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jury service

"please sir, can I be excused"

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Kiwi Bloke02/12/2021 00:22:55
625 forum posts
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I was called for jury service some years ago. I didn't want to play - it would have been inconvenient, I would probably have dozed off, as I used to in lectures, and free time in retirement is in terribly short supply. I discussed the possibility of getting excused with a friend, an ex-clerk of the court. His opinion was that I had no hope. Naturally, that became a challenge!

I wrote to excuse myself, stating that I thought the adversarial legal system was a poor way to establish the facts of a case, that evidence presented would likely be incomplete, but that the court had no way of knowing what had been witheld, that the legal profession did not have training in logic, and that it seemed to me that, in the courtroom, the ability of the counsel to win the case may have more to do with ability as an orator than as a logician. I therefore thought it most unlikely that I would be able to vote 'guilty' beyond all reasonable doubt, and thus my strong bias towards an 'innocent' verdict made me entirely unsuitable as a juror.

I was duly excused and haven't been called again.

Bill Pudney02/12/2021 01:44:16
591 forum posts
24 photos

Living in Australia the system here is based on the UK one. Although obviously adjustments have been made to suit our unusually law abiding population. Twenty five years ago I was called up and was selected for an interesting dangerous driving case. I found the whole process fascinating, and would do it again in a heartbeat if asked.

cheers

Bill

Jon Lawes02/12/2021 07:08:14
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735 forum posts

Do you mention this out of pride KB?! It seems to be a very odd boast.

Circlip02/12/2021 10:00:28
1427 forum posts

Found Jury service an interesting exercise. It did lead me to believe that there should be professional jurors. Reason being that the case I was on there were too many with external influences affecting the result. One had a business and at every opportunity was on the phone (Pre mobile), another had to catch a train before 4pm or it would mean an hour delay. Ones night shift wages were compromised, he also had racist tendencies, not a good thing when the case involved a "person of colour" prosecuting a "Non person of colour" and a jury foreman who' s benevolent reasoning totally changed the initial vote and allowed a perp to go free.

Two of us got it right but the "Defendants" record of guilty offence convictions was ruined by stupidity. Logic and the ability to listen and understand what's being presented are the clues.

Regards Ian

Ady102/12/2021 10:06:26
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4912 forum posts
726 photos

KB just used the wacky person approach and it worked, that's all

He might have wrote back saying that he was a devout christian and only god could judge men and he would pray for divine guidance if he was called up to serve on a jury but forgiveness etc would influence his approach etc

Kiwi Bloke02/12/2021 10:17:12
625 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by Jon Lawes on 02/12/2021 07:08:14:

Do you mention this out of pride KB?! It seems to be a very odd boast.

Not a boast at all. Sorry if it appeared that way. I merely offered my experience as hints for others who may wish to be excused (as the title of the thread seemed to ask for). I'm scientifically trained, and thought that being expected to assess the merits of a case, given incomplete evidence and faulty argument, whilst in ignorance of the law, would be an intellectual impossibility. Just being honest and intellectually rigorous. And if that's whacky, Ady1, so be it. I rest my case.

ega02/12/2021 10:17:59
2402 forum posts
196 photos

Without the jury system we would not have the excellent "Twelve Angry Men".

Frances IoM02/12/2021 10:33:27
1200 forum posts
28 photos
there are or were special 'professional' juries called for the specialised financial fraud trials - though like KB I often suspect that the French examining magistrate scheme would have some benefits but never being called for jury duty and now too old I have no experience to recount.
John Abson02/12/2021 10:52:55
10 forum posts
Posted by Kiwi Bloke on 02/12/2021 10:17:12:
Posted by Jon Lawes on 02/12/2021 07:08:14:

Do you mention this out of pride KB?! It seems to be a very odd boast.

 

Not a boast at all. Sorry if it appeared that way. I merely offered my experience as hints for others who may wish to be excused (as the title of the thread seemed to ask for). I'm scientifically trained, and thought that being expected to assess the merits of a case, given incomplete evidence and faulty argument, whilst in ignorance of the law, would be an intellectual impossibility. Just being honest and intellectually rigorous. And if that's whacky, Ady1, so be it. I rest my case.

When I did jury service the judge went to quite some lengths to explain to the jury not only the law in question, but what it meant in practice - in other words, to ensure that the jury were not ignorant and made a wise decision. I am tempted to think that had you served on a jury, your comments would be backed by the benefit of experience.

 

Edited By John Abson on 02/12/2021 10:54:04

Howard Lewis02/12/2021 17:13:34
5751 forum posts
13 photos

F i L was called and wanted to give the defendant the benefit of the doubt. Turned out he had a record as long as War and Peace!

Wife was a teacher, but she was called. Two days waiting around and then sent home again.

They never got round to me, Perhaps already aware of my views on life!

