Author Topic: Doing jury duty  (Read 2520 times)

Dex Sawash

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Re: Doing jury duty
« Reply #30 on: July 14, 2020, 01:55:09 AM »
Was in line to be jury on a case of improper firing/disability discrimination.

Plaintiff was woman in wheelchair with MS who worked for community college doing  high school diploma program  for prisoners inside the county prison/jail. She had been having sex with prisoners ( fact not in dispute) and the jail decided to deal with the problem by declaring wheelchairs dangerous objects not allowed inside jail. College ended her contract because she couldn't go inside the jail and do her job. Judge threw the case out before jury was seated. Some days the good guys aren't even involved.

Paul Calf

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Re: Doing jury duty
« Reply #31 on: July 14, 2020, 08:07:23 AM »


The group that did it the week before me were excused from ever having to do it again due to it being a long-winded bestiality trial.

Bloody hell. I thought you just had to sit in a courtroom.

Were the animal-knobbing trials double-blind?

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Re: Doing jury duty
« Reply #32 on: July 14, 2020, 08:09:02 AM »
Was in line to be jury on a case of improper firing/disability discrimination.

Plaintiff was woman in wheelchair with MS who worked for community college doing  high school diploma program  for prisoners inside the county prison/jail. She had been having sex with prisoners ( fact not in dispute) and the jail decided to deal with the problem by declaring wheelchairs dangerous objects not allowed inside jail. College ended her contract because she couldn't go inside the jail and do her job. Judge threw the case out before jury was seated. Some days the good guys aren't even involved.

Er...are they allowed to ban disabled people from working for them then?

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Re: Doing jury duty
« Reply #33 on: July 14, 2020, 10:07:24 AM »
One of my most enjoyable Christmases ever was the one where I was involved in the trial of the Ceaușescus.

Pah, that's nothing, I was on the firing squad

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Re: Doing jury duty
« Reply #34 on: July 14, 2020, 11:16:40 AM »
Got called to the panel for a rape case, but wasn't selected.

Maybe just as well cos we were in a room with a TV feed where we could see the judge and defendant and I took one look at the dirty old bastard and decided he did it.

That's a coincidence. You'd think he'd have recused himself...

Re: Doing jury duty
« Reply #35 on: July 14, 2020, 11:47:30 AM »
Was called up a few years back. Four days of sitting around doing nothing.

Day five we were all called in by the beak and introduced to this little, terrified lad in the dock who'd kicked a doorman to fuck with a load of mates, but he was refusing to name them and taking the rap for all of them. Because the victim was on life support and basically brain dead, plus the police still trying to nail his mates, we were told the case could go on for weeks if not months as the charge was likely to change from assault to murder and that further complication could arise at any time. They told us to speak with our employers to see if it was possible for us to be absent from work for at least three weeks.

My boss didn't want me out that long, so that was the end of it. Just those few minutes in the court room were horrible enough. The bleakness of this young kid, protecting his mates for fuck all gain, his life basically over. DESO.

Dex Sawash

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Re: Doing jury duty
« Reply #36 on: July 14, 2020, 12:48:09 PM »
Er...are they allowed to ban disabled people from working for them then?

US disability labor law protection says something like reasonable measures to accommodate disability must be taken. She could walk with walker/zimmer frame or crutches but they were already banned from jail before she worked inside . I assume the prison made the bad decision to not go after her for fucking the prisoners to avoid destroying the public character of someone they felt a bit sorry for and the college followed along. They could have offered her a contract for another teaching position that would accommodate her disability but it was about the prisoner/student fucking all along. I assume she is unemployable as a teacher now there is public record of student fucking.

MiddleRabbit

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Re: Doing jury duty
« Reply #37 on: July 14, 2020, 01:18:43 PM »
I was on a jury the week before the lockdown. 

I'd been looking forward to it but, with hindsight, found it to be, pretty much, a waste of everyone's time and money.

There was only one case - crackheads vs. alcoholics.

What had happened was a pissed up alcoholic woman -about fifty - had been in a pub, getting plastered.  There was CCTV footage of her staggering about, knocking into things.  She said she wasn't drunk.  On her way home, she fell down in front of a youngish couple of crackheads - a lad of about 19, a woman of about 30 -  who were smoking crack on a bench.

Their story was that they were good samaritans who wanted to help her get home safely.  They sort of carried her to her flat, CCTV footage seemed to support that.  The pissed up woman said that they dragged her and were hitting and kicking her, but there didn't seem to be any indication that that was the case.

