Attention Shoppers: Please Report For Jury Duty

A Vermont judge sent his sheriff to the mall to round up a jury that could fairly try a child molester.

They stopped passers-by and asked if they were residents of Caledonia County; a “yes” answer won a summons to appear at the courthouse for jury duty immediately, right now, this minute. They rounded up 45 people that way in all, to join the 34 already at the courthouse.

Most people apparently did not mind being summoned for surprise jury service. According to the sheriff, “99.9 percent were just excellent” about being summoned on a sidewalk and ordered to report to the courthouse immediately.” Deputies were also dispatched to the local post office and supermarket.

The defense attorneys were less than thrilled with the idea of sidewalk jury.

Defense attorney Sleigh filed a motion to quash the impromptu jury pool, saying the proper way to proceed would be to simply postpone the jury draw and then draw from an all new jury pool during the next round of jury draws. Sleigh was not sure the new jurors were unbiased and he had questions regarding the method used by deputies to pick jurors. He also questioned whether picking jurors in front of the St. Johnsbury post office could provide geographic representation.

Eaton noted the Charron case is 574 days old and is one of the oldest cases on the District Court docket. He rejected Sleigh’s objections and told the parties the jury draw would begin.

Dredging malls for juries is a surprisingly common tactic for judges in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. Next time you see a sheriff in the mall, walk the other way unless you want an impromptu civics lesson.

Sheriff Rounds Up Jurors [The Caledonia Record via The Lede]

Comments

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  1. morganlh85 says:

    I would have been SERIOUSLY annoyed…

  2. bohemian says:

    I wouldn’t be amused. Were they asking people to go kill an hour right then to hear this or asking them to be stuck for days hearing this case without any warning?

  3. bohemian says:

    Nine sprechen ze English.

  4. Posthaus says:

    IS it legal? If so..HELLZ YEAH!- I don’t mind seeing people finally being punished for spending time shopping in a mall on a work day. :P

  5. ironchef says:

    @Posthaus:

    It must suck for parents. Jury duty forces working families to hire a baby sitter.

  6. huadpe says:

    I don’t know about vermont, but this wouldn’t fly in NY. You can’t get jury duty more than once every 4 years, and you are allowed a postponement.

  7. cwlodarczyk says:

    @Posthaus: While it might not be fun, jury duty is not a punishment. It is a civic duty and a part of the admission price of being an American citizen. Anybody who is called up for jury duty should be thankful that we have this system and the right to trial.

  8. ianmac47 says:

    My problem with jury duty is that is compulsory, and no provision is made to negotiate wagers. In short, jury duty is a form of involuntary servitude. Involuntary servitude is fairly clearly prohibited by the 13th amendment.

  9. homerjay says:

    I actually enjoyed jury duty the two times I took part and was seated. HOWEVER, this is stupid if its as simple as saying yes gets you picked. There’s got to be more to this process. What if I was going to the CVS at the mall to pick up my mothers insulin which she needed right now?

  10. mgyqmb says:

    Would it be possible to refuse the officer? What if you’ve got shit to do? Are they even legally allowed to select their own jurors out of the blue like that? Don’t you normally have to have a huge, diverse pool that you draw from?

  11. sven.kirk says:

    @ironchef: That is a real good argument you got there. Working families??? Why? 99% of court proceedings happen during regular business hours (excluding being sequestered).

    Also, why not give the accused child molester a chance to get out on a technicality because you don’t want to hire a baby sitter. He has been in jail, awaiting trial for 574 days. Way to keep the children safe.

    @cwlodarczyk: I agree totally. I was a little annoyed when it was my turn, but it didn’t ruin any plans. Thought of it as doing my part of justice.

  12. ShortBus says:

    Some people will sit on their butt all day long and watch a Judge Judy marathon–and then complain about getting an actual summons.

  13. CaptainSemantics says:

    @Posthaus: If I were to find myself in a mall, it would most definitely be on a “work day,” also known as a “weekday” in your vernacular. See, some people actually work on the weekends. My days off (for the most part) are Monday and Tuesday. Which I can’t say that I mind, when I run errands, it is so nice and quiet. So if that cop walked up and told me to go to jury duty, I’d say, “Fine, as long as you go to my house and do all my laundry, dishes, etc that I won’t be doing today and won’t get a chance to do until next week.” (Sorry for the run-on sentence.)

