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Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2007-02-28 16:30
Subject: Home, home again
Security: Public
Tags:jury
Got bounced on voir dire. (Surprise!) Fascinating experience, though. I wasn't specifically instructed not to discuss what went on in the courtroom, but I want to check into that question before I write about it here. I certainly didn't hear testimony or anything like that, but I was sworn in.
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Misty Marshall
User: mistymarshall
Date: 2007-03-01 01:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
well at least you have been mildly entertaining for us today :)
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Twilight
User: twilight2000
Date: 2007-03-01 01:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
What is about you that gets bounced on voir dire so regularly? I'm just curious :>.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-03-01 02:02 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Mother of the Child's father and brother are cops (one active, one retired). Also, somehow my life experience always comes into it. Defendant was a non-native English speaker, and the prosecutor was really focused on people who might be sympathetic to someone who didn't understand English well. Ie, people like me who've spoken other languages or lived overseas.
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juliabk
User: juliabk
Date: 2007-03-01 02:13 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Sometimes all it takes is being 'overly' educated. Techie types get bounced a lot. Now that I'm getting to matronly, I get picked more often by both sides. I'm either going to get all maternal and want to help the poor dear or I'm going to get all maternal and want revenge for the poor victim. *shrug*
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cyperus_papyrus
User: cyperus_papyrus
Date: 2007-03-01 02:23 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
'Overly' educated doesn't seem to help me get bounced. I have *way* too much education and I can't seem to get bounced from a jury for anything. Sigh.
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juliabk
User: juliabk
Date: 2007-03-01 02:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Just sometimes. It depends on the case, IME. I was on one jury where everyone had at least a Bachelor's and another one where I was one of two with any degree at all. *shrug* I do know some PhDs who are consistently bounced and who have been told privately that they're 'over educated' for a jury.

Idiots.
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Ulrika
User: akirlu
Date: 2007-03-01 17:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
On the other hand, I've been on a jury where one of the alternates was a full professor at the University of California. As I say elsewhere, education is sometimes considered a negative because of the possiblility that the juror will therefore have pertinent information to bring to the case that wasn't presented in court. Because of the defendant's right to hear all the evidence against him, having outside knowledge is deemed contrary to the fair trial interests of the defendant.
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juliabk
User: juliabk
Date: 2007-03-01 17:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Sometimes, common sense is what jurors bring to the case that wasn't presented in court. :-):-)
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Ulrika
User: akirlu
Date: 2007-03-03 04:33 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Well, that only shows the system works as intended. Common sense, rather than specialized knowledge, is precisely what the jury is supposed to bring to bear on the case -- it isn't supposed to be part of what's presented in court, it's what the jury is there to provide in the adjudication process.
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juliabk
User: juliabk
Date: 2007-03-03 05:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Actually, I don't know that anyone ever counted on 12 random individuals all having common sense at the same time about the same thing.
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cyperus_papyrus
User: cyperus_papyrus
Date: 2007-03-01 02:20 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I think cops as relatives is a big one to get you bounced. And not much to do about it. But you might find yourself on a civil case some day. I'm guessing this wasn't a civil case.
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Misty Marshall: chemicals
User: mistymarshall
Date: 2007-03-01 04:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:chemicals
You know I have never actually been called for jury duty in 34 years really. Once in college i was picked but since my residence was in another state i didn't have to go. Weird huh?
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miki garrison: pig stick figure
User: mikigarrison
Date: 2007-03-01 05:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:pig stick figure
Same here, down to getting called by a state I didn't live in.

They don't like us, sniff sniff.
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Misty Marshall: bouya
User: mistymarshall
Date: 2007-03-01 05:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:bouya
yeah just no jury love...oh well!!
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Patrick Swenson: dharma
User: tbclone47
Date: 2007-03-01 03:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:dharma
I got sat on a jury last year, and during the counselors' last chance to ask questions or to reject a member, the defense counselor looked at me and said "You look familiar to me. Are you a teacher?" Turned out I had her as a student a while back. She was fresh out of law school. The other counselor asked that I be bounced (thinking, of course, that I might secretly pull for her).
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User: bmalone
Date: 2007-03-01 12:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You can talk about it. You weren't sworn in as a juror, but merely as a member of the jury pool, and the oath that you took was to answer the court's questions honestly and without the aim of getting out of being seated on a jury.

So, did you get bounced for cause (by the judge) or was it peremptory (by one of the lawyers)?
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2007-03-01 14:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I don't know. We had 34 jurors assembled for a 13-juror seating. One juror was sent back down by the judge before we went through the entire process. The rest were questioned during voir dire, and the handbook we were given explained that after peremptory challenges, the pool was managed randomly among the remaining jurors. (Actually, I think it worked the other way -- they seated us by assigned numbers, and 10 of the first 13 jurors were kept on, so the random assignment happened before the challenges.) But those of us who were dismissed weren't told why, whether it was the assignment process itself or a peremptory challenge.

I'm pretty sure the prosecutor didn't want me regardless, and if the defense was booming people with close law enforcement connections, she wouldn't have wanted me either.
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Ulrika
User: akirlu
Date: 2007-03-01 17:13 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Well, I've never been on a jury in Oregon, but in California I was on several, and my understanding of the restriction about talking about the case is that it's strictly for the purpose of keeping an entire empanelled jury on an equal footing. The idea is that if you discuss the case with anyone outside the jury room, you are (unavoidably) thinking about the case, putting your ideas and beliefs in order, and in some sense taking steps toward coming to a decision on the case in a venue that the rest of the jury doesn't have access to. There is weighing of the evidence going on (however casually) that is not being conducted by the jury as a whole, and, to the greatest extent possible, you're supposed to avoid that. A jury is supposed to work only collectively, and only from exactly the same evidence and testimony. (That's why, as a juror, you're also instructed not to go investigate facts relevant to the case on your own. It's also the justification for dismissing jurors who have particular expertise that bears on a case -- they may have information that was not presented in court.)

So if you're off the case, there's no reason whatever you shouldn't discuss what happened in the court room, in the same way that once the jury has turned in its verdict, the jurors may discuss the case to their heart's (and conscience's) content.
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User: aries_jordan
Date: 2007-03-01 17:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:PalaceBox
You can talk about it. The main reason for the rule is to prevent people who are empaneled as jurors from being influenced by outsiders that they discuss the case with, or from learning facts about the case that are not presented in evidence.
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