Once inside her flat, where there was no CCTV - as you wouldn't expect there to be - their stories differed.  Most of the discrepancies were immaterial but the main difference was that the crackhead said that she found a couple of rings on a table and she nicked them.  The pissed up woman said that they were ripped from her fingers as she pleaded for them to not take them.  The pissed up woman also said they nicked a coat, which was shown on CCTV as they left the flat.

However, where it really went peculiar was when the pissed up woman said that, as retribution for her not having enough stuff worth nicking in her flat, the crackhead girl insisted that her crackhead boyfriend anally rape her. 

The next day, the drunken woman found a plastic bag in her kitchen which she didn't recognise and, "It smelled funny."  Police were called and took it off for forensics and took a statement and photos of the woman's injuries, which looked non-existent. 

The police lab found faecal matter on the outside of the bag, suggesting that it had been up the woman's bottom.  However, there was no DNA relating to either of the crackheads on the inside of the bag.  What there was on the inside of the bag, was DNA that matched the alcoholic woman's...

The prosecuting barrister claimed that the reason for this was because the crackhead lad had "double bagged" himself, using both a condom and the plastic bag as he anally raped her.  It didn't sound very likely.

The crackhead lad, at the stand, seemed like a crackhead lad - he wasn't especially anything, except dazed and gormless.  The girlfriend though, she couldn't keep her mouth shut about anything.  When it was put to her that she made her boyfriend anally rape their victim, she responded incredulously that, "As a former crackwhore, she had a lot of experience and, in her vast experience, her current boyfriend's cock was too big for bumming."  At which the court collectively stifled their laughter.

The charges were robbery and rape - for both defendants.

Robbery, we were told, was different to theft because it meant that some threat came with the taking of another's possessions.

Deliberating, the problem was that both crackheads were clearly guilty, but not with what they'd been charged.  Had they been charged with theft, they'd have both gone down.  The rape?  There just wasn't any evidence to suggest that it happened.  What seemed most likely - although, again, without much in the way of evidence - although more than the police managed to collect - was that the alcoholic woman was now terrified of this pair who lived near her and, if they went down for theft, it wouldn't be for long and she was obviously worried about what would happen when they got out.  Consequently, it appeared, that she'd decided to fabricate a sexual assault charge by sticking her fingers up her own bumhole, inside the plastic bag that the crackheads had left behind, so as to secure a longer sentence, so she could feel safer for longer.

After a couple of hours of deliberation, not guilty verdicts were delivered to both of them on both charges.  The copper who was in charge of the case looked daggers at us in the jury, but he was a fucking moron who could barely read his own statement out loud.

The other thing was that the barristers were just crap.  I've never been to court before, but I have watched legal dramas on television and this lot were bumbling, stammers whose minds appeared to be not very much sharper than than either the crackheads' or the alcoholic's.

Shame on the CPS for bringing this case, in the way that they did.  It lasted for four days and must have cost thousands - and for what?  Nothing.  A total waste of everyone's time, effort and money.

The lesson I learned was, apart from make a point of avoiding the police and the legal system as much as possible - because they're all fucking hopeless - was: don't get so plastered that you piss yourself in front of crackheads and make yourself vulnerable.

It's not right - obviously - but then there's reality, isn't there?  There are some cunts out there who'll take advantage if you let them and the police are too fucking useless to do anything about it.

So, yeah, it was great.  Especially the woman who was sittig behind me who spent four days coughing on the back of my head as the Covid-19 pandemic began to take hold.

Re: Doing jury duty
« Reply #38 on: July 14, 2020, 02:51:40 PM »
I've been called 3 times in 5 years but never actually sat. First time my work got me out of it by some world-class bullshitting ("small business, crucial employee..."). I was called again 9 months later, and looked like an interesting case - a young couple living in Edinburgh's most stereotypically junkie, Trainspotting-featured, housing scheme were claiming the drugs didn't belong to them, they were their mate's (special defence of incrimination, it's called), we were ushered into the courtroom and asked if we knew the defendants then lots drawn but I wasn't chosen. Third case, waited for an hour, sent home, back at work before lunch, not needed again.

Tony Tony Tony

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Re: Doing jury duty
« Reply #39 on: July 14, 2020, 03:11:29 PM »
I have court experience but from a slightly different perspective to that of being on a jury.

