January 22, 2023 10:03 am at 10:03 am #2158381
Yeah. For a week and and a half, $40 per day (minus transportation & other direct losses).
Jury duty. Some experience!
Got to see a live living judge, prosecutor, defendant, lawyers, witnesses, clerk, officers… Then there were video presentations, photos, exhibits.
Got to be locked up in a room with 11 other people from all walks of life. No cellphones, laptops, computers or the likes… just to focus on the case and debate between ourselves. After two days we all came to one verdict (and were subsequently let out).
Anyone else here had jury experience?January 22, 2023 11:05 am at 11:05 am #2158470
The case didn’t involve Jews?January 22, 2023 11:05 am at 11:05 am #2158458lakewhutParticipant
If you say you’re a racist and or against the American government you won’t have to serveJanuary 22, 2023 1:30 pm at 1:30 pm #2158496hujuParticipant
To lakewhut: If you lie to get out of jury duty, you are committing a crime. Juries are an essential bulwark against undemocratic government. I have never served on a jury, but they keep calling me back, and I go willingly. How would you feel if Jews got an automatic exemption from jury duty? Would you take the exemption or would you serve?January 22, 2023 1:30 pm at 1:30 pm #2158492
It didn’t involve Jews. And I didn’t want to make a Chilul HaShem by saying anything nasty. As it was it was a bit of inconvenience but definitely an experience.January 22, 2023 2:11 pm at 2:11 pm #2158530
What would you have done had one or more of the parties been Jewish?January 22, 2023 2:11 pm at 2:11 pm #2158536
I always mention Shabbos
Works almost every timeJanuary 22, 2023 2:11 pm at 2:11 pm #2158529
Yachar koach in assisting the country in fulfilling a Noahide mitzva of providing justice.
In my personal experience, I was surprised to be the most liberal member of the jury while judging a possible drunk driver on an empty street at night who possibly did not speak English… While for me, drunk driving is just a bad thing to do, many others had personal experiences with misbehavior and loss in their communities and wanted to be as strict as Beit Shammai ever was. One self-identified as a pedestrian and simply hated all drivers who did not stop in front of her.
My last argument in favor of rahmonus was – that the person might be in some immigration status where he would be deported based on this very minor crime, and who knows whether he is also supporting a family. Nobody cared.January 22, 2023 3:56 pm at 3:56 pm #2158580
Ujm, In that case I would have pleaded to be recused (is that a word?). I would have darshed in front of the (Jewish) judge all about hilchos Mesirah… Gemaros, Rambam, Shulchan Aruch, the later Poskim.. until he’d start to “zing arayn”.
CA: He glanced at me and asked if anyone of us need to be let home early on Friday, they were very accommodating (I said 2, they stopped at 1). Mrs/Ms/Mz Court Officer pulled me aside when ordering lunches for the rest of the bunch, she had the menu sheet of a nearby Kosher Deli for me to choose. (Of course I declined, corn chips and coffee are just fine)
AAQ: They specifically request over and over again to let feelings of mercy etc right outside the door. That’s for the judge to decide. We are bidden to have, as you yourself put it, courts of justice. Because you have rachmanus, it has no bearing on the truth, whether the drunk drove or not.January 22, 2023 3:56 pm at 3:56 pm #2158559
AAQ: 1) You could have vetoed any guilty verdict, even if you were the only one, since it requires unanimous agreement. 2) drunken driving is very serious since they could have seriously injured people, or worse, even if they were lucky enough to have been arrested before that happened.January 22, 2023 3:56 pm at 3:56 pm #2158558
“I always mention Shabbos
Works almost every time”
CA: What did you do when it didn’t work?January 22, 2023 3:57 pm at 3:57 pm #2158578DontMindMeParticipant
And what makes you think that the jury system is, according to the Torah or for that matter by any standard, a just system? A system in which a panel of civilians, unversed in any laws and of unknown ethics and morals, decides the fate of the accused?
