Sunday, March 23, 2014

Summoned!

Earlier this month, I received a summons for jury duty. The instructions on the summons were to call the automatic messaging system to find out if my juror number has been chosen. Sure enough, I have to appear at the county courthouse in White Plains by 8:45AM. Since I'm working until 1AM, I'll be dragging my keister tomorrow. Fortunately, I live a scant few blocks from the Wakefield Station on the Metro-North Harlem line, so I'll be able to take public transportation- free parking is only provided to jurors chosen for trial, not prospective jurors. Hell, even if the parking were free, I'd probably take the train anyway, because downtown White Plains is a bit of a pain to navigate.

The last time I was called for jury duty was over fifteen years ago. The case was a civil case in which the plaintiff was a motorist who was suing a utility company for putting a pole too close to a roadway, resulting in an impact. At the time, I was working for an investigation firm which specialized in handling questionable auto accident claims. Needless to say, I was not picked to serve on that particular jury. I wonder what sort of case will be in the offering tomorrow, and if I'll have an angle to work to get dismissed. I am slightly ashamed to admit that I would rather not be picked, regardless of my attitudes toward civic duty.

10 comments:

Vixen Strangely said...

Ah, jury duty. Because of a paperwork snafu after I changed my name for voter registration, I ended up getting three summonses last year (a thing I managed to fix). I have one of those desperately honest faces and relatively uneventful lives that I pretty much have no hook for getting off a jury selection. I've been seated for trials twice. The only time I had an out was a civil case regarding asbestos--my dad was a utilities worker. Good luck.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

first time I was selected for JD, it was a statutory rape re-trial. recently, it was a guns-n-drugs case where the evidence was all circumstantial and weak; dude was likely to be guilty, but there was no proof on the guilty side. Even sketchy characters get the presumption of innocence.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

also, I don't try to get out of it. As a citizen, it's one of the cool obligations we can fulfill; and what, you want think it's better for some wingnut with time to kill and and axe to grind is going to be better on a jury?

As teh defending lawyer said during the last trial I was on, "you now have more power over the future of this person than anyone else, including Barack Obama".

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Because of a paperwork snafu after I changed my name for voter registration, I ended up getting three summonses last year (a thing I managed to fix)

Oof, good thing it didn't progress to the "contempt" stage!

Even sketchy characters get the presumption of innocence.

Yeah. Trial by jury of one's peers may have its flaws, but it's the best system there is.

also, I don't try to get out of it. As a citizen, it's one of the cool obligations we can fulfill; and what, you want think it's better for some wingnut with time to kill and and axe to grind is going to be better on a jury?

Hence the shame. This will throw a monkey wrench into my work schedule and my need to get my car inspection done. I've put off a search for a second/part-time job (to hedge my bets- there have been cutbacks in my department, and I was the only unaffected person so far) until I get this over with.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Jury duty was made for people who work normal hours, and don't have insane bosses.
~

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

jury duty was made for citizens who believe in the social compact.

Smut Clyde said...

I recommend wearing your "String 'em up high" t-shirt.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

We'll see how things pan out- I am on the platform waiting for the train. I hope I don't fall asleep in the jurors' room.

Paul Avery said...

If you want to get out of a criminal case, I recommend just saying, "I can tell if people are guilty or not just by looking at them."

Michael Hyatt said...

I haven't been called in a few years, but Santa Clara County used to call me like clockwork every three years. I actually had to go in a couple of times, and it went the same both times:

Attorney: Have you ever been arrested?
mikey: Uh, yessir.
A: More than once?
m: Uh, yessir.
A: How many times?
m: Uh, not sure, like thirty five I guess.
Assembled unwashed masses: [Titters]
District Attorney: Preemptive Strike...