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Thread: Jury Duty

  1. #1
    Regular Member WARCHILD's Avatar
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    Jury Duty

    This is off topic in regards to firearms. But it does have to do with my rights.

    I know reporting for jury duty is mandatory. I completed the questionnaire and mailed it back.
    My questions is as follows: I am required by law to report for duty;
    Is there any law which requires/mandates I have to participate either verbally or in writing any discussion or vote on the case I have been assigned to?

    I did put in my comments section that I would refuse myself on any vote or discussion for a verdict on the defendants innocence or guilt. I would assume by my default, it would be a hung jury.

    I do not intend this thread to be a discussion on how to "get out" of jury duty.
    It is just that my google fu is weak and I can't find the answer to my question.

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Regular Member autosurgeon's Avatar
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    As a juror you are a check and balance to the legal system that you dislike... remember you may be able to help some poor soul by serving as that check and balance!
    Anything I post may be my opinion and not the law... you are responsible to do your own verification.

    Blackstone (1753-1765) maintains that "the law holds that it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."

  3. #3
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    If you were/are picked for the jury, and said this in court. The judge could, if he/she wanted to site you with contempt


    You do not want that.

  4. #4
    Regular Member WARCHILD's Avatar
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    Sorry, I have no faith in the legal system. Only loathing and contempt for the way it is used. There are more rights used for the criminal and plea bargains instead of a fair sentence to the actual crime they were charged with.

    Until "JUSTICE" is put back in the system...I want no part of it.

    But I am just trying to find the legal answer to my question.

  5. #5
    Regular Member eastmeyers's Avatar
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    Jury duty may be a pain in the butt, but if I ever have to do it (which I am sure I will) I will. The reason being, IF god-forbid I ever have to goto court and need to be tried by a jury, I know I will be grateful to have that right given to me by our founding fathers.

    Everyone wants the right to be able to be judged by a jury of their peers but no one wants to be on a jury...
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    Quote Originally Posted by autosurgeon View Post
    As a juror you are a check and balance to the legal system that you dislike... remember you may be able to help some poor soul by serving as that check and balance!
    +1


    Warchild,

    I cannot imagine there would not be such a law, even if only implied in the law that requires you to respond to the summons to jury duty. Allowing someone to not participate in the jury room kinda nullifies the whole reason for requiring someone to respond to the summons in the first place.

    If you have a conscientious objection to serving on a jury at all, you might just tell the judge.

    If you object to someone being prosecuted for an unjust law, there is a very old jury power judges will try to hide from you. It is called jury nullification--voting to exonerate even though the defendant broke the law because the law is unjust. If something like this might be your objection, you can read up below.

    1. An Essay on the Trial by Jury Lysander Spooner 1852. Read Section I. Trust me, if you read Section I you will know far more about the powers and purpose of a jury than 98% of the population, and far more than many judges would be comfortable you knowing.

    http://lysanderspooner.org/node/35

    2. FIJA (Fully Informed Jury Association) website. http://fija.org/ By the way, one of the contributors to the documents on this website is none other than Professor James Duane of Regent University Law School--the law professor who gives the youtube talk about not talking to police.

    3. Article on Jury Nullification: http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig10/emal1.1.1.html

  7. #7
    Regular Member eastmeyers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WARCHILD View Post
    Sorry, I have no faith in the legal system. Only loathing and contempt for the way it is used. There are more rights used for the criminal and plea bargains instead of a fair sentence to the actual crime they were charged with.

    Until "JUSTICE" is put back in the system...I want no part of it.

    But I am just trying to find the legal answer to my question.
    IMHO
    Be honest, say just this, I am sure the defense will dismiss you, they do not want someone on the jury that is more likely to find Justice. From my understanding this is actually a quite common thing to say and "get out" of jury duty.
    "Bam, I like saying bam when I cite something, in fact I think I shall do this from here on out, as long as I remember.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WARCHILD View Post
    Sorry, I have no faith in the legal system. Only loathing and contempt for the way it is used. There are more rights used for the criminal and plea bargains instead of a fair sentence to the actual crime they were charged with.

    Until "JUSTICE" is put back in the system...I want no part of it.

    But I am just trying to find the legal answer to my question.
    Realize those rights are the same rights that protect the accused innocent.

    The Founders decided long ago that part of the price of freedom is that some criminals get away, this being better than a criminal government being able to attack almost anybody and everybody.

    I had a chat with a family member a couple years ago. The family member decried judges who let criminals off on technicalities. I tried explaining that those "technicalities" were our rights, or what's left of them. It was useless to explain. Only later did I realize that I should have said that the judge is the wrong target. If a criminal gets off on a "technicality" the blame belongs to police and prosecutor who brough a weak case or through incompetence or mistake violated someone's procedural rights. Blame the police and prosecutor for sloppy work. In such a case, assuming no corruption of the judge, the judge was doing his job.

  9. #9
    Regular Member Lord Sega's Avatar
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    It's a citizen's duty & honor to serve

    ... that said, I was on Federal jury duty and one person sat in the corner reading a paperback book during the entire deliberations, but he did vote at the end (just going with the group), it was a different person that was a 1 vote hold-out, but it only required a majority vote. I don't know if what he did was legal, or if we had reported it he would have been in trouble and required a replacement juror.

