart) enough to realise that the insurance was the one who would pay the piper, I was not picked for that jury.


-- Uncle Deedah (, November 07, 2001.

Rich, let me explain it again:

Defendant guilty -- defendant's family torches helen's house with her in it, and all her kids, and maybe even the mule barn with the mule in it.

Defendant guilty -- victim's family torches helen's house with her in it, and all her kids, and maybe even the mule barn with the mule in it.

Rich, since when have I ever offended you to the point where you would slap me with responsibility for your fate???

Ok, I'll confess. There's a big case coming down the pike that I don't want anything to do with.

-- helen (got@a.firehose?), November 07, 2001.

See how overwrought I am??

The victim's family will get me if I let the perp go.

-- helen (not@even.mentioning.the.cops.point.of.view), November 07, 2001.


So tell the judge that, if ya wanna be honest. "I would be afraid NOT to convict him yer honor."

-- Uncle Deedah (, November 07, 2001.


I was purely answering Helens question, albeit fer a chuckle at the same time.

I've been a registered voter sinse I turned 18 and I have never been called to jury duty.I'd do it in a heart beat but I do think the wage is a lil chincey.

-- capnfun (, November 07, 2001.

Helen- I just state on the initial summons that I have very little faith in the judicial systems and therefore don't feel that I could be an objective juror. Has gotten me excused both times.

-- Dory (, November 07, 2001.

Appreciate the responses.

AB, we posted at the same time. A double-whammy we gave 'em! :)

Dog, I am a registered voter. Capn says he too is one (a registered voter, that is) and has never been called for jury duty either.

Thanks for the story, Unk. I have little doubt that I would not be picked to actually serve on a jury. Because I have this contrarian streak (otherwise known as wiseass disease), I often have to mentally delete my initial answer to a question. I'd basically have to lie and act as I'd perceive I'd need to in order to get picked and that's a bit too much dishonesty for me.

Time was I would have done as Dory. Age has mellowed me and I realize that warts and all it is as good a justice system as there is as far as I know. I'm no expert on justice systems around the world. But it's the best we got and, just like with President Bush, I didn't vote for it or him but I support them both nonetheless.

Helen, good answer. This is why juries should be composed of MANLY MEN ONLY. We don't scare so easily.

[Kidding. Please put down the cast-iron pan. Remember, you have an ice cream coming to you. ADAGE: Don't kill the debtor who owes you until AFTER you've collected.]

Safety of loved ones comes before country, IMO, in specific instances such as this one fer sure. If there's serious risk involved in a case and you have ankle biters scurrying to and fro that might miss your presence in their lives, by all means get yourself excused. Good luck!

-- Rich (, November 08, 2001.

and you have ankle biters scurrying to and fro that might miss your presence

I thought of this, too, Rich. How old is your youngest, Helen? Now that I think back, I got a few queries when the kids were young, but they never called me because I had young children.

-- Anita (, November 08, 2001.

Several years ago, I was on the jury of a sexual assault case. We found the two defendants guilty of 11 counts each. Then we ran the hell out of the courtroom.

-- (what@i.think), November 08, 2001.


I have served on a lot of juries, particularly during the 70's and 80's. That was before they changed the law. Back then the jury pool had to have equal representation from each voting district. In a county of 180,000, my district was the largest in area but only had 500 voters. One time, I was selected for three juries in three weeks. The judge intervened on the last one [the law said you couldn't do that]. That was great because the one I was removed from was a murder trial and the jury spent 2 weeks in a hotel. They have since changed to random selection from the voting rolls. I was called for a federal grand jury once, but it never met.

One of the better excuses that I remember: The defense attorney asked if everyone understood the concept of "innocent until proven guilty". One woman raised her hand. She said why would the police have arrested him if he wasn't guilty. Wasn't chosen.

By the way, did you know that you could contract glanders from kissing a mule on the lips. :)))

Best Wishes,,,,,


-- Z1X4Y7 (, November 08, 2001.

Z ... what the hell is "glanders"???

Oh, I really screwed up the jury thing today by dropping the return envelope in a mud puddle and I know they're not going to believe it was an accident.

-- helen (ack@not.the.mule), November 08, 2001.

At least you didn't drop it in the savin.

-- capnfun (, November 08, 2001.


I ran across this because I have to start registering and securing organisms and toxins which could be used as bioterrorist weapons [the law hasn't passed but it will soon]. For a large research university. Glanders:

Intro to Glanders

I understand that mule kissing is a big problem in west Texas. :)))

Best Wishes,,,,


-- Z1X4Y7 (, November 08, 2001.'s not in Norway, right?

-- helen looks for new, sanitized, totally safe home elsewhere (, November 09, 2001.

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