A system in which people are convicted, in essence, by a poll?January 22, 2023 6:36 pm at 6:36 pm #2158590
Have I ever served on a jury? Yes, here is CT lawyers are not exempt. We are typically empaneled in the farthest end of the state from where we live or practice.
Jurors only get paid by the state if the employer does not pay them.
Shabbos excuse won’t get you out of most jury duty, the jury clerk will send you for voir dire examination for trials expected to start on a Tuesday and last no more thann3 days.
Hating America or saying you are a racist is meaningless in a civil suit between white people.
Parties to a lawsuit or a criminal defendant don’t have to make their religion known, so how do you know they are Jewish.
We have an obligation to serve and to be an example to our children. Looking to beat the system is not what I would want my children to learn.
Lakewhut, you exemplify shonder fir dem goyimJanuary 22, 2023 6:36 pm at 6:36 pm #2158595LostsparkParticipant
“If you lie to get out of jury duty, you are committing a crime”
Who said he was lying?January 22, 2023 6:36 pm at 6:36 pm #2158597
Several good questions here .. is it according to the Torah?
My understanding is that we do not require non-Jewish system to adhere to specific norms, such as what would a beis din decide for a non-Jew. As long it is trying to do justice. Jury system, as democracy, are obviously not the best decision sharpest mind can come up with, but it has the value to protect citizens from abuse by the powerful people. Interestingly, even in Nazi Germany, juries were acquitting some of the people who were caught listening to “enemy radios” and such.
With many social issues, chachomim proposed a solution and then judged it by results, and changed the system further as needed. So, here, we can judge the system by results – and they are reasonably good currently, I think, in terms of deciding guilt. One can argue with the prison system that does not seem to have any value beyond isolating the criminals. But overall, as long as the system tries to punish guilty and protect innocent, we should participate.
As to citizen ethics and morals, both jury and elections hinge on them. So, it makes educational system and media relevant to us. If population will get into communist or Nazi ideology, it will affect us directly.January 22, 2023 6:36 pm at 6:36 pm #2158598
dangerous drinking: indeed. If it were a case of clearly drunk driver and a dangerous event, I would probably be on a stricter side. In this case, the evidence was that he was stopped soon after leaving a bar (a bracelet on), stopped on an empty street, and then not able to walk a plank and recite alphabet backwards, I think. Not clear that he was a danger to anyone except himself and the utility pole. And maybe he did not even know English alphabet… sfek sfeika of 4th degree.
Again, I was surprised both by strictness of the jury in a generally liberal precinct and my own attitude. Maybe the prison system was in the back of my mind. The person will be risking his life and getting onto a path of crime, and abandoning his family … If he were to become an eved for 7 years, it would be an easier decision.January 22, 2023 6:36 pm at 6:36 pm #2158599
about our role in a jury. This is a hard one. Someone more educated can preach here about “jury nullification” when jury uses their own judgment inappropriately. At the same time, I don’t think a Jew can make himself into a “part of the system”, “just doing my job”, disregarding “tzedek tzedek tirdof”.
So, I took the middle ground – I tried my best arguments to influence others, and then did not stand in the way. If I were to insist on hung jury, what is a chance that someone else will be as stubborn as I was in the next jury, so it would just prolong the show.
PS After the verdict, the judge told us that he was actually measured to have alcohol in his blood, but the law did not allow to give that information to the jury. So, that removed a couple of sfeikos from my argument.January 22, 2023 7:53 pm at 7:53 pm #2158612
“CA: What did you do when it didn’t work?“
I use a different excuse which I choose not to disclose right now to the crJanuary 22, 2023 7:54 pm at 7:54 pm #2158619smerelParticipant
>>>If you say you’re a racist and or against the American government you won’t have to serve
DON’T try this. The judge can decide that you are in contempt of court if you do. Then you are really in hot water.January 22, 2023 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm #2158629
I once was “excused” by a career criminal himself. State and his lawyer questioned me and were satisfied with my answers, I left towards the jury box, but then was called back. The criminal himself looked at me and then advised his lawyer to dismiss me. Don’t know whether he did not trust Jews in general or disagreed with my CR posts.January 22, 2023 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm #2158634
It’s extremely easy to get out of jury duty, legally and penalty-free, for anyone so inclined One easy example is during questing tell the judge you’ll be able to ascertain the defendants guilt/liability as soon as you take your first look at his face, because you know that you are gifted to be able to read it from just his looks.January 23, 2023 8:28 am at 8:28 am #2158699Dr. PepperParticipant
Someone tried something similar when I was at jury duty. The judge called her up- told her she was dismissed and when she headed to leave with a smirk on her face the judge called her back and told the bailiff to send her to civil court for jury duty.January 23, 2023 8:28 am at 8:28 am #2158677HistorianParticipant
Ujm, re your last tip, this in and of itself might be construed as intolerance, hence chilul hashem…January 23, 2023 8:28 am at 8:28 am #2158676
A unanimous jury is not required in all cases.