    Our court system may have it's problems, it's not perfect, but it's better than most countries. It takes our participation to make it work at it's best. It needs people willing to make the effort, to view the evidence logically and dispassionately, and give a fair judgment of the accused. To do less screws up the "system" even worse. IMHO

  10. #10
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    I have found jury duty to be one of the most educational activities that any citizen can participate in. Although it is aggravating it is something that eveyone should do at least twice. You do have a legal obligation to report for jury duty but you are not required to serve on a jury if you have a valid reason and the fact that you refuse to take part in any process will be weighed as to your duty to serve. Trial by jury was something that the Founding Fathers were sure to include and is one of our greatest rights. Why some refuse to participate in that is understandable but we must remember that when we do away with that right then which is the next right to get rid of.

    You may not have a legal duty to serve but you do have a moral duty as othewise you are denying some person of their rights.

  11. #11
    Regular Member WARCHILD's Avatar
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    I didn't intend this to be a full blown discussion on the subject, but it does bring out good discussion of our rights and responsibilities.
    I have read most of the juries rights stuff and jury nullification doesn't apply to my question as that is a tool for "jurors" to use. I have found nothing that answers my question of mandatory participation.
    I majored in business law back in high school, so I have spent many hours/days in various court rooms. I have seen the system twisted and played for both good and bad.
    Some have cited our founding father's set up the system to provide the individual with a "JUST" trial. In my opinion, if they were alive today and see what they have made has become; they would refuse themselves too.
    I could rant on and on to no avail, on how corrupt the system is. But as with all things, there are many varied opinions, pro and con.
    My distrust of the "legal" system, is why I try my best to be law abiding and stay out of the "system" all together. Hence my inquiry to find the "legal" way to refuse sitting on any jury, criminal or civil.
    If no such case law or jury rights exists, I will have to deal with explaining my position to the system.
    Thanks to all for your input.

  12. #12
    Regular Member 1245A Defender's Avatar
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    dont refuse to serve,,, just be unattractive!

    I too have wished to excuse myself from jury duty.
    when i got the notice and questionnaire,
    i stated my feelings of distrust of the cops, and added that,,,
    anybody that is accused of a crime, must be GUILTY!!
    I have always been excused from duty.
    I have learned alot in the last year, and my feelings of citizenship
    and responsibility, to uphold the rights of those accused of crimes,
    and as a peer, i now feel a moral duty to try to serve honorably next time im called.
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    Regular Member PDinDetroit's Avatar
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    I consider it a High Honor to be asked to serve my country and I would willing participate in Jury Duty, even though I know the justice system to be flawed. This is the reason for Good Men and Women to be involved, especially those who have studied some level of laws like we Open Carriers have.

    Any system of government, justice, forums, etc. will be flawed because the most base components are flawed and imperfect - Human Beings. By being involved, we have the ability and opportunity to affect things for the good of all - even one small case can make a difference. This is the main reason that I have stepped up and started writing Open Letters to our MI Legislators as I hope to make a difference, even in some small way (Yes, there will be more of these Open Letters).

    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. WARCHILD - you are a Good Man, I encourage you to go and serve if called.

  14. #14
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    I don't know why people on here don't write the legislature, those letters could be more relevant in changing an issue than your vote would be.

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    Regular Member PDinDetroit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stainless1911 View Post
    I don't know why people on here don't write the legislature, those letters could be more relevant in changing an issue than your vote would be.
    Exactly!

  16. #16
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    In some ways I agree with Warchild about what the system has corrupted but is we look back in history it really isn't that much different. Our judicial system of courts is an adversary systen where we have two sides trying to prove their point. However too many attorneys take it as no more than a game where they are trying to win much like a debate. The jury decides who wins, they are the judge of the contest. Everyone deserves a FAIR trial and the only way is for good people to sit on juries and be that judge no matter how offended we are with the process. When you are on a jury to decide guilt or not you can use everything presented, even the actions of the defense or prosecution lawyers. But you must base your decision on facts and not on personal feelings. Some want to say the jury nullifiaction is the answer but that is only a small option to use in rare cases. Good people have to act because the bad ones are taking over and we are letting them. Evil triumps when good people do nothing.

  17. #17
    BillWatkins
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    "Judge Not....." You NEVER HAVE to Judge Others!!!!!!!

    Just as no one can legally "draft" you to kill people because of your religious beliefs, no one can legally make you judge others.

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    --our Bill of Rights!!!!!!!PEACE!!!!!!!

  18. #18
    Regular Member Onnie's Avatar
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    I have been called twice but both cases were dismissed prior to jury selection, as the defendant took a plea

    I think our system sucks! You can blame the Judges, The prosecutor or the trial lawyer, they are all the blame in some manner for how courts are conducted.

    But the worst in my opinion are the idiots who sit on the jury and allow themselves to be lead blindly to the troff of justice without question.

    NO prosecutor would want me sitting on a Jury, because with me they would have to PROVE their case to me!

