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Jury Duty
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sendin
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 6:13 pm    Post subject: Jury Duty Reply with quote

I posted this on another firearms related forum - it is kind of long and sorry if it is repeat for you ....

Jury Duty

Let me start out with my main resource for what follows: The Citizens Rule Book – you can get copies here infowars-shop.stores.y...rubo2.html or for free here www.apfn.org/pdf/citizen.pdf

I got called for Jury Duty for the week of August 18, 2008 and had to appear on Thursday August 21 to go through the selection process.

I had read the above mentioned book about 11 years ago and had been proclaiming from hearsay that all I need to do would be to show up with this book showing in my front pocket and I would be politely asked to leave. That is almost true, but not quite.

It took three days for them to figure out that I was incompatible with and perhaps dangerous to the current legal system. The way things turned out I think was better for us and not so good for them in the grand scheme of things.

We started out, perhaps sixty of us, in a big meeting room where we checked in and got a lecture and watched a video of folks being interviewed after having gone through the ‘jury experience.’ This was composed of innocuous accounts of what happened and why you don’t need to be afraid or nervous. It catered to the cowering sheep of our society where most of these folks would gladly give up their freedoms for some alleged security and generally have no problem being subjects of the overpowering and invasive state machine. Parking was also a big issue and there was some effort to make people comfortable as they could be, given that they were hereby extracted from their days of toil to make ends meet and their others duties.

Once called to the court for a criminal trial, a line formed according to the judges instructions for those who felt they needed to be excused for some reason or another – mostly, by way of the judges acknowledgment, regarding issues of income preservation and saving the family home from foreclosure. This line contained about half of the group and by my best estimation, almost all where excused.

That left about thirty or forty of us to go through the interview process after several and concurrent monologs from the judge. He was very relaxed and jovial, with his laptop at the ready for whenever his part was done, he could return to surfing the web or reviewing legal briefs or catching up on the latest news. From some investigating the judge's eye movements I'd say he was surfing the web. But in any case, it was interesting watching his attention shift from the attorneys to the potential jurists, to those of waiting to be interviewed and to his laptop. His laptop seemed to get his attention about 50% of the total time. It was kind of like being in the audience of a talk show with short commercial breaks. It was a TV friendly experience. Once we got up into the box and the seven extra seats located just below, we were to state our number (everyone has a number in the US don't you know?), where we lived, our occupation, our marital status, our partner's occupation, our kids and their occupations if they are adults our prior jury service and if there was a verdict. The judge would usually ask about the trial and if we were satisfied with the jury system. From there, the prosecutor and then the defense attorneys would ask questions that would help them to determine if they would have a good chance to win. Some are let go on the basis of pre-emptory or for cause categories and this appeared to be limitless in terms of the total numbers released. I guess this is an area of research for me, but frankly my interest lies elsewhere for the subject at hand.

One thing that needed repeated clarification from the judge was the issue of reasonable doubt as opposed to without any doubt and he even broke out a law book and read from it to help clarify the issue. A key subject for the questioning was how folks would regard testimony from police as opposed to others and if that testimony would be more or less credible based on the fact that the person testifying is a cop. Anyone with 'bad' police experiences were excused. This criminal case was about a stolen car and the fact that one of the two defendants was also charge with being under the influence of a drug. This involved a bodily fluids test and that issue came up too where the district attorney's lawyer proudly announced that it is unconstitutional for someone to refuse a bodily fluids test. This got just a few prospective jurists a little squirmy and one or two of those seemed surprised that it could not be refused. Using the Constitution to slap people down seems sacrilegious to me because the Constitution was specifically written to slap the government down and to generally keep them from abusing people's rights. Those days are certainly gone and most up there being questioned seemed pretty oblivious to that sad fact. Visions of Nazi Germany and large fields filled with sheep kept entering my mind.

