Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The "Jury" is out.

Come on now Jury Duty is fun.
One of these days your going to get something in the mail that is going to drive you crazy , but can't do anything about it . AND ITS THE LAW.  Many of you have served on a Jury summons before , and many of you understand that it is part of your civic duty to serve . Take may advise I am not trying to encourage you do break the law and be a jury dodger . I have to say that There's something deeply disturbing about jury duty. What I am about tell you is that if you every get a notice , there is no escaping it. I was called to serve on a on call jury , my group number was 104 . I was on the call ( phone stand by ) In the past, one legitimate beef was the way jury duty was run: calling in for days at a time over the course of a month, never knowing if you could make plans or if you'd get called in, and spend the  week hoping that my group number would not be called . The real thing that pissed me off about the American Jury system is that it's vary deceptive . When You get your jury summons notice in the mail , and on it CLEARLY says that its a ONE DAY TRIAL if you get picked . Truthfully deceptive , there are NO such things as one day trials, if it is the Superior Court office they are making you feel comfortable before they slam you in a trial that is mostly criminal rather than civil Getting there right on time and then waiting for three hours. Uncomfortable chairs. Having to fill out forms that ask personal questions. Outdated reading material. Other people being called while you sit… and sit… and sit.  I saw that the Jury system is one big bureaucracy , it resembles the DMV , or the  Department of Veterans Affairs . People of all ages and sexes are hauled into a room like cattle , and pregnant women too ! Plus the hours are inflexible, which might cause problems that your regular *** job doesn't. Or maybe you don't work at all, and jury duty means needing to scrounge up daycare that you don't normally need. Or maybe your job is one where the work will pile up and have to get done when you get back, which means facing a gigantic in-basket once the trial is over. With jury duty, the problem is that you are there and you want to be somewhere else. At least, this seemed to be the case with all of myfellow jury duty selectees this morning, and it certainly was with me. Notwithstanding the annoyingly cheery video that we were shown about the patriotic nature of jury duty, how our presence was assuring that the Republic Would Stand, blah, blah, blah, the mood in the jury assembly room for those three hours was seriously sullen.

Dodging Jury Duty.
I hate to write this but , like I said jury duty for me is a civil liberty issue , since you have to give up your personal freedom to serve as a juror . HOWEVER  I suggest to postpone your jury summons , or work something out with the jury commissioner's office.  The penalties for missing jury duty vary by jurisdiction. In come cases, potential jurors who fail to meet their obligations may be required to appear before a judge to explain themselves and may face fines or even jail time for refusing to serve. Most jurisdictions make provisions for potential jurors for whom serving would be a hardship, but in order to avoid penalties, these potential jurors must communicate their situation to the appropriate court officials.

(Take a hint from this cartoon on the left , that would be the only way out of Jury duty.)

*** If you work for a public /state department you have what they call "Jury duty Pay". It's good , but you have to prove to your employer that you where on jury duty . Jury duty in California pays 14 dollars a day , and 039 cent mileage which is based on your zip code. In other words, you get 1-2 hours of pay in return for missing an entire day of work. While many employers do make up the difference between the per diem and your normal pay, they are not required to do so. Naturally, the ones that don't are frequently the ones whose employees can least afford the loss of pay.  I also found the Wikipedia entry on juries to be interesting. Americans should realize that other democratic countries have chosen different means of rendering legal decisions. Germany, for example, doesn't use juries at all. economist's recommendation to hire jurors also is worth pondering. I agree with some of what he says. Why not find the most competent people for this job? And why should jurors be forced into involuntary servitude when they haven't done anything wrong?

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