In some jurisdictions and types of cases 10/12 may render a decision. This usually is in civil damages cases, not criminal cases that have possible prison consequences if the defendant is found guilty.January 23, 2023 8:28 am at 8:28 am #2158675
I am amazed at:
The fixation on criminal trials, guilt and innocence by almost every poster above. In many jurisdictions there are far move civil suits heard by juries than criminal trials.
I don’t do criminal defense work, in 40 years of an average of three jury trials per month in the CTL law firm, EVERY one has been a Civil Trial with a jury of 6 members.
The inaccurate information posted is laughable.
Smerel, no American judge can hold you in contempt for saying you are racist or against the American government. The ability to make those statements are protected by the First Amendment to the US Constitution. The judge may personally have contempt for you, but cannot hold you in contempt and apply penalties for voicing those opinions during the voir dire process.
UJM, the voir dire questioning is usually conducted by the attorneys, not the judge. Often the defendant is not present. You would not be able to tell the judge anything about the defendant’s looks. In fact in most voir dire proceedings you don’t get a chance to address the judge until all the acceptable members of the jury have been chosen by the attorneys. Then the judge asks the chosen group if any one of them has a reason they should not serve. The others are removed from the courtroom and that potential juror is asked why. This is done so as not to bias the other jurors. This is likely the only time in the process a potential juror may address the judge.
When the judge introduces the case to the jury panel sent for questioning he/she typically says this trial is set to begin Tuesday the xx of xxxx, if anyone has a conflict with that please raise your hand. If only a couple of hands go up, those may be sent back to the holding room to be questioned for another trial or be excused, or told they may explain if they are chosen for the jury.
4 years ago I raised my hand when he judge said the trial would start two days before Pesach. I was sent back to the holding room and not sent back for questioning for another case. In CT you are called for one day and if not chosen for a jury you cannot be called again For three judicial years.January 23, 2023 8:28 am at 8:28 am #2158662
Our case involved an African American. Interestingly, the many African Americans sitting along with me were inclined almost at once to convict.
We deliberated for two days, actually intense. We went back to the court room about ten times to get more clarifications of the law, to have testimony reread. Every time – the same procession. Line up. Jury entering. Attendance. Judge’s instructions… Jury exiting. Locked back into jury room. At the end we all agreed that defendant was guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Actually beyond almost any doubt. Defendant did himself in by testifying.
You all should have heard the lawyers arguing. מיגו במקום עד, you should believe the witness (my client) because if he wanted to lie he could have said a better lie. And the same want by the other side!! Fascinating. אן אפענע תוספות. I wanted to point that out to my “club”January 23, 2023 8:28 am at 8:28 am #2158661
it is also extremely easy to get valuable items from stores for free. I choose not to disclose the methods here, connect with me direct. 6 days a week, not on shabbos koidesh.January 23, 2023 8:28 am at 8:28 am #2158659
When making the above statement to the judge, say it with the greatest sincerity and earnestness and ask the judge to please select you for the jury, because you’ll be able to convince your fellow jurors of the correctness of your abilities, and thereby quickly conclude jury deliberations within a day, so everyone can wrap up the case as expeditiously as possible, saving the court time and resources.January 23, 2023 1:25 pm at 1:25 pm #2158778135847Participant
WELL SAID. experience as a juror, “No cellphones, laptops, computers or the likes… just to focus on the case and debate between ourselves” this gives us a good lesson of how we need to behave in shull as we beg with Hashem for all we need, let us all say it load and clear “No cellphones, laptops, computers or the likes… just to focus on the case”!!!!January 23, 2023 1:25 pm at 1:25 pm #2158774
Dr. Pepper, if memory serves me correctly I think you’ve shared that story some years back, probably in one of the previous jury duty threads.