I worked for a company that did work for the police high tech crime units on their overspill as they were inundated with indecent images of children cases. We would recover some pretty nasty stuff in the way of images and videos from nonce's computers. I was considered an expert witness so would be in court a lot and my fees initially went straight to the company so I never saw any. After leaving there were still a number of cases that hadn't come to court so I got called up during my new employment. This meant that I was acting on my own capacity so was able to bill the court myself for my services, which consisted of hanging about outside court for hours on end then being called in to answer a few questions about a report I had produced months earlier. I was staggered to discover that the standard CPS rate was £650 a day and expenses. This led to a lucrative few days in various parts of the UK being paid to sit around and having a nice hotel stay paid for.

The thing that struck me most was the colossal waste of money by the CPS. I would often be kept waiting all day only to be asked back the following day so would have to book an extra night in a hotel. The biggest waste was in that the CPS would invariably give minimal notice that I would be needed, usually the day before so train tickets would be bought on a walk up basis. On one occasion I had to travel to Truro and the return ticket was a whopping £420, a night in a hotel at £85, meal allowance at £26 and my fee of £650. So way over a grand for being in the witness box for about five minutes.     

The Lurker

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Re: Doing jury duty
« Reply #40 on: July 14, 2020, 03:52:48 PM »
The other thing was that the barristers were just crap.  I've never been to court before, but I have watched legal dramas on television and this lot were bumbling, stammers whose minds appeared to be not very much sharper than than either the crackheads' or the alcoholic's.

When the prosecutor was quizzing the witnesses and defendant, I was thinking "she's guilty as sin" and felt a bit bad because, y'know, two sides to every story and all that shit. I couldn't help but feel her barrister wasn't exactly brilliant. The defence he put together was pretty much "she's had a tough upbringing, why would she do this?" with his client mainly replying "I've done nothing wrong." He spent a lot of time badgering the witnesses much to the judge's annoyance. I suppose it doesn't exactly help that his client kept changing her story.

After a couple of hours of deliberation, not guilty verdicts were delivered to both of them on both charges.  The copper who was in charge of the case looked daggers at us in the jury, but he was a fucking moron who could barely read his own statement out loud.

We were constantly stared at by a guy who sat behind the barristers. I can't remember what the guy's job title was. We were definitely told by the court usher because someone brought it up. He was keeping an eye on us just to if we keeping attention obviously but it was still pretty off putting. The usher told us they had a juror fall asleep once.

Blinder Data

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Re: Doing jury duty
« Reply #41 on: July 14, 2020, 04:01:31 PM »
The thing that struck me most was the colossal waste of money by the CPS. I would often be kept waiting all day only to be asked back the following day so would have to book an extra night in a hotel. The biggest waste was in that the CPS would invariably give minimal notice that I would be needed, usually the day before so train tickets would be bought on a walk up basis. On one occasion I had to travel to Truro and the return ticket was a whopping £420, a night in a hotel at £85, meal allowance at £26 and my fee of £650. So way over a grand for being in the witness box for about five minutes.   

The finance managers at the CPS must be delighted if virtual courts turn out to be a success. Back in black, baby!

---

Had a few summons addressed to me but never been called, not even to wait outside the court and be sent home. People who blithely say they want a juicy case are by and large talking from a position of ignorance - most people I speak to who have served on sensitive cases are often deeply affected by them. A diet of true crime podcasts and documentaries makes me want to have at least one go though, even if it's to discover it's not nearly as fun/rewarding as I'd hope.

Re: Doing jury duty
« Reply #42 on: July 14, 2020, 04:05:36 PM »
Really enjoyed this. Had a fraud case. Would happily do it full time instead of my actual job.

Admittedly if I got some of the nastier stuff it would take it's toll.

Re: Doing jury duty
« Reply #43 on: July 14, 2020, 04:27:04 PM »
Done it twice. First time in 2011 for a credit card fraud case. Ended up being relieved at the end of that one even though it was only after 3 days of service because we spent more time deliberating than the trial took. The defendant had a really poor defence and was almost certainly guilty, but the police hadn't really bothered to gather any evidence so after two days of having that argument he was eventually found not guilty. Dud.

Second time was a couple of years back for an attempted murder, the trial lasted 5 weeks, and I was really engaged by it. Was fascinating to see how much less efficient and organised everything had become between the six years I was called up, lots of delays and half days at court because of the lack of staffing there and at one point we were sent home early because they couldn't provide us with the evidence pack we needed for that day because the CPS printer wasn't working. I have a letter of excusing me from jury duty for another five years because of how long that trial took but if I was called up again in that time frame, I probably wouldn't use it and would serve again.

monkfromhavana

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Re: Doing jury duty
« Reply #44 on: July 14, 2020, 04:34:43 PM »
My girlfriend's just been selected for jury duty. She's a bit nervous that if she gets a horrible trial she'll start weeping in the...dock...wherever it is that jurors sit.