    I’m not trying to be antagonistic, and I don’t mind jury duty at all, but just give me advanced warning so I don’t get screwed. I guess life is different up there in Vermont.

  14. DallasDMD says:

    @ShortBus: Are those the people we want to be making judicial decisions?

    Juries are not all they are cracked up to be these days.

  15. othium says:

    I have been excused from jury duty for stating my belief that as a jurist, I will judge the case on the facts AND my conscience.

    The judge was not pleased with my answer and I was told I would be excused.

    Too bad. I wanted to serve on the jury.

  16. nequam says:

    @ianmac47: Cry baby! I it is appalling for somebody to compare jury duty to slavery in order to shirk a civic duty. The Bill of Rights also guarantees a jury of one’s peers — this is not possible if jury duty is optional. The problem with what’s described in the article is that the resulting jury pool may not be representative. But for you to condemn jury duty as a general matter is a great example of why a judge may need to resort to such novel methods for finding jurors. Prospective jurors with actual financial or family hardships are eligible to be released or have their duty postponed. The problem is not the jury system but, rather, it is the selfish people who try to buck it for no legitimate reason.

    Your rights and your obligations go hand in hand. If you want to cuddle up under the quilt of the Bill of Rights, you’ve got be to willing to do your share of the stitching.

  17. tozmervo says:

    Just to nit-pick The Consumerist a little bit:

    “A Vermont judge sent his sheriff to the mall to round up a jury that could fairly try a child molester.”

    should read as

    “A Vermont judge sent his sheriff to the mall to round up a jury that could fairly try a SUPPOSED child molester.

  18. TomK says:

    Remember if a case like a drug case comes before you while you are on a jury, you can nullify (vote not guilty even if you think he is guilty, causing a hung jury and retrial). Personally, I would nullify any drug case that didn’t include violence or any prostitution charges.

  19. ShortBus says:

    @tozmervo: Good point. I wonder if the sheriff went up to people and essentially said “Want to help put a child molester behind bars? We need your help now!”

  20. calvinneal says:

    Pulling people off the street with no notice for jury duty sounds unconstitutional. Are these bureaucrats unable to plan ahead? In my state advance notice is given and more jurors are in the pool than will be needed.Jurors are pulled from the voter lists. Cops have no right to even talk to you let alone question residency without evidence of a crime.I am glad I live in the mid-west.Sounds like living in ancient Prussia or somewhere.Jury duty is important. Its preposterous that a person can just be rounded up without any advance notice, making child care arrangements or anything and forced under duress to jury duty. Thats really conducive to a good legal result.

  21. ClayS says:

    @ianmac47:

    Not so bad if your employer will pay you your regular salary while you serve, but it can be a financial hardship if you are self-employed.

  22. Mollyg says:

    The easiest way to avoid this problem is to not answer the sheriff’s question when s/he asks what county you live in.

  23. JustRunTheDamnBallBillick. says:

    @TomK: And Im sure you wouldnt lie about that in order to get on the jury right? What right do you have to ignore the law when its violated.

  24. wring says:

    “i’m not a citizen! go away!”

  25. forgottenpassword says:

    Lord! Here we go! Rounding up random people on the streets for MANDATORY jury duty! JEEZE how sad is it when they have to resort to this crap?! SOunds a bit scary to me. Being stopped on the street, asked a question & then immediately whisked away to the courthouse.

    I’d be seriously pissed!

    I work a night job and MUST sleep days. Think the judge gives a shit? NOPE! At least til I start nodding off in the courtroom. Its not so easy for me to just stop my regular sleep routine. So jury duty is double the pain in the ass for me.

    And yeah, your boss can just decide to fire you if you take off work for jury duty. Just because you are legally protected… doesnt mean you really are. All a boss has to do is find another reason to “let you go”.

