Dear readers,

I’ve been called for jury duty starting tomorrow.  It could be just for a short period of time, or it could be longer.  We’ll see.  So, The Secular Jurist blog will be on a temporary hiatus for a while.  I’ll do my best to keep in touch.

Happy Blogging!  🙂

“You can testify but you just can’t win
cuz I’m here to tell ya you guilty as sin
Here come de judge
Here come de judge
Here come de judge…”

33 thoughts on “BLOG NOTICE: Jury Duty may put The Secular Jurist on temporary hiatus

  1. I always get called and never get into court. They don’t like my cynicism, and I’ve been lied to so many times, I use faulty reasoning. I know every patient lies. Everyone becomes a patient at some point, therefore everyone lies.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve been told that if you act and sound radical, extremist, self-serving, self-absorbed, and know how to say vague illusive things they won’t choose you. But keep in mind by projecting those characteristics you most likely will get appointed to the White House staff corp. 😬😱

    Liked by 5 people

    • I’m curious. In Aotearoa New Zealand neither defence nor prosecution can question prospective jurors. When your name is called you walk from the back of the courtroom. If you take a seat in the jury box before you are challenged, you’re on the jury. If challenged, you go home. Neither prosecution nor defence give a reason for the challenge.

      I gather it is different in the USA?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Barry, a very insightful question! First, I am not the least bit licensed to practice law in my state nor the nation so I am not the best person to ask. And this might vary from state to state; I’m unsure. However, as I understand it in criminal cases (vs. civil cases) yes, defense and prosecuting teams question possible jurors for selection with the judge presiding. I think the teams do this to ‘weed out’ property taxpaying citizens who might be too biased or leaning toward preconceived notions before the case has even been heard. I am not 100% sure of this, but I think it’s close to that? Maybe? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Many, many years ago I sat on two different murder trials. (Sidenote: one was found 1st degree, the other 2nd degree.) For both trials, jurors were questioned — mostly about knowledge of the cases and of course, their thoughts on the death penalty. Undoubtedly other questions, but can’t recall what they were. The lawyers can also “excuse without cause” — probably similar to your country.

        It’s basically a “weeding out” process, Barry.

        Liked by 3 people

        • I’ve been called for jury service around 8 times, made the walk to the jury box 4 times, challenged twice, and served on two juries (a not guilty, and a mis-trial).

          Two murder trials? Wow! What are the statistical odds of that? We average about one murder a week for the whole country, and with a jury roll of over 3 million, the odds of sitting on just one murder trial is very small. Either the odds weren’t with you or you live in a dangerous place.

          I think that if the death penalty applied here, and I sat on a murder trial, I think that for me, I’d go from “guilty beyond reasonable doubt” to “guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt”. Mistakes do happen and new technology such as DNA testing has already reversed some convictions here. You can’t undo executions, whereas you can undo a life sentence (typically with millions of dollars in compensation).

          Liked by 2 people

  3. Good for you. I always like doing jury duty, tho I’m rarely chosen. As per your moniker, this is a high point. Btw, do you, or anyone else you know, ever get called to be on a grand jury?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Bumba. Grand juries typically select members who are notable citizens in some regard – lawyers, civic leaders, etc.; so, I wouldn’t be considered and nobody I’ve ever known has served on one.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I understood differently: that federal grand juries, like local grsnd juries, are picked from federal jurist pools on random basis – which would be the democratic way. Your description seems more likely.Yeah, no wonder I havent been selected. As a social worker I am routinely rejected from most jurist panels. Good luck on yours.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks. Grand juries are supposed to be randomly selected, but typically aren’t because they are investigatory/prosecutorial bodies in contrast to court juries which are decision-making bodies. Outside the U.S., grand juries have been largely replaced by preliminary court hearings.

          From: https://www.texastribune.org/2015/08/04/texas-grand-jury-selection-become-more-random/

          Texas is on the verge of overhauling the way it selects grand jurors, shifting away from an antiquated process that has only drawn more attention with national turmoil over policing and race.

          House Bill 2150, which goes into effect Sept. 1, ends the state’s controversial “pick-a-pal” system in which judges appoint commissioners, sometimes friends, who then tap jurors to be summoned. Already outlawed in many other states, the process has been criticized for leading to conflicts of interest and not representing the diversity of individual communities.


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