CTLAWYER: Yes, but AAQ specifically referenced his story with a drunk driving/criminal case (which requires unanimity for conviction). Also, in my earlier comment I wrote “guilt/liability”, to cover both criminal and civil cases.
As far as it being the attorneys rather than the judge conducting the initial phase of jury selection, any potential juror indicating he’ll determine guilt/liability by taking one look at the defendants face, will almost certainly have the attorneys disqualify him. I’m not advocating any of this, just making it clear that it is abundantly trivial to get out of jury duty. Another “trick” is to innocently ask if it is okay for a juror to engage in jury nullification if they disagree with the law. Just asking them will, again, almost surely get you disqualified.
Now, in Connecticut and smaller towns there might be some risk in ignoring a jury summons. But in New York City, LA, Chicago, etc, they do not have the resources to come after the thousands of non-respondents every month to a jury summons, to determine whether they simply never got it or actually ignored it.January 23, 2023 1:25 pm at 1:25 pm #2158756kollel fakerParticipant
I’ve been called several times and dismissed by lunch each time. Son in laws an ADA.January 23, 2023 1:25 pm at 1:25 pm #2158751besalelParticipant
CTLAWYER: i am familiar with a yeshiva bochir called for jury duty recently who said he was a racist and the judge was very upset with him for saying that and told him to return to the jury pool and sit there until the week was over even though every other juror that gets dismissed goes home.January 23, 2023 4:18 pm at 4:18 pm #2158854
135847: That’s actually one of the points I gleaned from this experience. There is such a difference in people’s performance when not attached to the ‘toys’. The fact that all twelve of us know we’re TOTALLY disconnected from the outside, that in itself lent to more power of concentration, attention, focus.
It was uncanny; during the first few days of testimony and exhibitions we were herded into the jury room to wait to be called in. Then marched out back to the room for numerous breaks. At all such times the place was so quiet, EVERYONE into his/her device – for hours upon hours (of course there’s this Little Froggie with a little Gemarah). Then when it’s time for deliberation, all toys are sent away in a box (out of the room), all of a sudden everyone’s talking. Everyone’s involved!
One seriously seeking a connection, involvement with HaShem needs to do the same. This is a lesson that I (hopefully) will remember.
ujm: I DID try to get out, I did my השתדלות. The judge and lawyers by the voir dire questioning asked each one their educational status, familial status etc. Each and every one had some high fluten degree in some major institution – and no family. I answered truthfully that I was a ninth grade dropout, I tried to accentuate that as much as possible… it didn’t work. But nevertheless it was so interesting – everyone with a degree and zero family. A very Jewish looking Froggie with no degree and ב”ה קע”ה family. As to occupation, I wanted them to have some positive image of Whom I represent, I laid down some of my cards (again to them its the degree / occupation that matters most)January 23, 2023 4:29 pm at 4:29 pm #2158872
Froggie: They’ll easily sit on the jury a homeless vagrant whose day job outside the court is taste testing various alcoholic beverages. After all, that’s the American ideal of sitting a jury representing every aspect of the American population, without discrimination.January 23, 2023 7:53 pm at 7:53 pm #2158892
“I answered truthfully that I was a ninth grade dropout, I tried to accentuate that as much as possible… it didn’t work.“
Wow, I would have never thought you were a 9th grade dropout, you seem a lot smarter than thatJanuary 24, 2023 12:07 am at 12:07 am #2158944
Lil froggie, it is great that you represented Jewish people proudly, but a yid with a degree would also have a place there and maybe able relate the Gemora he was learning (probably on his phone) to the points of law, maybe opening some new vistas to those lawyers, etc. For example, discuss the difference between Roman caveat emptor and Jewish personal responsibility to not harm others.January 24, 2023 12:08 am at 12:08 am #2158901GadolhadorahParticipant
Reb Yosef: How strange. I also served on a jury with a sommelier years ago.January 24, 2023 12:08 am at 12:08 am #2158918
CA: Wow! Thank you for that one!!!