  26. HawkWolf says:

    Jury duty is a fact of life. However, literally grabbing people off the street to do it is a bit of a bad idea. Our society is not really accustomed to “put your civic duty ahead of your personal life”, and this isn’t the way to hammer that into people’s heads.

    Our = I’m from the United States, so I mean that society, for those furinuh’s who read this. ;)

  27. forgottenpassword says:

    Lord! Here we go! Rounding up random people on the streets for MANDATORY jury duty! JEEZE how sad is it when they have to resort to this crap?! SOunds a bit scary to me. Being stopped on the street, asked a question & then immediately whisked away to the courthouse.

    I’d be seriously pissed!

    I work a night job and MUST sleep days. Think the judge gives a shit? NOPE! At least til I start nodding off in the courtroom. Its not so easy for me to just stop my regular sleep

  28. forgottenpassword says:

    @mollyg:

    AND if he finds out you lied…. then you can be arrested for lying to a police officer. Best advice is to refuse to answer. As far as I know…. you dont have to communicate with a cop unless he is doing an investigation & you are somehow envolved.

    The whole idea sounds like something from some movie in the future when the government is an oppressive force you ahve to submit to on the spot. “CItizen! You have been chosen to serve!” Men in black riot gear then put you into a van as your family looks on in horror.

  29. BigBoat says:

    This is perfectly legal and constitutional, and does happen on occasion. Do you know what would prompt this? So many people shirking their jury duty the court is forced to rely on people on the street. Everyone pays when a society ignores their civic duty.

  30. girly says:

    @HawkWolf: I’d say it’s a lot of a bad idea.

    Civic duty yes, but they can plan ahead. They obviously didn’t start the trial immediately after the guy was arrested.

    This is pretty offensive to me. It sounds more like the whim of the judge than a necessity.

  31. huadpe says:

    @forgottenpassword: You do not HAVE to communicate to a cop at all. The only thing which can compel you to talk about something is a subpoena, which is issued by a judge.

  32. strathmeyer says:

    People who think that lying to a police officer is a crime ruin life for everyone else.

    People who think that an officer of a law can force you into jury duty just by approaching you in a mall assure the courts get just what they want: a group of people too stupid to get out of jury duty.

  33. icemaniceman1111 says:

    I understand that press laws are still on the books in NY state for involuntary service fighting forest fires. In the old days the state police would set up a roadblock and hand you a backpack water tank, a pick or maddock and shovel and send you into the woods for couple of weeks to fight the local fire. Although rarely if ever enforced or used now there is an story of a couple on their way to their honeymoon being stopped and made to work for some weeks in the woods fighting fire. I guess that NY state is reluctant to remove the laws for “just in case”

  34. chili_dog says:

    It’s time to have a professional jury pool. People that are representative, compensated and able to reason.

  35. dgcaste says:

    I trust a judge more than a retarded citizen.

  36. aka Cat says:

    This would piss me off. If I’m at the mall during the workday, chances are I’m expected back to work within the next sixty minutes.

    I don’t mind doing jury duty, but I need some advance notice to make sure someone can fill in for me at work.

  37. Garbanzo says:

    @ianmac47: The Supreme Court does not agree with your interpretation of the 13th Amendment. In Bulter v. Perry (1916) they wrote, it “certainly was not intended to interdict enforcement of those duties which individuals owe to the state, such as services in the army, militia, on the jury, etc.”

    [www.law.umkc.edu]

  38. jamesdenver says:

    @ShortBus:

    Best comment yet :) The shrills sounds of Judge Judy and that other lady from the People’s Court are heard eery day in my lunch room. Which is why I eat at my desk.

  39. othium says:

    @huadpe: – Actually, you do have to identify yourself to a police officer if they perform a “terry” stop. That’s the only thing you have to provide. Sad but true. The Supreme Court made this clear in in this case:

    [query.nytimes.com]

  40. humphrmi says:

    Oh, the humanity of it! Being inconvenienced to help provide the foundation of our country, fairly upholding the rule of law. It’s slavery, I tells ya, SLAVERY!

    Glad to see that some 99% of people approached were fine doing their civic duty.