I was among the last seven to occupy the seats below. I rattled off that I lived in the southwest part of the county, I am a sales application engineer, I am married with no kids and that I served on a jury for a civil case and there was a verdict. The folks above us were the survivors so far. They had answered correctly, had the right eye movements and body language to pass muster for the combined scrutiny of the prosecution and the defense. All was well until ...

The judge asked me whether I was in favor of the jury system. Things didn't seem to go too well for them after they heard my answer. I said yes except juries should get complete instructions; that juries have the right and duty to judge not only the facts of the case, but also the law because there is such a thing as bad law and/or law that is misapplied. The jury is the last hope for innocent people who have been unjustly accused by the state. This was the intent of the founders and I mentioned the Superior Court case of 1895 Sparf and Hansen vs. US where it was acknowledged that juries do have veto power, but judges need not tell them that they have this power. Obviously, things in the US courts went downhill from there. So the judge says, so you take offense at my instructions? And I say, no I just don't agree with them. He side steps, avoiding the issue entirely, he has to because I am correct, and tells a story about an Iranian man who was so enamored with the US legal system that he called the court from his hospital bed after having a heart attack to apologize for not being in the court room. A touching story designed to get everyone in a state of thankfulness about our 'free' country. Fairly pathetic, but what else could he do? He desperately needed a redirect and I wasn't going to give it to him. I raise my hand and say, "Can I say something?" He says, "Yes." I say - We really shouldn't look to other countries and societies where freedom is nonexistent to judge our own state of affairs and our level of freedom. We should be looking to what the founders intended and what they were trying to protect and how the legal system worked IN THIS country before say ... 1860 or maybe 1820. That is how we should judge this. He says so you will not follow my instructions? He says let me rephrase that - so in this case you will not just judge the facts and follow my instructions regarding the law? And I say. "I will follow my conscience."

The attorneys looked a little dumbfounded. I had just introduced the other jurists to a little known fact that gave them great power. There was no good argument against what I had said. The judge didn't have one and neither did the attorneys. They were left with the fact that some of the remaining jurists would deliberate knowing more than what the current legal system thinks they should know and this couldn't be good for the prosecution or the defense. They were going to argue their cases with the idea that the jurists, aka sheep, would just blindly follow whatever the judge told them the law was. Now there was a new aspect to what would be required of them. Granted, in a stolen car/under-the-influence case, this might not be such a big deal, but these legal folks keep count of the wins and losses and you can't get the wins without having some control on the variables. BTW the judge already lost in this instance.

I imagine, I have to because the bailiff called my number in the hallway this morning and told me to leave, that the attorneys will have to go through the remaining prospective jurists, even the ones that previously were given a pass, before anyone is seated, to make sure that they all agree to follow the judges instructions regarding the law. Some, who are now educated, will be smart enough to be honest and thus make them find a willing replacement or smart enough to answer with whatever they want to hear to be seated in order to exercise their true power if and when it suits them. That is fine by me.

I purposely left out quotations above due to the fact that I am not very good at remembering exactly what was said. I think I got the gist of it correct. I hope you remember this story and all the people who have died to protect your freedom the next time you get selected for jury duty.

Denny

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PaulS
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:52 am    Post subject: Re: Jury Duty Reply with quote

I was called to serve on jury duty three times in one year - I don't tell what I know of the law until deliberation starts - and then only to the other jurists. Being a minister I got elected as the forman. I felt it was necessary to inform the jurors of their right to judge the law as well as the facts of the case. I enjoy serving on jury duty because I can make some small difference.

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Vince
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:58 am    Post subject: Re: Jury Duty Reply with quote

I believe that it is every citizen's responsibility and obligation to fulfill this responsibility when called upon to stand for Jury Duty. It is this, being judged by a Jury of their peers, that allows a fair and honest trial for one accused of a crime.

I currently am on call for Jury Duty, for 2 weeks, with today being my first day called upon to attend for selection. In Australia, we do not go through the same rigmarole that you guys obviously do. Should a "rostered" Juror has reason to ask for Excusal it is done prior to the first attendance. Once the rostered Jurors are assembled they are given instructions on the procedures then moved to the appropriate Court to commence the selection process.