But it’s the truth. The whole truth.. nothing but the truth… May I be seated?
(I can’t seem to get this ‘parsha’ out of my mind. I relive it constantly..)January 24, 2023 12:08 am at 12:08 am #2158919
ujm: The prosecution wouldn’t be to keen with it… They get to reject too. And I was hoping they’d think I wasn’t to bright…January 24, 2023 12:08 am at 12:08 am #2158921HistorianParticipant
Meantime, in neighboring Canada..
“Bedridden 99-year-old taken to court for failing to show up for jury duty.”
Jan.23.23January 24, 2023 12:09 am at 12:09 am #2158922puttinginmy2centsParticipant
coffee addict: Told the judge that being a observant Jew (sitting there with a yalmulka), I would need to leave on Fridays no later than 1:30 pm. His response: “No need to worry. This court closes at noon on Fridays.” (Found out later, he was also Shomer Shabbos.)January 24, 2023 12:10 am at 12:10 am #2158940
> i am familiar with a yeshiva bochir called for jury duty recently who said he was a racist
I presume the jusge phoned p the Rosh Yeshiva and the bochur was dismissed both from jury and yeshiva for not knowing why Hashem created one Man from whom all others came.January 24, 2023 12:10 am at 12:10 am #2158941
CTlawyer, those of us who live in large cities get more criminal cases than civil, unfortunately.
And I did get dismissed usually from civil cases as they are long, and I always have something lined up – yom tov, work trip, vacation. I even suggested to the judge that it is only a minor inconvenience – tickets are non-refundable, but the wife and kids are fully capable of travelling on their own. Did not tell that the tickets were on Spirit and was looking for ward to a quiet fortnight vacation in a jury box, but the judge promptly sent me back to the pool, unfortunately.January 24, 2023 10:30 am at 10:30 am #2159036Reb EliezerParticipant
I got a permanent exemption for having to go often to the bathroom.January 24, 2023 10:30 am at 10:30 am #2158980
I was looking forward to my birthday next month as in Connecticut mandatory jury service had ended at age 70, alas, due to the huge backlog of cases during Covid (mostly civil) the state has increased the age to 75.
I did however receive a notice from the Jury administration office that Mrs. CTL would not have to report for jury duty in March as scheduled. They actually have a computer program that cross references death certificates issued in state (quarterly). Now if the life insurance company who paid out her death benefit would only stop sending mail saying she is qualified for a whole life plan that pays burial benefits………January 24, 2023 1:35 pm at 1:35 pm #2159080commonsaychelParticipant
A criminal defense attorney once told me that he never wants a frum person on a jury because they are too law and order, I never had to serve because 85% of the cases are civil and I work in the insurance arena.January 24, 2023 1:35 pm at 1:35 pm #2159092besalelParticipant
AAQ: I don’t know that he was really racist i think he was just saying it because someone told him its how to get out of jury duty. also, if i remember correctly he said i was once assaulted by a person of the same race as the defendant and that is why i cannot be impartial. he didnt stam say he was a racist – and the judge still punished him for it.
my point is that in practice, in ny, a judge may come down on you if you use racist.January 25, 2023 6:12 pm at 6:12 pm #2159621Dr. PepperParticipant
Unfortunately I haven’t been called since so I need to recycle old stories.January 25, 2023 6:12 pm at 6:12 pm #2159631ParticipantParticipant
Acquaintance of mine dozed the whole time lawyers were talking. Plus he did some thing else that I can’t say. He was the first juror excused.
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