  41. othium says:

    @TomK: I totally agree with you and the next time I am selected to serve on a jury, I will keep mum about my personal beliefs. Hopefully I get another chance.

  42. Raziya says:

    The mall…so this must have happened in the Burlington UMall. My fiance used to work there! Good thing there are no malls where I live in Vermont, bwahahaha…I’d really rather not have to go to jury duty that way.

  43. freshwater says:

    @Othium –

    Keeping quiet about your actual motivations perverts the legal
    system. The point of jury selection is to find citizens who can
    distinguish between their own whims and the law of the land. It’s fine
    to have personal beliefs that differ from the law, but to serve as a
    juror, you should be able to make a decision based on the law instead.

    Living in a representative democracy, we have the opportunity to
    change laws we disagree with through the democratic process, but a
    trial is not an appropriate place to do this. If you make a decision as
    a juror that’s based on your conscience rather than the law, you have
    as much potential to deny someone the protections of the law as to
    protect someone from what you view as a bad law. If you were tried for
    medical marijuana use in a state where that circumstance could get you
    off, would you want to go to prison because some of the jurors decided
    to consider you guilty based on their personal beliefs that all drugs
    are bad?

    If you disagree with the law, challenge it appropriately, but don’t screw up a trial because you don’t like a particular law.

    end rant.

  44. maztec says:

    This is simple. If you do not want the courts to round up people randomly, then show up to jury duty and do not give your paltry excuses of, “Oh, I, uhmm, have, a, uhmm, bad excuse, can I leave?” Most of the jury makes up their excuses. Quite frankly, it disgusts me.

    Jury duty is one of the few mandatory things within our society – next to taxes. People hate both equally for much the same reasons: financial, time, inconvenient. This does not prevent them from being useful.
    Buck up and do your duty as a citizen. Otherwise, heck, we may as well let all the illegal aliens serve on jury duty in your stead.

  45. savdavid says:

    I think serving on a jury is a duty we owe this country. I know it is not always a picnic but why be so self-centered to think someone else should have to do your service?

  46. North of 49 says:

    Jury duty is our civic duty and our right. If we did not accept the request when it is offered, if we need it down the line, there won’t be enough of a jury poll to try us.
    Mrs No49 was actually upset last year when they excused her from jury duty for being the mother to an infant. She wanted to do it and had waited years to be called forth.

  47. DrGirlfriend says:

    @maztec: I agree. I don’t know that this country as a whole understands cause and effect. If enough people weasel out of jury duty – and they do – then the courts resort to more drastic measures to get jurors. Or what, the courts get a day off if they don’t have enough people show up?

    Is it an inconvenience to be pulled this way? Sure, especially if you have stuff to do or a job to get back to. It does suck. So, next time you hear someone gloating about having weaseled out of jury duty, tell ‘em a thing or two.

  48. pylon83 says:

    Those who have said you are typically under not obligation to speak to a police officer are absolutely correct. Unless they have some reasonable suspicion that you have, are, or are about to commit a crime you don’t have to tell them anything. The “reasonable suspicion” doesn’t have to rise to the level that would allow for arrest, but they have to have more than a hunch. So a cop randomly stopping you in a mall can ask you anything he wants, but you can keep your mouth shut and simply walk away without any fear of repercussion.

  49. Daniels says:

    @maztec: If the state paid jurors a reasonable amount of money for their time, maybe people would be less willing about backing out of it.

    @freshwater: Regular citizens have very little power to change drug laws. No politician will ever take a “pro-drug” stance. At that point, the regular person’s only chance to change laws they disagree with is refuse to convict people for breaking those laws.

  50. grapeshine says:

    The real crime here is the way pronouns are used in the second paragraph.

  51. dafountain says:

    Sounds pretty police state-ish to me. Now I’m supposed to avoid the cops for fear of being snatched up for jury duty?

  52. Trai_Dep says:

    @othium: Bravo!

    And, yeah, I too have problems with the method, over the concern of it being random enough. Slack-jawed mallsters aren’t my ideal for “peers”.

    Although, they could have raided the local Wal-Mart… (shudder)

  53. TechnoDestructo says:

    @Posthaus:

    Because EVERYONE works monday-friday, right?

