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Old Nov 19 2008, 12:37 AM   #1
Lady Maelin
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Default Jury Duty...again!!!

Well it's that time again...and seems it might be my luck to be on another Jury this week. I will be off again tomorrow at least, hanging around the courthouse, waiting, waiting, and more waiting....to see if I am selected
for a trial. This time its a rather more serious crime than last
years case...but MuM's the word as we aren't allowed to
discuss the cases

This one is being held in one of the loveliest old buildings I
have ever seen or been in, here in the states...I will have
to see if I can get or find a photo of it for you all here at
MoM to see.

Say has anyone else here on Mom, been on Jury Duty...did
you like it???

Do they have this kind of thing in other countries that MoM represents...where the everyday citizen sits in judgement of
their fellow countrymens crimes???

Something to think on...while I am away...and I can take you
with me...kinda.............
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Old Nov 19 2008, 02:30 AM   #2
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Default Re: Jury Duty...again!!!

Lin, sorry to hear you've been chosen again. So do you have to go into the court house to find out? Around here you call in the night before or the Friday before the weeks you've been picked. If you're not needed you don't have to go in at all.
I have been on a jury - a sexual harassment case. I didn't like it at all. We were given specific guidelines to follow and ended up convicting the man. He was older and I really didn't feel he was harassing the girl, but given the guidelines we had no other choice. We all felt the same way and didn't want to do it at all.
I hope your time on duty goes quickly and you don't have a questionable case like that. Good luck, Lin!
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Old Nov 19 2008, 03:54 AM   #3
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Default Re: Jury Duty...again!!!

We don't have jury law in my country, so no jury duty either. Here (number of judges depending on case and crime) the professional judges decide.
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Old Nov 19 2008, 04:20 AM   #4
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Default Re: Jury Duty...again!!!

Yes, we have a similar system, Maelin.
But I'm surprised you've been called two consecutive years.
I've been called in twice - I shudder to remind myself, how far apart!!!
First time I was rather young - under 25, and they Turfed Me Out!!!
(Thank goodness!)
Oh - you still have to go through a selection when they've got a couple of dozen of you actually in court.
Second time - I was of an age that I could withdraw without question if I preferred to, so I did
But it would be interesting - just not my thing

Good luck to you - I hope you're paid?
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Old Nov 19 2008, 09:04 AM   #5
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Default Re: Jury Duty...again!!!

We have a similiar thing in Australia. We get paid a stip-end for doing it. It's not much. I did get a letter for it and sent it back but that was 5-6 months ago. I'm assuming there's another 6 months or so before they take me off the list and possibly start again.
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Old Nov 19 2008, 09:22 AM   #6
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Default Re: Jury Duty...again!!!

Wow, again Maelin? Here, once you've served you're off the hook for three full years before they can call again.

I was the foreperson on a drug possession/selling trial several years ago. I've been called once since, but being stay-at-home mother with kids not in school yet, I got out of it (the $15 a day they give for it doesn't begin to pay for child care for a day).
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Old Nov 19 2008, 10:19 AM   #7
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Default Re: Jury Duty...again!!!

Good Luck Lady Maelin. I hope it goes well for you and the case doesn't take too much of your time, and you get a chance to enjoy the interesting buildings.
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Old Nov 19 2008, 10:56 AM   #8
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Default Re: Jury Duty...again!!!

I sat on a jury this last summer and it wasn't too painful. We reported by 8, they'd picked the jury by 9 (you should have seen my eyes roll when they called my name,) we were done with testimony by 11. They told us if we deliberated over lunch they'd feed us, so we did that and were done by 12:30. That was county court here in my 50,000 person county. We're off the hook until the next calendar year. I've gotten the impression from the locals that it's pretty rare to have to actually go in when you get called for jury duty here.

The time before that, when I still lived in SoCal, we had to sit around all day and wait to see if they needed us. It was one of the most painfully boring days of my life. That was county court too, but Ventura County has a population of 813,000, so with a higher population higher crime.

