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View Diary: jury duty (or: Twelve Angry Men, here we come...) (54 comments)

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  •  I got a Grand Jury summons a few years back (4+ / 0-)

    I was thrilled!

    I do think that we are duty bound to honor jury summons, and it's obviously a most serious matter.

    I was really looking forward to seeing the justice system from that unique inside viewpoint.

    We all filed into the courtroom and the judge began calling names. And yes, I was called to be one of the 18 (as I recall).

    However, the stint was a year-long commitment, and the judge said the times would vary. Some weeks it might be just a few hours, and other weeks it could be 20 or 30 hours of duty.

    So, when it came time for me to talk to the judge, I had to be honest and tell him that, as a sole wage-earner in my family, it would have been an unreasonable hardship to serve on the grand jury for this length of time.

    The judge agreed and dismissed me from service.

    I still wonder what cases they looked at over that year.

    Later, I found out that California counties take volunteer jurors for civil grand juries. You can apply for the positions, usually online at your county court website. Ms. Unoball applied to be on the civil grand jury. She eventually was given an interview with a judge, but was ultimately turned down for whatever reason.

    So, grand jury fans, keep that in mind if you need something to do for a year or so!

    •  Yes, it is the one year comittment that hurts (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sexgenderbody, nswalls, Senor Unoball

      getting a much more diverse Grand Jury.  In my CA county it is volunteer so they are up front about the time involved.  They will post the reports/investigations online towards the end of June so you can peek and see what they did that year.

      This was how I learned there is a county position called Public Guardian.  Very important job, they help decide if someone who is alone is capable of handling their own affairs or needs to have someone assigned as their guardian.  Turns out our Public Guardian was backlogged many months and the elderly were sitting alone in their own waste waiting for a decision.  Who knows this stuff is happening out there?  You see someone running for Public Guardian on the ballot unopposed and you think, "Why not?".  In the future I am paying much more attention to the ballot small print.

      Very interesting year.  I would do it again after I retire.

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