  54. timmus says:

    I’m curious what the hourly wage a juror makes compared to an attorney or a judge. If court costs and attorney fees run into the tens/hundreds of thousands of dollars, then there is obviously plenty of money to go around and it should be our civic duty to take care of jurors to prevent them from falling into financial hardship. If a high-profile attorney making $800K a year has to forego his country club membership for juror wages, so be it.

  55. Ryan0rZ says:

    I think the most annoying part to me is if this becomes a common occurrence. Not for the potential jurors, but for the shop owners. If their patrons get pilfered on a regular basis, I imagine they could be very frustrated. After all, it is lost business.

  56. Xkeeper says:

    @timmus: When I was summoned, it was something along the lines of “No payment first day, $40/day per day afterward”, assuming you were selected. Of course, this didn’t matter if your employer counted it as “paid leave”.

    $40/day isn’t much.

  57. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    I believe your average wally world shopper couldn’t even spell “Jury duty.”
    “I buh-leave that’s a Pauly Shore movie. That boy’s some powerful funny.

  58. MightyPen says:

    I’ve found that most people hate the idea of jury duty, taking a day off of work, and general life interruptions, but once they are involved, they really enjoy it. I pity those who will never experience it, it can be an eye opening experience.

  59. Posthaus says:

    @TechnoDestructo:

    No, some of us work Monday through Saturday. Other work all of the time, or just at any time. It’s all the same..but then I’ll never probably be part of a jury pool shanghai from the mall either.

  60. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    And the law upheld by the ‘Supreme’ Court was “a state law requiring people stopped in suspicious circumstances to identify themselves on the request of a police officer.”
    What stretch of the imagination would make walking through the mall or coming out of the grocery store ‘suspicious circumstances’ ???
    I was suspicious that this individual didn’t want to serve on jury duty?

  61. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @ianmac47: Jury duty is not compulsory. If you don’t wish to vote, you can opt out.

  62. stubblyhead says:

    The only time I’ve ever been summoned was when I was away at college, and obviously unable to meet my obligation. That was probably ten years ago, and it’s never happened since, despite the fact that I’ve lived in two different states since then.

  63. the_wiggle says:

    @nequam: bravo!

    i may not be fond of having my day tied up & unpaid/underpaid for it, but rather that than have no jury system at all

    not that the current system doesn’t need a tweak or 2 to improve it – cover the jurists wage & quit letting the attorneys cherry-pick the pool half to death

  64. humphrmi says:

    @CumaeanSibyl: Actually that’s not true. At least in Illinois. I guess it depends on your state. The State of Illinois used to take its jury pool from the list of registered voters. Then they had a problem … the list of registered voters dwindled, along with the jury pools.

    Their solution? They now take their jury pool from the DMV. If you have a license to drive, you can get called for jury duty. Whether you vote or not.

  65. crash1973 says:

    @tozmervo:
    “A Vermont judge sent his sheriff to the mall to round up a jury that could fairly try a SUPPOSED child molester.”

    Actually it should read:
    “A Vermont judge ORDERED DEPUTY SHERIFFS to the mall to round up a jury that could fairly try an ALLEGED child molester.”

    On a personal note, I do not mind serving on a Jury. My employer pays me my full pay for up to 3 days of jury duty. Anything after that though and I am screwed. So, if it will only take a day or so, I am more than happy to perform jury duty. If it is longer, e.g. O.J. trial, then I would have to ask to be excused because I would not be able to pay my bills.

  66. goller321 says:

    @cwlodarczyk: It is a civic duty, yes. But essentially being kidnapped to hear a case is ridiculous. I wouldn’t have gone.

  67. goller321 says:

    @freshwater: I’m with Othium. I’d have NO problem voting with my conscience in a trial. For example, I’d NEVER vote in favor of the RIAA or MPAA in ANY case.

  68. Buran says:

    @CaptainSemantics: And then you’d get thrown in jail and/or cited for contempt of court. As far as I know it’s illegal for an employer to punish you for jury duty, and many places have to pay you anyway (I know I would be paid if summoned).

    Why do so many people want to get out of doing their civic duty? If you’re a citizen and live in a given place being available for jury duty is part of the debt to society you all must pay.

    Yes, I would serve; I doubt I’d be on an actual jury due to a hearing impairment unless the court could arrange to place a monitor with an ongoing transcript of everything said in front of me, but if the court would do that, I would certainly serve.

    I’ve been in a courtroom once (divorce hearing) and the judge was very gracious and helpful and understanding, so I can’t see why it would be a problem…

  69. PinkBox says:

    I wouldn’t be happy if they approached me that way. If I’m out and about, I’m obviously busy.

    At least with a normal summons you have time to plan around it.

  70. Parting says:

    @sven.kirk: Working families now have a lot if different schedules. 9 to 5 job is often is unavailable dream. So they shop when they have time.

  71. Parting says:

    @Buran: If you own your own small business? What do you do? I’ve met someone who lost EVERYTHING because he had to do jury duties for months.
    The business just went downhill.

  72. digitalgimpus says:

    My problem with jury duty is that is compulsory, and no provision is made to negotiate wagers. In short, jury duty is a form of involuntary servitude. Involuntary servitude is fairly clearly prohibited by the 13th amendment.

    Yes it is. Unfortunately, a judge needs to rule it so, hence it doesn’t happen.

    That’s why Judges have free reign. Until they upset 51% of their colleagues they really don’t need to care.

    Hence my rule: always guilty. Wasting my time = guilty. Done deal. Don’t like it? Well it’s my opinion. If the court asks, I’ll be honest about it.

  73. digitalgimpus says:

    I wonder if the store owners got any compensation for the government stealing their patrons. If I were a store owner and they were just taking my customers from in front of my door all day, I’d expect some compensation.

  74. faust1200 says:

    Our jury system works great! Just ask O.J. what he thinks about it if you need any proof.

  75. goodkitty says:

    @forgottenpassword: That only happens if you’re not a citizen. Remember, service guarantees citizenship!

  76. banmojo says:

    @Posthaus: yes, I totally agree. It had to have been during the working week, and during the day. The reason 99.9% weren’t pissed off was because this was the most exciting thing that had happened to them all week, perhaps all year. F$#@ ‘em if they’re shopping when they could be working or out volunteering. I bet most were democrats. They’re frequently such perfect hypocrites.

  77. uricmu says:

    @ironchef: It’s worse. Mommy may have gone to the mall before picking little Timmy from school. Now mommy is at the courthouse,, and who’s picking Timmy up?

  78. normanm4 says:

    Be careful about what you suggest, this just might be the “cherry on top” that Best Buy has been searching for in their “customer experience” program.

  79. Trai_Dep says:

    I’m amused that there are 3,000+ soldiers that have died in Iraq so far (let alone all our slain veterans) to defend a system that, amongst other things, provides being judged by our peers.

    And these supposed patriots are whining because it’s inconvenient.

    Aww…

  80. Buran says:

    @chouchou: Then you be honest about it to the court. If that much really is at stake, tell the truth. However, sounds like your friend didn’t have a backup plan in place… oops.

  81. Buran says:

    @banmojo: I hope you’re kidding.

  82. ninabi says:

    I can’t understand why we don’t have some sort of program that would allow people to sign up for jury duty. Let us pick days that would work for us. I also know some retired people who wouldn’t mind doing some extra days in the courtroom besides their once a year duty.

  83. rockergal says:

    First of all, people need to learn about the system.
    A pool of people get selected. Those people go to the court, where the lawyers of both camps (in this case defense and DA) ask people questions. They will choose a jury based on those questions. Once the jury is selected a trial date is set. The members of the jury can plan around that.

    It continues to amaze me that people moan and groan when a “alleged” criminal gets off, and want to raise hell because of this, but when they receive notice to serve on a jury, its just to “inconvenient”
    It sounds to me like those people would prefer that we should abolish the trial system and just send people straight to jail.

    The sad part is that this country was built on the blood of those that fought to give us these rights, and the lazy American public whines when they are asked to help bring justice to this country.
    I hope that the people complaining and whining about jury duty, will have their lives are in the hands of people who are pissed to “waste” their time by serving as a member of a jury.

  84. jwissick says:

    @freshwater: We change laws in this country with 4 boxes. The Soap box, the Ballot box, the Jury box, and when all that fails, the Ammo box. Voting not guilty when someone is charged with a law you think is wrong is the right thing to do. It is one of the checks and balances of our government.

    Our Second President, John Adams said: “It is not only [the juror’s] right, but his duty…to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court.”

    The First Supreme Court Chief Justice John Jay wrote: “It is presumed, that juries are the best judges of facts; it is, on the other hand, presumed that courts are the best judges of law. But still both objects are within your power of decision… you [juries] have a right to take it upon yourselves to judge of both, and to determine the law as well as the fact in controversy.”

  85. forgottenpassword says:

    @ryan0rz:

    @dafountain:

    Yeah, I can just see it now. It becomes the norm in society …. where people RUN when seeing cops … saying “RUN! Its the Jury patrol!”

    @goodkitty:

    lol! great movie reference!

    Imagine this getting much more pervasive in the future. Imagine cops coming to your home, your place of work, pulling you over on the roads/highways etc. etc. to get juryroom conscripts.

  86. forgottenpassword says:

    @doctor_cos:

    Heck… it doesnt take much thes days to be considered “suspicious” by the police. For example… being the only white guy in a black neighborhood (or vice versa) is considered suspicious by the police these days. I cant tell you how many times I have been stopped solely for being out after dark (I work nights).

    Cops are pros at this.

  87. etinterrapax says:

    I’m just shocked there’s a mall in Caledonia County at all. Must be a recent development. I was last there in 97.

  88. kbarrett says:

    For those of you ranting against Jury Nullification ( voting your conscious ):

    Prohibition was finally killed by Jury Nullification. The Department of the Treasury asked Congress to repeal Prohibition for exactly one reason … every last Prohibition trial ended in a not guilty or a hung jury mistrial due to Jury Nullification.

    Every last one over the entire period of prohibition.

  89. Hambriq says:

    @kbarrett:

    Prove it, cause I’m not buying that.

  90. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    @bohemian:

    It’s actually: “Ich spreche nicht Englisch.” Yay European girlfriends!

    @etinterrapax:

    11 years ago is really recent.

  91. darkened says:

    @freshwater: Actually you as a citizen have your legal right to nullify a law you feel (and rest of the jury needs to agree) under “jury nullification”) the court system does it best to cover up this fact from jurors.

    Personally if this happened to me I’d be inclined to just side with the defendant no matter what. However for what the defendant is actually accused of in this case I’d give a serious interpretation, but for the majority of other cases if i was pulled off the street for a jury duty, if i was selected it’d be a godsend for the defendant.

  92. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    @forgottenpassword:

    Lying to a cop isn’t a crime. You aren’t being investigated nor are you under oath.

    Cops are just people.

  93. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    @Hambriq:
    Google is your friend.

    [findarticles.com]

  94. North Carolina has a terrible time seating a jury. When I was in law school, THREE law professors got seated on one murder trial. They just can’t get anybody to show up.

  95. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    @Hambriq:

    From the previous link:

    “A classic example of jury nullification in action is the role it played in ending Prohibition. As more and more juries refused to convict people who had clearly violated Prohibition laws, prosecutors were forced to stop handling these cases, thereby opening the door for the repeal of Prohibition.”

  96. floydianslip6 says:

    JUST SAY NO!

  97. Hambriq says:

    @Jaysyn:

    Thank you, Captain Obvious. Now, let me requote KBarrett with added emphasis so you can see what I am taking issue with:

    [E]very last Prohibition trial ended in a not guilty or a hung jury mistrial due to Jury Nullification. Every last one over the entire period of prohibition.

    Really? Every last trial? Funny, when I read through your hastily-Googled search results, I didn’t see any mention of that.

  98. econobiker says:

    Jury nullification just allows you to bail out of jury duty as most DA’s do not want the people’s input to mess up their case…

  99. Amiga_500 says:

    I quickly read through the comments. Does anyone know of a website that shows how a state selects jurors? Specifically voter registration or driver’s license.

  100. MYarms says:

    Jury duty is a joke. I feel bad for the defendants in cases because most people I’ve seen picked for jury duty will just as well come up with a guilty verdict so they don’t have to sit through several days of being sequestered. I’ve been called for jury duty several times and each time almost every person tries to get out of doing it. At least the one time I needed to get out of serving I had a good reason, I was in the middle of exam week in college but the judge still wouldn’t excuse me even though they let everyone else go that just said they hated black people. Lame.

  101. As others have stated, it’s part of being a citizen! Be happy you don’t have to serve in the military for 2 years when you hit 18. It seems employers aren’t very sympathetic to jurors though and I got guilt tripped many times when my name was called. I never made it to any trials unfortunately.

  102. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @trai_dep & @rockergal: Not being able to pay the rent because employers don’t pay you when you’re out on jury duty is more than inconvenient.

  103. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @ninabi: That would be awesome!

  104. Tonguetied says:

    Jury Nullification is just as valid as Prosecutorial Discretion and Judicially Directed Verdicts. It’s just that the system doesn’t want you to know that.

  105. kenposan says:

    wouldn’t this violate search and seizure, particularly the seizure part.

    And it would be “Ich spreche English nicht” iirc.

  106. dantsea says:

    I am seriously LOLing at some of the outraged huffing and puffing here, and all the legal theories from the armchair lawyers.

    Just because most jurisdictions issue jury appearance notices doesn’t mean that they have to do that all the time — it’s a convenience, though a widely adopted one for obvious reasons. The court and/or county can assemble a jury pretty much any way they want, and there’s not a whole lot you can do about it.

    But good luck standing in front of a judge and arguing that being summoned for jury duty unexpectedly is a violation of your constitutional rights. lolz.

  107. Erwos says:

    The “pay jurors more” crowd needs to realize that the money doesn’t come from thin air. Taxes will need to increase to offset, and you will _lose_ money. I almost think they may as well force people to do it for free at this point.

  108. AD8BC says:

    I’d love to be on a jury.

    Unfortunately, I have only been summoned twice. Once while I was in college (away from where I was technically a resident) and I got an automatic exemption. The second time when I was out of the country on business and by the time I got word of the summons I had already missed the contact deadline (but a very understanding court clerk didn’t give me any trouble when I did contact her).

    I haven’t been summoned in 6 years. Some of my co-workers seem to get jury duty summons twice a year.

    The “send the sheriff to the mall and get a jury pool” procedure was creative. And necessary because of those who whine and complain and won’t serve on a jury.

    To those of you who think that was an act of a police state, I invite you to use your brain and think a little harder on this one. If this really were a police state, the government would say “to hell with a jury, let’s convict the bastard anyway”.

  109. AD8BC says:

    I do have it lucky though. If i do get called to be on a jury, my employer will still pay me, but I have to sign over any jury duty wages to them.

  110. AD8BC says:

    @CumaeanSibyl: Not registering to vote won’t necessrily keep you from being on a jury. You can be called from any public government database. Voter registration databases just happen to be the most convenient.

  111. AD8BC says:

    @Buran: Wow! You and I actually agree on something?

    Hey, I guess we both are human. To an extent, anyway.

    :-)

  112. mannymix03 says:

    Jury Duty needs to be done, so whine all you want about how it ruins your plans and all that crap. If you were the one on trial you would want your right to a jury.

  113. inkhead says:

    Simple answer: “I’m so annoyed at being solicited at the mall I have anger at the defendant, so I’m already biased.”

    “I’m not a legal US citizen”

    “That officer, is NONE OF YOUR F*CKING business.”

    “If you want to see my ID or talk to me, call my attorney”

  114. dantsea says:

    @inkhead: I understand that sentiment, believe me. But I’ve seen far too much of the courthouse end of the legal system to ever dare try to screw with the judges and clerks on their own turf. Having contempt of court leveled at you, about the only advice you’re going to get from your attorney is “Apologize, and look sincere.”

  115. ltlbbynthn says:

    SUCK IT UP. it’s part of being a citizen