howdy wrote:I have served on six jury's, everything from a civil trial to a capital murder trial. I ALWAYS get picked. I am a Marine, retire Delta Pilot and a Paramedic. I just don't understand why I get picked. I answer their questions honestly but to the point. I try to look bored and totally non-caring. I still get picked..
I asked after the first jury how that works as I didn't know either and wondered... so I asked.
The reply was you didn't get picked, you were the leftovers. Starting with the first person in line (who is potential juror number one) going down to the last person in the pool, the defense, prosecution and the judge have a number of "strikes." (watch DR Bull on TV) So if the defense doesn't like you, then you are struck. If the prosecution doesn't like you then you are struck. The judge also has strikes. Now the number of strikes would vary with he number of jurors needed and the size of the people in the pool.
A third time, after we were all lined up outside the courtroom (in the order we were called downstairs in the jury room) the bailiff came out and "re-arranged" our order before we were taken inside to the voir-dare (sic). Just before we were to go inside to start the litigants came to an agreement and settled (another civil case). I have no idea what the case was about. The lawyers must have looked at the cards and wanted to do some adjusting. I can't remember what number I was here at all.
You must have noticed the lawyers concentrated most of their questions to the first 20 or so, they were working on who they did NOT want on the jury. I can't remember my numbers in both of my cases but I was always about half way with 14 jurors being chosen (12 plus 2 alternates. I would hate being an alternate, set there and listen to the whole thing without getting to offer your opinion, that would just plain suck!) I was never one of the alternates being 8 or 10 something like that (both trials were over 20 years ago now.) I was voted foreman in the AA/Sante Fe case.
I have found that all six jury's were full of good people. They really wanted to be fair and come to the correct verdict. My last trial was a civil trial involving a landlord/tenant relationship. They were also ex lovers. They wasted 5 days of our time and five days driving from Katy into downtown Houston. We gave neither party a dime and admonished the plaintiff lawyer for filing this frivolous case. (he wanted to hear how we came to a verdict and we did nothing but tell him what a complete waste of air he was.)
I used to think my time was wasted in jury duty; that was before I served on my first jury. I learned a lot about migraine headaches and drugs used to treat them and their side effects and what happens if you ignore the doctor's orders.
I also learned a lot about cause and effect. The pickup driver saw the train, the driver was trying to beat the train, there just wasn't an enforceable STOP sign on the gate. That fact left American Airlines liable.
You are also NOT allowed to do any investigating on our own or talking to anyone about the case until the verdict is read in open court.
Hollywood makes movies showing how a juror goes out and does his own investigation to come to his/her decision... That is STRICTLY forbidden. ((Just FYI.))