Home > Everyone Speak Up. > Jury Duty – Who’s on Trial?

Jury Duty – Who’s on Trial?

Serving jury duty is getting bad, especially in Michigan. I don’t know if they have this law in other states but in Michigan, if you are selected to be a juror on a trial, you will not be allowed to use your cell phone to text until the trial is over.

This law will be up to the judges to enforce and many are expected to, especially in high-profile cases.

You see the problem is that they think that the jurors will do searches for information about the case or post things about the case, which will influence their decision about the trial.

I think that they have crossed the line with this one. They should have to provide phones with no internet service, so the jurors can still use one of the rights they have from being a productive citizen.

The jurors are not the criminals and it is bad enough that that’s how many people end up feeling, with all of the restrictions that are placed on them.

Now with this one added in the mix, it is only making many more jurors feel like their rights are being violated by having to serve jury duty.

This is where the first complication comes in. Many people have been called for duty several times or more. Then there are those who are never called and have never served and there is no real reason why they haven’t been called.

It used to be thought that if you don’t register to vote they don’t select you. There has been many people called who never registered to vote in their life. They get the names from driver license data bases and a couple of others all compiled together to make up the pool of possible jurors.

So the idea that everyone has to do their civil duty by serving jury duty is bunk and nothing more. After talking with many selected people, I actually feel that once they get a person to come down one time, you are kept in the name pool forever. You have been made their professional juror for years to come, until you can’t do it any more. That’s why someone who is 40 has served twelve times and someone older has never been called once.

The next problem that immediately puts my back up is that they send you a nice official summons for you to appear. The only way out is with a doctor’s note and that just gets you a postponement on your service date. If you do that then you get a letter telling you, you can miss the first date but it has a new date in it. You better not miss the new date for any reason or you can be thrown in jail or have your driver’s license revoked. No way there, no money, nothing is accepted as an excuse. Nice hey.

Summons are nice and warm to get when you are a good citizen. And the threat of jail leaves you feeling good all over if you have never been in trouble before.

Then you have to go somewhere you may not normally go, like Detroit or some other major city. There is not one person who wants to go to a major city like Detroit to serve jury duty in some justice building, if they are unfamiliar with the area or the city itself. So now they are making you go somewhere you wouldn’t normally go and that doesn’t feel very good either. Especially if you have to get a ride, because the courts don’t care how you sit financially or otherwise. They demand you be there and that’s that.

I once saw an elderly lady who had a ride only for that first day, be bussed with fifteen others by the court to a different court across the county. She was selected by the second court for duty where she told the judge her problem of no transportation and the judge flatly told her it was the womans problem to get there every day even if she had to walk the twenty-five miles and if she was late or missed any trial days the judge would find her in contempt of court and throw the senior citizen in jail. No Exceptions!!! Give me a damn break. I sat on that jury and that judge needed her head examined! The elderly lady actually cried and the judge told her to stop immediately or she’d throw her in jail right there on the spot! Needless to say, one of the other jurors went out of their way and gave her a ride every day of the trial. The court didn’t try to help the situation in any way!

It’s these kind of things that really make people feel all warm and fuzzy about doing jury duty and I have only scratched the surface. There’s herding, sequestering, threats, demands from the judge, hidden information and many many more things that go along with your duty to serve that will leave you feeling like you are the criminal instead.

Why in the heck don’t they just get large pools of retirees, or unemployed citizens who would like to earn some extra cash (above their unemployment or SSI) and have them sit on these trials, similar to our Senate and House representatives up in Washington, or in the states we live in. Test them to see if they are sane and able to make an unbiased opinion, then give them a schedule and let them try the cases.

Make it easy on them and have video courts in many locations across each county that are closer to their homes, where they can participate without going to a major city every time.

There are better ways of trying the innocent and its high time in America that we change the system to a better one.

Ask any one who has done jury duty and they will all tell you there has to be a better way. Well Most Will. That means that the current system needs to be changed! So let’s get with the New Century and change it.


p.s. I think we will get a whole jury category going in the future. So keep an eye out. >

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