Recently I had the interesting experience of reporting to Superior Court in Arizona for jury duty. I say “interesting” because I almost made it on a jury but was booted out of the jury box by one of the lawyers, either for the defendant or the plaintiff. So, I got jury duty out of the way without actually having to participate in a trial, though I did get to hear a little bit about a trial related to a medical condition. Had I any input in the matter I would have decided not to have had this “interesting” experience like many called for jury duty.
People selected for jury duty who decided not to report can be thrown in jail in some states, or have a bench warrant issued for their arrest. I wonder how you would defend that in court, ask your jury for forgiveness for not being on another jury? Some states just levy a fine though.
I wish I had a legitimate excuse not have been placed on the jury, though I answered truthfully all of the questions asked of me by the judge and lawyers. Although justice is supposed to be blind the judge and lawyers have a lot of input about who actually gets to sit on a jury for a given trial. Mostly lawyers want jurors who are impartial and who won’t try to sway their fellow jurors one way or another.
Here at the top ten things that can get you kicked out of the jury box:
1. Asking to use the bathroom every 15 minutes, but then quickly adding “I can wait . . . “
2. Wearing a t-shirt that says “Only God Will Judge Me” on the front.
3. Muttering under your breath that you “I smell delicious smoked Canadian bacon somewhere in the court room” and glaring at the judge.
4. Telling the judge that you have “experience executing prisoners with a guillotine”, especially if mentioned during a civil trial this will raise eyebrows.
5. Asking the judge if you can have the testimony translated from English into Spanish, and then from Spanish back into English for yourself so that you can more easily make a decision.
6. Repeatedly stating “I don’t believe in the justice system”, when asked questions about your biases.
7. Wearing a clown suit to jury duty.
8. Asking that if during the trial you will be allowed to interrogate witnesses privately in your own specially made home interrogation chamber.
9. Pretending to talk to an “imaginary friend” in german while the judge is asking you a question.
10. Winking repeatedly at the defense team and giving them the thumbs up.
For the top ten reasons why chimps go to war, click here: