11.08.2005

Miss Snark in the Hands of the Law!

Miss Snark is exploring the criminal justice system...but safely.
Jury duty Snarklings.
I'm sure there will be some poor soul foolish enough to put his life in Miss Snark's hands.

Until I'm back from the courthouse!

19 comments:

Dave Kuzminski said...

Jury duty can be fun. Just think of all the yelling and screaming you're allowed to do legally like in Twelve Angry Men.

Actually, I finally pulled jury duty just a little over a year ago and it was satisfying to see that every single member of the jury actually tried to weigh the evidence fairly in order to reach a verdict. I was pleased with the outcome in that the defendant was found innocent of some charges and guilty of others simply because the jury looked to see if all the conditions were met for finding guilt in each charge individually. They didn't decide that he must be guilty of everything if he was found guilty of just one charge.

And no, we didn't shout or scream like in the movie, though we did have some fireworks with the judge and a bailiff who wanted us to just reach a verdict. I took great pleasure as the foreman in telling the bailiff that he knew better than to try to influence our vote and told the judge the same thing when she called me into her chambers expecting to get her way. We took our time and we reached a fair verdict on every charge.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

I got a jury summons yesterday for county court at the end of the month, but since my business is a sole proprietorship it would be, what they classify as an undue hardship on me to be closed for that long!

WriteNow said...

Now that's just plain scary. I'm not sure who I feel more sorry for, the criminal, or your fellow jurors. Give'em hell, Miss Snark!

Mad Scientist Matt said...

Too bad the defendant probably won't be Robert Fletcher, or Willem Meiners. But until you get back, we can dream, can't we?

Dave Kuzminski said...

By the way, do we need to smuggle in any gin to you? ;)

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Geez, Dave....think mistrial!

Shadow said...

Actually, Miss Snark, the poor soul whose life could be in your hands isn't the one who will pick you. The question is, 1. Will the lawyers recognize a kindred soul (shark, snark; close enough) and 2. Will that work for or against you?

the chocolatier said...

I hope I never get called for jury duty. I know that The Runaway Jury is purely fiction, but I was terrified all the same.

archer said...

I give the following advice for free, as I have no intention of suffering through a Snarkless week:

1. While being questioned about your occupation, etc., look suddenly at one of the lawyers and say in an intense whisper: "You."

2. Stand up and point at whoever is talking and say "That's a lie." If the person is on videotape, do this several times.

3. Exhibit a gnomish little obsidian statue and some incense. If they try to swear you in, ask the bailiff for a match.

Good luck!

Archer

jackie said...

After spending three days on Jury duty in downtown Brooklyn I spent a week recovering from the 'flu. I strongly recommend a healthy dose of gin before bed each night - and try not to breathe or touch anything in the waiting room or court room.

MissWrite said...

LOL@Jackie's comment 'try not to breathe in the waiting room, or court room'. Gee Miss Snark, I sure hope they are short sessions.

Caro said...

I just had to do jury duty recently (only one day, fortunately), and heard the following exchange on the plaza while one break:

Client: But they do it on Law & Order.
Lawyer: Have you noticed that we're not on a tv show?

Mizrepresent said...

My last jury duty episode was deciding who gets what in a divorce case...now why would someone choose to have such a case decided by a jury i don't know. It had the serious making of a novel or tv movie. We were privy to learn about all of their indecretions, alcoholism and a history of wealth. When you both come from wealthy families, have trust funds, property etc..ranging in the millions, what the heck are you fighting for? The most annoying thing was spending a week with a host of people, some you like, some you instantly dislike and others you end up disliking even more...who are these people, i ask? I just wanted to get the hell out of there...of course i wanted it to be over, but i wanted it to be fair, so yes, i held out, until they agreed to divide everything 50-50..i don't care if the wife was a drunk! Best of wishes Miss Snark. Hope you have just as much fun!

Christine said...

I will never be allowed to be on any jury. There are several reasons for this..

A) right now, I'm the caretaker for my preschool son.
B) I'm in the volunteer fire service (yes, that gets you out of jury duty, at least in NJ!)
C) My father worked for the US Treasury Dept. (he was always excused before the first round of selection was over
D) I have several friends who are police officers, and my best friends husband to be is a Special Investigator to the Prosecutor's office. Imagine that - I'm on jury duty ..."Hey Dan, what are you doing testifying? How's Nikki..."

Yeah, they never let me stay on juries. Not complaining.

Anita said...

I've been called for jury duty twice and have yet to see the inside of a courtroom. Of course, I'm the one person in the world who actually wants to serve . . .

Mr. Breese said...

I'm actually an attorney myself, and one of the nice things about the profession is that I usually get excused from jury duty pretty quickly.

Miss Snark said...

Miss Snark is contemplating a life of crime: felony convictions remove you from jury service. Misdemeanors don't count--Miss Snark's missspent youth was no help at all!

Dave Kuzminski said...

So much for being judged by your peers, unless you haven't been convicted before. ;)

Sal said...

Christine sez, D) I have several friends who are police officers, and my best friends husband to be is a Special Investigator to the Prosecutor's office.

The judge will tell you that police officers and, yes, even judges sit on juries.

No, Archer's right on the money, as he so often is.

Here are two more ways to be waived by either side:

(1)
You: "I have two nephews who are police officers."
Judge: "Police officers and, yes, even judges ... ya ya ya."
You: "You don't understand. My nephews weren't hired to arrest innocent people." (The defense attorney will let you go, even if the judge won't.)
(2)
You: "I'm a vegetarian."
Judge: "Being a vegetarian does not exempt you from jury duty. We have many jurors who are vegetarians."
You: "But I don't want to hurt a single living thing. I know that if I find the defendant guilty, he'd go to jail, and that would hurt him. I could never find him guilty." (The prosecuting attorney will let you go, if the judge doesn't.)

I was on a jury where the attorneys/judge excused two people from serving who made the above remarks.