    I look forward to the day I am once again selected and sit on a jury, at that point I know the person on trial will have at least one person in that court room who will be willing to give him a FAIR trial, something I think does not happen too often in todays courts
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    Regular Member dougwg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onnie View Post
    I have been called twice but both cases were dismissed prior to jury selection, as the defendant took a plea

    I think our system sucks! You can blame the Judges, The prosecutor or the trial lawyer, they are all the blame in some manner for how courts are conducted.

    But the worst in my opinion are the idiots who sit on the jury and allow themselves to be lead blindly to the troff of justice without question.

    NO prosecutor would want me sitting on a Jury, because with me they would have to PROVE their case to me!

    I look forward to the day I am once again selected and sit on a jury, at that point I know the person on trial will have at least one person in that court room who will be willing to give him a FAIR trial, something I think does not happen too often in todays courts
    +1

    I have served on a Jury only once, we sent one man free and convicted the other. We were not corrupt, we did the right thing.

    No matter how screwed up the system is, the jury is the least screwed up and or best chance to make things right.

    If you're convinced the "system" is screwed up, a great way to diminish the screwedupness is to serve on a jury.

    To request a jury is a form of asking for help from your fellow citizens.
    Jerry, shall we refuse your request for help in this matter?

  20. #20
    Regular Member WARCHILD's Avatar
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    As with ALL that is everyone's choice.
    I have never served and will never serve on a jury in judgement of someone else.
    Research the number of INNOCENT people that have been convicted; DESPITE the honesty and integrity of each individual juror. With the current corruption in the system the jury does not always get the complete facts of the case. Some through the "legal" omission of pertinent facts that may have had an effect on the juror's decision.
    So no, a jury does not always mean that justice is served.

    Were I ever in the position to need a jury; yes I would request one and use it to my best advantage to play the system the same as the lawyers and judges do.

    JMO

  21. #21
    Campaign Veteran smellslikemichigan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    +1


    Warchild,

    I cannot imagine there would not be such a law, even if only implied in the law that requires you to respond to the summons to jury duty. Allowing someone to not participate in the jury room kinda nullifies the whole reason for requiring someone to respond to the summons in the first place.

    If you have a conscientious objection to serving on a jury at all, you might just tell the judge.

    If you object to someone being prosecuted for an unjust law, there is a very old jury power judges will try to hide from you. It is called jury nullification--voting to exonerate even though the defendant broke the law because the law is unjust. If something like this might be your objection, you can read up below.

    1. An Essay on the Trial by Jury Lysander Spooner 1852. Read Section I. Trust me, if you read Section I you will know far more about the powers and purpose of a jury than 98% of the population, and far more than many judges would be comfortable you knowing.

    http://lysanderspooner.org/node/35

    2. FIJA (Fully Informed Jury Association) website. http://fija.org/ By the way, one of the contributors to the documents on this website is none other than Professor James Duane of Regent University Law School--the law professor who gives the youtube talk about not talking to police.

    3. Article on Jury Nullification: http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig10/emal1.1.1.html
    i was about to post fija, i'm glad i saw yours first. i like the idea of nullification.
    however, warchild, i agree with your opinion of the justice system.
    here is an example of how things are stacked against defendants:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZyWlHvA-iw
    Last edited by smellslikemichigan; 06-02-2011 at 12:44 PM.
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    Regular Member VW_Factor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WARCHILD View Post
    With the current corruption in the system the jury does not always get the complete facts of the case. Some through the "legal" omission of pertinent facts that may have had an effect on the juror's decision.
    So no, a jury does not always mean that justice is served.
    +1

    I have a hard time accepting that we as citizens can be forced to participate in the sham of our legal system, when the jury is refused ALL of the facts in a case brought forth against another citizen.

  23. #23
    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter Venator's Avatar
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    The problem with juries is that the lawyers get to pick them. If it was indeed a random sample of ones peers, then perhaps it would be more fair. And peers as it was intended mean just that. People like the accused. You were supposed to know the accused, live in their town, know their family, etc. If they were college educated they got college educated jurors. If the were working class laborers the jury would be made up of the same. If you were white and male the jury was suppose to be the same. But that is not the case

    Lawyers want, dumb, uninformed, passive people to serve as jurors, because they can manipulate them.

    I suspect I will never be picked, too much formal education, to informed on the laws and legal system, etc.... I would love to serve, but I suspect I will never get the chance.
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  24. #24
    Activist Member hamaneggs's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by stainless1911 View Post
    I don't know why people on here don't write the legislature, those letters could be more relevant in changing an issue than your vote would be.
    Most people do not know that letters,emails and phone calls to their legislators is equivilant to voting on every bill! Thats more powerfull than just voting in the election! You can do all three on each bill!
    Last edited by hamaneggs; 06-02-2011 at 04:56 PM.
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  25. #25
    Regular Member WARCHILD's Avatar
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    Being the acute cynical anti govt that I am;
    How sure are you (or anyone) that your reps even read them? How can you "know" they have been read by the rep and not "screened" by an intern or scribe that might just provide an "overview" of the subject sent if at all?

    JMO

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