In Santa Barbara we had to call every day for a week. Even though sitting around all day was painful, at least I knew what day I had to suffer through. Not knowing so you can't plan your life is, I think, the hardest part of jury duty.
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Old Nov 19 2008, 03:26 PM   #9
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Default Re: Jury Duty...again!!!

I only ever got jury duty once. I got selected for the Grand Jury. It was, um, interesting. We sat a full week while people were marched in and out talking about many different cases in no particular order. We were all switching through our pages trying to be sure in our minds who was talking about which case But after I went to work for a Police Department I never got called any more. Wonder why!
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Old Nov 19 2008, 11:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: Jury Duty...again!!!

Becky...Its like that here too...and I called Sunday evening
and found I didn't have to go in on Monday...but on Monday
eveing I found out I had to report on Tuesday morning at
7:45 am...and for me its all but an hours drive to the county
courthouse...ugg.

I was then selected to go on to a courtroom, where I would
then, hopefully be selected to sit on the actual jury.

This trial was about a pleasant looking older, man that supposedly
beat up his wife very badly several times, as well as stalk her
even over a restraining order, evaded and resist police arrest,then
finally threatened to kill his wife with a gun.

I really wanted to sit on this trial and got as close as the last juror
picked for one of the jury allternates...but lost out in the end and
was finally sent home late this afternoon...sigh.

I love being part of our justice system...the whole court process is
amazingly interesting to me. Its one of the very few places where
all the cross sections of our American life come together...to serve
their country and protect our rights as citizens....I love to see it
all working and to be a part of it, is a real thrill!!!

This is a photo of the very beautiful county courthouse that I was in
for the last two days. I would have loved to take a few photos of it...
but I found out that I wasn't allowed to take my camera in the
courthouse...so this will have to do until I go past it again someday
on a drive...which isn't to likely these days, as I live about an hour away.



This courthouse was built in 1903...and is amazinly beautiful
building, inside as well as out...along with the gardens that
surround it.

Hans...I am really sorry to hear that you don't enjoy a jury
system in your country...even though I will admit your
countries system is probably a good one too. B U T...with
your personality I am sure you
would find our jury system very interesting..except the
waiting parts.

Sandi...IMO...the worst thing about the jury system is the
endless waiting, but that can also reaps some very interesting
benifits with all the interesting people that you can meet and
talk with...that you would otherwise never come into contact
with in your normal everyday life.

For me sitting in the jury room was an interesting experience in
itself...as I saw so many of our favorite Pern characters
there...Joel Lillienkamp was on of the jurors today, and the
court reporter was an aging Lessa....and the defendant was
a perfect Lord Tolocamp....oh if I only would have had a camera
or a pencil and paper this year...sigh!!!

Well theres always next year...
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Old Nov 19 2008, 11:35 PM   #11
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Default Re: Jury Duty...again!!!

That is a beautiful building and I can easily see its attraction for an artist. It's funny to me that you pick out "characters" that way. I tend to do the same thing myself sometimes. It's a way to pass time, after all. You know, in days gone by artists used to sit in courtrooms and sketch the goings on for newspapers and such. I can just see you sitting under a window, pencil flying over a notebook!
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Old Nov 20 2008, 01:19 AM   #12
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Default Re: Jury Duty...again!!!

I was called on 1 time for jury duty. I was suppose to be available for a week. I ended up only having to go in one day. We did not sit for long, the judge came and told us that the case had been settles. The judge went on to tell us about the history of the courthouse, it had been built in the 1800 I think. He then went on to tell what some of the problems with the court house and why the county was building a new one. It was interesting. That court house in now a county museum.

We did get paid for being there, but not for having to be on call all week. I worked by appointments so I ended up missing a full week of work.
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Old Nov 20 2008, 07:40 AM   #13
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Default Re: Jury Duty...again!!!

Linda: over here, although you can't take in a camera, pencil and paper are allowed (in fact 'court artist' is quite a rare though honoured branch of the artist business).
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Old Nov 20 2008, 12:37 PM   #14
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Default Re: Jury Duty...again!!!