The prospective Jurors allocated for a particular trial enter the relevant Court Room (as many as 60 or more). The assembled Court...Judge, Prosecutor, Defending Counselor, associated "hangers on" and the Defendant only get to know our allocated number, name, suburb/town of residence and occupation. The Jury is actually selected during the initial phase of the Hearing. Once the Charges have been read the Judge then calls on his/her assistant to call Jurors forward by ballot. A number is selected from a barrel (much like a lottery), the Juror called, answers and goes forward to the Bailiff. The two Counselors then have approximately 20 - 30 seconds to make a decision (as the Juror comes forward) on suitability according to the information supplied (detailed above) and call STAND DOWN or CHALLENGE. If either of these is called the Juror returns to their seat and another is called. Each Counsel gets a total of 8 "Challenges" and 4 "Stand Downs". If the Bailiff utters the first word of the Oath to swear in a Juror then it is too late for the Juror to be challenged and dismissed.

Once the Jury is selected, the Judge then has the charges re-read with the Defendant entering a plea on completion of the reading of each charge. The Judge then has the Prosecutor read the list of Witnesses being called. During all of the above every prospective Juror remains in the Court. On completion of the reading of the Witness list the Judge then asks the Paneled Jury if there is any reason why they feel that they cannot be impartial, or be seen to be impartial by a "reasonable person", or, if they are familiar with the case, know the Defendant or any of the Witnesses. If someone feels that he/she cannot be impartial he identifies himself, is called forward to the Bench where the Judge asks, in soto, why he feels this way. The Judge makes the final decision. If it is accepted that the Juror cannot be impartial then another Juror is selected using the same process as above. For large, or long, Trials they swear in two reserve Jurors who attend as per all other Jurors but do not get involved in the Deliberation unless they are moved into the Jury to take another Jurors place.

Once the Jury is accepted then the remaining prospective Jurors leave the Court and either depart for the day or are on standby for a different Trial.

Unlike your system, the Jurors do not get involved in discussions on points of law...this is the domain of the Judge. In fact the Jury leave the Court whilst these discussion take place between the Counselors and the Judge. It is interesting though, that the Jurors in the USA have a Right of Veto in relation to the law and have the right to decide if a law has been wrongfully applied.

I am also a Justice of the Peace and am honoured to be considered to have the integrity to hold such a position and to also be called for Jury Duty, although anybody can be called for Jury Duty regardless of race, religion or standing within the community.

Cheers, Vince

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OntheLasGallinas
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:56 am    Post subject: Re: Jury Duty Reply with quote

I get drawn for Jury Duty all the time, but the judge and all the local attorneys (all 3 or 4 of them) keep dismissing me. I know them all. They keep telling me that I won't be impartial, because of my hard-core conservative views. I keep telling him that this is what's wrong with our judicial system. The jury is packed with hand picked pansy a*ss liberal socialists.

Where am I represented in this system run by liberals?

They keep turning them loose. I get tired of this “If the glove don’t fit, you must acquit” BS. (for those of you who don't understand the glove statement, it has to do with the O.J. Simpson trial.)


Cary

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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:35 am    Post subject: Re: Jury Duty Reply with quote

Defence attorneys don't like me either...

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whittling
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:44 am    Post subject: Re: Jury Duty Reply with quote

Keep telling the jury facts like that and you'll have a better country in no time.

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sendin
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:16 am    Post subject: Re: Jury Duty Reply with quote

In a couple of the judge's monologs, he kept mentioning how the jury system is a big part of preserving democracy, preserving democracy is very important, democracy is what sets the US apart from other nations, ad nauseum ...

I felt like saying, "I have absolutely no interest in preserving democracy, but I have a huge interest in preserving a Constitutional Republic."

I have a feeling the judge would have no interest in explaining the difference to the Jury.

