Monday, November 10, 2008

The Joys of Jury Duty

Hi guys! Sorry I'm late posting today. I had jury duty this morning and it threw my entire schedule off. BUT, I did learn something interesting (that I'd be willing to bet Christie already knew), you can actually have fun at jury duty! I was part of a jury pool on a DUI case. Check out these quotes from the jury selection questioning portion of the morning:

Prosecuting attorney: Legally intoxicated means that your behavior is impaired beyond normal functioning. This means normal for the average individual, not for this particular individual. Can the police be expected to know what is normal for a particular inidividual?
Mr. Miller: Depends on the size of the town.

Defense attorney: So, Mrs. Smith, could you put your prejudices aside in order to make a fair judgment?
Mrs. Smith: I have to do that?

Prosecuting attorney: Anyone with a friend/relative that got arrested for DUI and you didn't agree with the arrest?
Mr. Jones: My buddy got a DUI and he'd only drank one beer. How is that possible?
Another juror: How big was the beer?

Prosecuting attorney: Ms. Thomas, when asked to rank your local police department on a scale of one to ten, you selected one. Why"
Ms. Thomas: Because you didn't give me the option of zero.

Defense attorney: Do any of you have religious beliefs that prohibit drinking?
(I raise my hand)
Defense attorney: Ms. DeLeon - what religion are you?
Me: Southern Baptist
Defense attorney: So you don't drink?
Me: I didn't say that - I'm just acknowledging that my religion prohibits it.
Defense attorney: So you DO drink?
Me: All southern baptists drink. Just not in front of other southern baptists.

And finally - a mystery solved: Why I never get selected for jury duty.

Defense attorney: Does anyone here have friends/relatives who are law enforcement or otherwise associate with law enforcement?
(I raise my hand)
Me: I am a published mystery author. I consult regularly with all branches of law enforcement, forensic specialists, and members of the court systems.
Defense attorney: If selected, you cannot bring personal knowledge into deliberation. You must make a decision only on the facts presented and not on any other knowledge you might have from your research. Do you understand what this means?
Me: Yes. It means I might have to pretend that I don't know you are wrong.

The good news - I handed out a ton of bookmarks! :)

So have any of you ever gotten selected?

Deadly DeLeon


Anonymous said...

Well, that made me laugh. I would love to have seen the Defense Attorney's face when he was questioning you.

I have never, in my whole adult voting life, ever, ever been called to jury duty. The system doesn't like me.

catslady said...

That was hysterical. I really believe they don't want any intelligent people most of the time. It's been 20 years since I was called (twice) but I had small children both times and that was a sufficient excuse at the time. I'm not so sure that flies anymore but I really had no one to watch them for me.

Terri Osburn said...

I've never been called for duty. Always wanted to be though. Which is probably why it doesn't happen.

I love stuff like this. Stupid quotes heard in court rooms are always the best.

I bet you got at least half a dozen new raaders. LOL!

Terri Osburn said...

Uhm...that's "readers". *sigh*

Anonymous said...

LOL! I too would have loved to watch you battle with the defense attorney. *g*

I've only gotten a jury notice once and it arrived via forwarded mail after I'd moved out of state.

Christie Craig said...

Love it Jana.

I think after my last court appearance, they've banned my name from being called again.

Sounds like you had fun.

And hey we need to do that more often.


Anonymous said...

You waste no opportunity for a little promo, huh? I love it. If anyone needs reading material, it has to be the jury pool.

Keri Ford said...

This is too funny. I've never been in the jury pool, but my aunt did. Now, my aunt is a former deputy and aided in undercover drug stings. She knows most of the city officers and ALL the county Deputies.

There's usually always an officer testifying, so she was always thrown out. Stupid that they even made her keep coming back.

And if I'm ever selected I now know that I can say, I'm an avid reader of mystery/suspense books that feature law enforcement.

Estella said...

I have been selected three times. Once on a vehicular manslaughter case and twice for grand Jury.

Jana DeLeon said...

margaret - NEVER called! How lucky are you? And that's definitely not the system disliking you - that's WAY lucky!

Jana DeLeon said...

catslady - as long as the kid(s) is under 9, it's still a valid reason. I guess if they're over nine, you have to serve and let them burn the house down. :)

Jana DeLeon said...

terrio - I hope so! I always try so hard to be professional in these situations and I just can't help my mouth. It's a disease, I swear.

But an entertaining one. In fact, one lady told me that after that last announcement of mine, the defense attorney was looking me up on the internet when we left the courtroom for our break.

Jana DeLeon said...

LOL tori - The postal service forwarded a jury notice to another state? Now, that's funny.

Jana DeLeon said...

Christie - Somehow I just knew they'd remember you down at the local courthouse. :)

Jana DeLeon said...

LOL Leah - Hey, you should always seize an opportunity to advertise, and what better way than with a captive audience? And yes, jury selection is a painfully slow process - reading material is definitely a requirement.

Jana DeLeon said...

keri - I was really happy that my "expertise" got me out of serving. And asking me to judge a DUI case is a no-win proposition since I don't ever think there's an excuse for it. Drink at home. Drive the big white bus to your heart's content. :)

Jana DeLeon said...

Yikes, estella! If you don't want to serve, reread my post and make notes for next time. :)

Anonymous said...

I've moved often enough that I've never gotten nabbed with a summons. Someday they'll catch up with me though...And that said, after reading your post, I might even look forward to it! What a slice of life. I couldn't dream up that stuff for dialogue (including your comments -- wonderful)!

Jana DeLeon said...

Thanks, Lisa! I was surprised to find that I actually enjoyed myself. The judge, lawyers, police officers, etc. were all very pleasant and seemed to actually prefer a more light-hearted atmosphere. They made some humorous comments themselves. It was totally different than my previous experiences which were cold, boring, and made you want quick death.

Lyric James said...

OMG That's hilarious. I've been a voter since I was 18 and I've never been selected for jury duty. Is that good or bad? LOL

Shel said...

Very funny! I'm a lawyer, so I will never get selected for jury duty either... and I'm not really sad about it either - trials are BORING!

Jana DeLeon said...

Hi lyric - I say you're lucky. Here they select you for duty based on voter's registration AND driver's license. Apparently a lot of people never registered to vote b/c they didn't want to be selected.

Jana DeLeon said...

shel - But I bet you get to hear some real doozies when you're selecting a pool, right? I figure a trial is probably boring. I'll just stick to Law & Order. :)

Gemma Halliday said...

Lol! That was so freakin funny! I've never had jury duty before. After this, I'm kinda looking forward to it.