Tony Tony Tony

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Re: Doing jury duty
« Reply #45 on: July 14, 2020, 05:41:47 PM »
If she finds herself in the dock, she may well end weeping as that is where the accused is housed.

The jury sits in the jury box, usually two rows of seats on one side of the court.

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Re: Doing jury duty
« Reply #46 on: July 14, 2020, 06:24:39 PM »
When the prosecutor was quizzing the witnesses and defendant, I was thinking "she's guilty as sin" and felt a bit bad because, y'know, two sides to every story and all that shit. I couldn't help but feel her barrister wasn't exactly brilliant. The defence he put together was pretty much "she's had a tough upbringing, why would she do this?" with his client mainly replying "I've done nothing wrong." He spent a lot of time badgering the witnesses much to the judge's annoyance. I suppose it doesn't exactly help that his client kept changing her story.

I don't think the barrister comes up with the defence as such - they're told by the client (in conjunction with the solicitor I guess) what the defence is, so if the defence is shit they they're lumbered with having to make a shit case. But they get paid either way I suppose.

The latest time that I did it, the prosecuting barrister was a dick. Part of his closing speech was, not a rap exactly, but not far off. Like a shit rap that a middle class white man might do, I suppose.

Re: Doing jury duty
« Reply #47 on: July 14, 2020, 06:40:21 PM »
I've done Jury Service three times.

The first occasion was an IRA trial at The Old Bailey. It lasted for two months and we had to be put up during our deliberations in a series of four-star hotels due to security concerns. After the trial was over I was exempt from Jury Service for ten years

The second time was in 2010 at both Brighton Magistrates and Hove Crown courts. Neither case was particularly interesting.

The third time was in 2017. I got called up as a spare for a child molestation case. Virtually every juror tried their best to get dropped from the case. Two succeeded and two of three spares got called up. Luckily I was the one that wasn't. I did hear the initial disposition by the prosecution and even the brief details were horrible. I ended up sitting in the wating room for two days and got called to an assault case in which the defendant didn't turn up.

The major difference is loss of earnings. During the IRA trial I was on gap year between college and Uni, so it was quite lucrative. My employer at the time gave me put fulltime hours on the sheet, then I'd return from court, and work a few shifts there.

By 2010 they had capped earnings to about £63 a day, so i was losing money. What made it worse was that they accidentally gave us too much money and some twat contacted the court to tell them they'd been paid too much.

The Lurker

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Re: Doing jury duty
« Reply #48 on: July 14, 2020, 09:42:39 PM »
I don't think the barrister comes up with the defence as such - they're told by the client (in conjunction with the solicitor I guess) what the defence is, so if the defence is shit they they're lumbered with having to make a shit case. But they get paid either way I suppose.

That's why you're the judge and I'm the law talking guy


Blue Jam

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Re: Doing jury duty
« Reply #49 on: July 14, 2020, 10:17:14 PM »
Did it just before lockdown. Ended in a mistrial. I was a bit disappointed as it was a fascinating experience and I really wanted to see the whole process through but it was a particularly grim attempted murder case and a part of me was just glad to not be hearing about "life-changing injuries" anymore.

Would totally do it again though.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2020, 10:35:23 PM by Blue Jam »

Blue Jam

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Re: Doing jury duty
« Reply #50 on: July 14, 2020, 10:22:09 PM »
Also it is grimly amusing watching barristers reading out pieces of evidence from texts, social media etc. These people with their wigs and gowns and posh accents going "I'm going to fucking stab you, you fucking cunt" in a clipped and matter-of-fact manner.

Haha ledge:

https://www.theguardian.com/law/2017/jan/09/judge-who-swore-at-abusive-defendant-cleared-of-misconduct

Re: Doing jury duty
« Reply #51 on: July 14, 2020, 10:29:17 PM »
Did it just before lockdown. Ended in a mistrial. I was a bit disappointed as it was a fascinating experience and I really wanted to see the whole process through but it was a particularly grim case and a part of me was just glad to not be hearing about "life-changing injuries" anymore.

Would totally do it again though.
Watching Better Call Saul doesn't count as jury duty, BJ.

Blue Jam

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Re: Doing jury duty
« Reply #52 on: July 14, 2020, 10:45:18 PM »
Watching Better Call Saul doesn't count as jury duty, BJ.

Of course not- watching Better Call Saul is just what you have to do in preparation, along with repeatedly watching that episode of Peep Show of course.

