Have You Ever Served Jury Duty?
By Lori A Moore
February 16, 2017 4:09pm CST
If you have never served on a jury, let me tell you that it isn't necessarily like it looks in the movies and it isn't necessarily a smooth function. I thought my experience was disasatrous. Back in 2002 I served on a criminal trial for a young man, probably 21 years old, who was drunk driving with three of his buddies, hit a pedestrian in the street, left him there and waited several hours until they had sobered up before going back to check on him. He was badly injured and was still lying in the street. They still didn't call police or an ambulance but were just checking on whether the guy was still there. He will have permanent injuries for the rest of his life. It was an open-and-shut case of 100% clear guilty on the part of the young man driver. He refused to testify. As we, the jury, deliberated, unbelievably, several of the jurors refused to find the young man guilty, even though they agreed he was guilty, because they "didn't want him to go to jail or be punished". Their view was "He was just young and made a mistake." Are you freaking kidding me? What about the victim? I was so angry. I was so disappointed in the justice system. The other 8 or 9 of us had to argue with the 3 or 4 to get them to decide guilty. So, we rendered our guilty verdict and returned the next morning for sentencing and when we got there were told we weren't needed because after rendering our verdict, they reached a deal on how much time the young man would serve. Two of the jurors jumped up and wanted to change their votes saying they wouldn't have voted guilty if they knew the young man would have to serve time. Ridiculous! What's your experience with serving on a jury?
18 people like this
• Worcester, England
No experience whatsoever and if I was called for jury duty I'd do what it takes to get out of it. My criminal record will probably do it for me In the UK the jury can't ask questions as they can in many US states. The US system has a lot of flaws in my opinion, mainly the media are allowed to report after a charge has been made, but it has its good points. If I was on a jury I'd like my questions to be asked of witnesses/experts/police etc and in the UK that doesn't happen. I would not like to be on a jury.
3 people like this
• Louisville, Kentucky
Oh yeah, I can see that point @mike197602 - wouldn't it be good to be able to ask our own questions and/or get our questions answered? Heck, I've watched enough crime dramas and such to be an expert on what to ask. LOL!
• Anniston, Alabama
See I just can`t do that, when I was called I sorta got out of it by not being so .... but I couldnt go anyways I was sick.... No I would not do it. I would be slapping someone asking them have they come to their senses yet! I agree he should have went to jail.
• United States
Wow that is a shocking story. Okay yes the guy was young but he deserved to be punished. Actually the people in the car with him should how been punished as well for not getting the guy help as well. I am glad you know right from right even though some of the other jurors apparently think only people of old age who commit crime should be punished.
• Austin, Texas
Yes I have served jury duty. It was a civil case; not criminal. It was a great experience. I learned a lot. I never want to do it again. Once in a lifetime is enough. By contrast, my late mother? She loved being called for jury duty. She never got picked though. If I had your jury experience, it would have pissed me off! Why don't jurors ever consider the victim FIRST??!!! Ridiculous is right.
• Centralia, Missouri
wow... see it's not the fact they hit him that makes me the most angry, but that they left him, checked on him and left him again. Granted drunks dont need licenses for a LONG time, and I think they should have that blow in the tube thing to get their cars to start, if they ever drive again, but they LEFT the guy. that's more than jail time, that's jail and then some
• Sutton, England
I've done jury sevice 3 times and I enjoyed the first. There was problems with a couple of jurers as they didn't want to say the defendants were guilty. One case was receiving stolen goods. A man said it was common to but goods fallen from the back of a lorry.
• Paso Robles, California
I've had to appear when called a few times, but never made it farther than the courtroom for final selection. I was very glad I've never been selected. I got called again last year for a federal jury in Los Angeles 200 miles from my home. I had to get a doctor involved to get out of driving to Los Angeles, which I would no longer feel safe doing. I have now finally been excused from ever being called again. I don't know if I wrote about that here or somewhere else, but I know I wrote about it somewhere.