No jury duty here either, although some cases are judged by a judge in conjunction with a panel of laymen, who are paid for their time. The laymen are appointed and serve for a period of about 4 years, although they don't sit in session all the time.
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Old Nov 20 2008, 01:16 PM   #15
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Default Re: Jury Duty...again!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by P'ter View Post
Linda: over here, although you can't take in a camera, pencil and paper are allowed (in fact 'court artist' in quite a rare though honoured branch of the artist business).
In Scotland, not even that (unless rules have changed recently). Court artists have to leave the courtroom to render their chalk images. Which puts quite a premium on memory . . .

As for jury service, you're required to serve at any time, 'though if the trial is long and arduous, the judge or Sheriff-Substitute may give jurors a dispensation excusing them from duty for a number of years. As a sidebar, I discovered that journalists are generally not called; they are considered (like lawyers) to be far too smart-ass to be reliable. *grins*

ETA - Scotland does, of course, have it's own legal system, based on Roman law, rather than the English and Welsh Norman law. Our criminal juries are larger and of an unequal number - 15. But a simple majority - as low as 8-7 - determines guilt and innocence. We also have a curious "third" verdict - Not Proven. This has the same effect as Not Guilty, but carries a slur - it means the jury think the accused 'might' be guilty, but that the prosecution has screwed up and failed to prove it.
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Old Nov 20 2008, 02:56 PM   #16
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Default Re: Jury Duty...again!!!

Historically there also used to be what was called 'The Grand Jury' which had 23 members who had to decide whether there was sufficient evidence for a trial to take place.
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Old Nov 20 2008, 03:00 PM   #17
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Default Re: Jury Duty...again!!!

We still have grand juries here. That's what I got stuck on.
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Old Nov 20 2008, 03:20 PM   #18
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Default Re: Jury Duty...again!!!

We got rid of them in 1933.
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Old Nov 20 2008, 04:16 PM   #19
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Default Re: Jury Duty...again!!!

Maelin - is that lovely building as lovely inside or have they "modernised" it?

We have a court house of a similar period, and the main Grand Court Room is a wonderful
traditional room, unfortunately taken out of use many years ago. It's grand enough to intimidate the worst of villains!
But now millions of dollars are being spent on bringing it back to its original splendour. It'll be fantastic! Who is familiar with the G&S operetta "Trial by Jury" It would be a wonderful setting.

An open day was held when the building was part way through exploration of what needed to be done. We got to look at the holding cells under the court room, the judges chambers behind scenes, and a peek through all the other officers and minor courts in the building. It was most interesting. I hope we get a chance to see the renovated building in due course
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Old Nov 20 2008, 07:53 PM   #20
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Default Re: Jury Duty...again!!!

... but not from INSIDE the dock?
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Old Nov 20 2008, 10:31 PM   #21
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Default Not Guilty - but don't do it again!

Although I sat on the Press benches in Scottish courts five days a week for five years, I realised after posting above that I knew very little about the history of our Not Proven verdict. I went looking and discovered much about how juries have been stroppy and assertive and, indeed, contributed significantly the the development of our legal system. Here are some nuggets:

In modern use, the Not Proven verdict is employed when the jury does not believe the case has been proven against the defendant but is not sufficiently convinced of their innocence to bring in a not guilty verdict. This perception is reflected in the popular paraphrase of "Not Proven" as meaning "not guilty - but don't do it again".

Although it now carries negative connotations, the Not Proven verdict has an honourable provenance since it traces its origins back to 1728 and one Carnegie of Finhaven who had accidentally killed the Earl of Strathmore.

Nowadays, Carnegie would be charged with manslaughter. But, since the charge then was 'unlawful killing', the law as it stood required the jury merely to look at the facts and pass a verdict of "Proven" or "Not Proven" depending on whether they believed the facts proved the defendant had killed the Earl.

As the defendant had undoubtedly killed the Earl, if the jury brought in a "Proven" verdict they would in effect cause an essentially innocent man to hang. To sidestep this injustice, the jury decided to assert what it believed to be their "ancient right" to judge the whole case in the round and not just on the facts as presented to the court.

In succeeding years, the concept of an outright Not Guilty verdict has crept into Scots Law, leaving Not Proven as an uncomfortable third option. It still has its uses though, right up to the present day.