Seriously, I had Peep Show quotes in my head the whole time: "I plead guilty to wanting a mochaccino!" "OBJECTION!" "OVERRULED!"

Actually having watched Better Call Saul and Suits I have to say I prefer the way we do things over here. I used to think the wigs and gowns were a bit daft but when you're actually in a courtroom you can see how they add a bit of gravitas, to remind you that someone's freedom is at stake here and you are to pay attention and not fuck about. Also having both the prosecuting and defending barristers dressed in identical outfits makes a jury less likely to be prejudiced one way or the other.

The mace on the wall and the "Macer" whose job it is to carry it though- that's a bit mad innit? Does it represent the CoD watching over proceedings and giving us her approval to send some 'orrible cahnt daaahhhn?

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Doing jury duty
« Reply #53 on: July 15, 2020, 12:17:11 AM »
^BJ did you do the mad scots law “pick the name of each juror literally out of a fishbowl” thing? That was an interesting afternoon.

Blue Jam

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Re: Doing jury duty
« Reply #54 on: July 15, 2020, 12:29:17 AM »
^BJ did you do the mad scots law “pick the name of each juror literally out of a fishbowl” thing? That was an interesting afternoon.

Yes we did, and my name was picked first out of the 15 (mad Scots law again), so I sat in jury seat #1 which had a microphone in front of it, and I guess all that would have made me the foreman if we had actually needed one. I had been a bit nervous about reading out the Guilty verdict and hoping the defendent didn't remember my face or my name.

Yes, we all thought they were guilty, and at the retrial so did the new jury, and the judge sent them down for a lengthy stretch. I doubt they remember me at all but I was still a bit relieved.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: Doing jury duty
« Reply #55 on: July 15, 2020, 12:36:39 AM »
Yes we did, and my name was picked first out of the 15 (mad Scots law again), so I sat in jury seat #1 which had a microphone in front of it, and I guess all that would have made me the foreman if we had actually needed one. I had been a bit nervous about reading out the Guilty verdict and hoping the defendent didn't remember my face or my name.

Yes, we all thought they were guilty, and at the retrial so did the new jury, and the judge sent them down for a lengthy stretch. I doubt they remember me at all but I was still a bit relieved.

As an Englishman in a scots court, I was largely figuring out the law as I went. “Oh they’ve called a 13th juror! And a 14th! Where will it end?!”

I saw the (alleged) murderer outside the court a few times when I went for a smoke, luckily there was three of us jurors and we stuck together/faced the other way.

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Re: Doing jury duty
« Reply #56 on: July 15, 2020, 12:42:06 AM »
The usher told us they had a juror fall asleep once.

I’m called up for next month, first time ever, and I’m terrified this is going to happen to me. I’m a chronic, lifelong insomniac, we’re talking two to three hours’ sleep most nights, and I get periods of feeling sleepy and unable to concentrate most days. If I can’t stand up and walk around to keep myself awake, I’ll definitely fall asleep and invalidate the whole trial.

Blue Jam

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Re: Doing jury duty
« Reply #57 on: July 15, 2020, 12:57:16 AM »
I saw the (alleged) murderer outside the court a few times when I went for a smoke, luckily there was three of us jurors and we stuck together/faced the other way.

I was lucky our defendent was already in prison for breaching bail conditions. Handcuffed and flanked by security guards in the dock too. Still a bit scary though, having read the lengthy list of charges and the grim details.

We were allowed out for fresh air/fag breaks but couldn't pop out for lunch and had to stay in the jurors' break room for sandwiches, crisps and some very salty vegetable soup. I was a bit gutted as I had been looking forward to claiming a free Nando's every day.

Blue Jam

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Re: Doing jury duty
« Reply #58 on: July 15, 2020, 01:06:36 AM »
I’m called up for next month, first time ever, and I’m terrified this is going to happen to me. I’m a chronic, lifelong insomniac, we’re talking two to three hours’ sleep most nights, and I get periods of feeling sleepy and unable to concentrate most days. If I can’t stand up and walk around to keep myself awake, I’ll definitely fall asleep and invalidate the whole trial.


Re: Doing jury duty
« Reply #59 on: July 15, 2020, 01:08:41 AM »
I’m called up for next month, first time ever, and I’m terrified this is going to happen to me. I’m a chronic, lifelong insomniac, we’re talking two to three hours’ sleep most nights, and I get periods of feeling sleepy and unable to concentrate most days. If I can’t stand up and walk around to keep myself awake, I’ll definitely fall asleep and invalidate the whole trial.

Wouldn't your insomnia preclude you from participating if it could potentially ruin the trial process?

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