No longer likely, as both of us too old, now,

Howard

bricky02/12/2021 19:12:06
542 forum posts
68 photos

I was not pleased about being called but when I heard the details of the crime I was pleased when the judge sent the accused to prison for 12 years and I had played my part in the outcome.I'm 75 now and I am glad I won't have to do it again.

Frank

Sandgrounder02/12/2021 19:46:41
237 forum posts
6 photos

It must all come down to the type of case you have to be a juror on, I found it very interesting but the 2 cases I was on were not too serious, the first a criminal case was dismissed by the judge after a couple of days because of prosecution evidence failings and the second was a civil case where we had to reach both a verdict and also decide on damages, however tonight I've just watched the BBC news report of a 6 year old boy who was tortured and murdered, his father being guilty of manslaughter and his partner guilty of murder, both guilty of child cruelty, the case lasted 9 weeks, just watching the TV news reporting details and a few moments of actual footage showing his suffering brought tears to my eyes, but to have to endure 9 weeks of it, it would have to be done and would give great satisfaction to convict the guilty but could leave you traumatised for a long time.

John

Mike Poole07/12/2021 16:18:10
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Moderator
3174 forum posts
72 photos

I was called for jury service when I was around 21-22, the irritating thing was that I worked night shift at the time so had to take the night off prior to the selection process which when told that I was not required and could go back to work did not really work for me. The maximum expenses fell short of losing a 10 hour shift with 33% premium so I would have been out of pocket too. I had to show up at least one more time and again was not required. I wonder how worldly wise I was at 22? It’s worrying to think young whippersnappers are involved in making life changing decisions for people. I wonder how the jurors feel who found someone guilty of a hanging offence who was later found to be innocent, difficult to say sorry or compensate a dead man. Luckily that can’t happen here now.

Mike

SillyOldDuffer07/12/2021 16:58:24
Moderator
7924 forum posts
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Posted by Mike Poole on 07/12/2021 16:18:10:

I was called for jury service when I was around 21-22, the irritating thing was that I worked night shift at the time so had to take the night off prior to the selection process which when told that I was not required ...

Mike

That's nothing - I started work in an office with three blokes who had done National Service. They all had tales of discomfort and humiliation! One of them spent his 21st birthday marching 10 miles across Luneburg Heath, digging a fox-hole in the dark, and sleeping in it until dawn. In full kit with rifle, entrenching tool and gas mask. No hot food, water bottle only, and it was snowing...

geoff walker 116/12/2021 18:51:52
478 forum posts
181 photos

Well referring back to the original post, I've been reprieved or should I say excused from jury service.

Very pleased, of course and having done jury service on two occasions one as foreman of the jury I really had no desire to do it again.

All I did was tell them I was over 70 and that was it, simple enough.

Whoever takes my place good luck to them, do your duty, as I did, twice, you never know you may enjoy it

John Reese16/12/2021 21:31:26
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1015 forum posts

I got called once. It was a dram shop suit. I told the judge I was a recovering alcoholic. I was told I could go home. My wife served on a jury once. She fell asleep during the trial. She was sent home.

mick17/12/2021 17:27:11
405 forum posts
45 photos

Just tell them your deaf as a post and you can't wear hearing aids for any length of time.

Dave Wootton17/12/2021 17:57:46
234 forum posts
56 photos

I've just done mine this October, I was very peeved and reluctant to go regarding it as a thorough nuisance, stopping me loco building. However despite having to suffer the awful traffic around Canterbury every day for two and a half weeks, in the end it was interesting and I think important to do properly.

It was a serious crime with multiple defendants, and I was impressed by the care taken by the court and my fellow jurors to reach a balanced and reasoned outcome. I believe it to be as good a system as any and I'd happily do it again if asked. Did slow down progress in the workshop though!

Was made foreman and was a bit intimidating having to stand up and state the verdicts, the defendants were quite beefy!

Edited By Dave Wootton on 17/12/2021 17:59:50

Harry Wilkes17/12/2021 18:09:13
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1265 forum posts
64 photos

When I did my jury service some years back I was on a Coroners Jury the case I was on was that of an electrician who died in an accidence whilst at work resulting in his death by electrocution being a electrician in heavy industry i was not only interested in the case but also understood the in's and out's of the accidence. After the case was present the jury were allowed to ask questions, some question from my fellow jury members were challenged by the defence however not mine .

H

Dr. MC Black19/12/2021 13:59:08
266 forum posts
1 photos

I have twice served, once locally and once at the Old Bailey

When I was summoned recently, I wrote back explaining that I would be delighted to serve but that I had been diagnosed with a Prostate Problem and hoped that the court would be sympathetic to allow me to empty my bladder quite frequently.

I was excused.

 

Edited By Dr. MC Black on 19/12/2021 13:59:33

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