The "Scottish verdict" - or, more colloquially, "the bastard verdict" - has not been permanently adopted outside its home country, but it was sometimes used in colonial Canada, especially by some judges in southwestern Ontario.

Its most famous use outside of Scottish law came when Senator Arlen Specter tried to vote "Not Proven" on an article of impeachment of Bill Clinton; and when, at the O.J. Simpson murder case, various reformers, including Fred Goldman, Ron Goldman's father, pushed for a change to "Not Proven" because of what they felt was an incorrect presumption of innocence on the part of Simpson.

There are even moves afoot to introduce it into U.S. Federal law. Don't hold your breath!
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Old Nov 21 2008, 01:57 AM   #22
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Default Re: Jury Duty...again!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandi View Post
That is a beautiful building and I can easily see its attraction for an artist. It's funny to me that you pick out "characters" that way. I tend to do the same thing myself sometimes. It's a way to pass time, after all. You know, in days gone by artists used to sit in courtrooms and sketch the goings on for newspapers and such. I can just see you sitting under a window, pencil flying over a notebook!

Last year when I was picked to sit as a juror...I was suddenly nudged in the arm by my neighbor juror, while he gave me an admonishing look...and a quick nod towards my hands...without realizing it I had been drawing a portrait of the Judge, on my note pad...the one that we had been given to take notes on, about the trial. I had been dutifully taking notes about the trial all along, but at one point found the face of the Judge more interesting than I could artisticly pass up.
Later during the trial, I did it again, only this time I did a profile portrait the defendant...who I noticed, I had a perfect profile view of.
This year, I didn't take any pencils or paper with me as a guard against my once again drawing at an inappropriate time or place. I really didn't want to be tossed out of court, for not taking my duties serious enough, or being caught drawing a portrait of the Judge that he didn't care for and ending up being in contempt of court...........


Lily...the inside is even more beautiful than the outside...they just finished three long years of refurbishing...and it was worth all the time and the money they spent...I would hate to see this building be lost because of disrepair.

Thanks to all of you MoMers, from all the different corners of the world, for informing all of the rest of us about your countries justice systems. I found it very interesting to read about the different ways justice is dealt with across this world.
I am still very happy for the system we have here in the U.S. It isn't perfect but it works fairly well for most of the American citizens....IMO
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Old Nov 21 2008, 03:21 AM   #23
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Default Re: Jury Duty...again!!!

I saw this thread early and wanted to comment on it. Too tired and cold finger make hard typing.

I have not been called yet for Jury Duty.

Once I added at the Judge in a school in class assignment, I only got the job for I was out for a few day sicks or somehthing, I had on a long coat that I end up listing to the other on some on laws don't quite remember it now but this trig it at the time I was not "snorting and here now that I recall it and not quite yet. It was something about "Socal Problem" I think, its was s suprize for me!

Lady M you image looks lovely it reminds me of opening or is it closing credits of Matlock when he is entring/exiting the courthouse, I have seen on TV and then on Discriped Video which descriped the action of what going on so a person with low or no vision can tell what is going on.

Your story about drawing remind me of the part of DE/RSR
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Old Nov 21 2008, 07:09 AM   #24
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Default Re: Jury Duty...again!!!

Thanks, Farclas I found your little research a very interesting read.
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Old Nov 21 2008, 08:08 PM   #25
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Default Re: Jury Duty...again!!!

I agree Hans...Farclas your post was a very interesting read...and I know what you mean about both of those cases, with the not proven. In O.J's case, it seems that what goes around does come back around to bite him in the butt, as he is going to be in jail for quite a while this time...and all becasuse of GREED !!
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Old Nov 21 2008, 08:08 PM   #26
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Default Re: Jury Duty...again!!!

I've been tapped twice (in 1984 and 2007) and I had been drawn for a jury both times and excused both times. We have to sit around and wait too, unless no more would be called that day then you show up the next day . . . By Thursday I was off the hook both times.
Most people had a book or would do puzzles - the bumper pool table looked even worse after 23 years !
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