What’s Your Jury Duty Story?

10 hours from now I’ll begin jury duty.

This will be the fourth time in the last 7 years that I’ve been summoned to serve in St. Louis City, where I live. For me, it’s a dichotomous duty: I’m proud to perform my civic duty, but I’m also the only full-time employee at a company that is my sole source of income. It’s at least 2 days where I can’t serve my customers for 10 hours.

The first time I served, I sat in a room with hundreds of other people for 2 days and never got called. I think that happens if there aren’t enough cases for all of the potential jurors, something the court doesn’t know until that week.

The second time I served, I got called right away, but I was dismissed on the second day because I didn’t answer the lawyer’s questions the way he wanted me to.

The third time I got called fairly early and was dismissed midway through the second day because of an answer I provided.

What’s your jury duty story? Have you ever been called?

10 thoughts on “What’s Your Jury Duty Story?”

  1. I’ve had to report twice- first time was about 4 years ago. Calling each Friday of the month to see if I had to show up in the next week- and I finally did near the end of the month. Kidnapping case, there was a large room of us, and frequent periods where the lawyers went off to confer. They finally made their selections at the end of the day and I was skipped, but counted as filling my requirement.

    My second time was last year, assault case involving a cop. Much smaller room, smaller group. I was ready for the gotcha question (If something happens and we have to stop the trial midway through, is the defendant guilty, innocent, or unknown? he’s innocent until proven guilty). I probably got myself eliminated when one potential juror was saying that the defendant wouldn’t be here if he hadn’t done something and the cops wouldn’t have brought the case if they didn’t suspect him, and I countered that there are stories of police corruption and mishandling evidence, and sunk cost fallacies. I was out of there before lunch.

    • It seems wrong to me that folk would be dismissed for saying such things.

      I understand that these statements could imply a bias, but by dismissing you, they seem to be judging you quickly and making it not a ‘jury of your peers’, which is what I thought the US system was meant to be.

    • It’s interesting that you noticed the room size, Scott. I’m going to pay attention to that this year.

  2. Here in the UK, we don’t have any such system so I’ll never have a jury duty story. 🙁

    Actually, I’d probably slightly resent it if I were called up every couple of years (you don’t get any compensation?) but it sounds like a good experience and I do like the idea of being judged by peers rather than just a judge.

    • I think I make like $8 for the entire day or something like that. I’m not sure why I’m called so often–other people I know who live in the city aren’t called nearly that often.

  3. I’ve always loved a good court drama and always thought it would be a neat experience to serve on a jury for a big case. Unfortunately, I have found that due to my profession I will never be allowed on a jury. The last time I was called, last summer, I waited a day and a half before I was called and as soon as they asked me my name and occupation, I was immediately dismissed. I did have the chance to testify twice in court as an expert witness though so not all is lost! 🙂

  4. I served on a jury last April. I was selected and the trial lasted all week .It was a child molestation case. It was an experience that I wouldn’t wish on anyone, but I also cherrish having had that experience.


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