I think another way to approach this is just like what PaulS says and that is to keep your mouth shut and then tell the other jursits about their duties and rights in private - that is how one could have a chance to save a wrongfully accused person. It happens more than most folks know.

One of the prospective jurists was railroaded by the local sheriff's office and the District attorney's office in 2003 on a domestic violence case. It was a sad story - I know the guy - I used to train with him in MMA and he was a football player with a scholarship at a major university and had never been in any trouble. He was white and the alleged victim was black with a felony record as long as your arm. He had no chance and most of the high dollar attorneys told him to plead guilty. Much later he was able to expunge his record, but it did great damage to his life. He was very uncomfortable in that courthouse.

The jury system is still pretty good, but folks need to know that it only works when WE know that we have the option and power to ignore the judge.

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OntheLasGallinas
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Jury Duty Reply with quote

sendin,

I like your signature (Malon Labe). We've used that one in Texas, a few times in the past. Translated into English of course (maybe into Spanish a time or two).

Welcome to the forum.

Cary

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 1:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Jury Duty Reply with quote

Thanks for the welcome Cary.

My grandmother's family is from Texas - maybe I got some of that from her side?

How's it read en espanol?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Jury Duty Reply with quote

I have no idea how to say it in Spanish, but I imagine some of the defenders of the Alamo and the mission in Goliad could speak it very well.

On October 2, 1835, the citizens of Gonzales, Texas refused to give up a small cannon to the Mexican military (Presidio La Bahía outside of Goliad). They made a flag described as "a breadth of white cotton cloth about six feet long, in the center of which was painted in black a picture of the old cannon, above it a lone star and beneath it the words `Come and take it.'" with a single black star and cannon with the legend, "Come and Take It!" Gonzales is remembered as the "Lexington on Texas."

Cary

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Jury Duty Reply with quote

sendin...I keep starin' at your avitar. It seems to look like a Japanese solder...??

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Jury Duty Reply with quote

They evidently had some powder, fuse and shot as well as the cannon!

Grandma Pearl descended from the Polish Catholics that settled in Pana Maria (sp?) in 1852 I think and she was raised in the San Antonio area. Her father, allegedly, knew Pancho Villa and supplied meat (he was a butcher) to Pancho and his crew. Interesting story, but we have no way of verifying it.

Anyway, I am getting a lot of high quality help here for my most recent reloading/casting project to lower costs in order to get rid of some coyotes that took two of my sheep about six weeks ago. I am in training to become a coyote hunter - never went after predators before. So far it has been pretty interesting. Denny

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Jury Duty Reply with quote

I can relate. I was called for jury duty in a civil case involving a surgeon and an alleged botched surgery and the following complications. The defendant and his wife were dressed like Ma and Pa Kettle. The surgeon had on a $1,000.00 suit and $500.00 shoes. I was a bit miffed because they brought in box after box of transfiles of medical records and I had a pheasant hunt planned for a few days later. We were told the case should go for a few days, maybe a week. No way, that was going to be a marathon case. I was considering how to get an early dismissal. Then the judge announced that the local hospital would be giving testimony on behalf of the surgeon. They asked if anyone in the jury pool know the hospital attorney and I popped up my hand. They took my number and I was called before the judge and attorneys to explain.

I told them that on Thursday, September 7, 1995 at about 1:15 P.M., I was summarily dismissed by the local hospital, took a 50 percent cut in pay and needed three years to regain economic stability in my life. The judge asked if my feelings were perhaps more against the hospital administration and not the attorney. I replied that to a certain extent that was true, but the attorney was part of hospital administration and the letter that summarily terminated me came from her office. In conclusion, I assured the judge that I thought that I could be a fair and impartial juror. Fifteen minutes later, I was in a local bar having lunch and got to go on the pheasant hunt. All the best...
Gil

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Jury Duty Reply with quote

Welcome aboard Sendin hell of a post. I showed it to a few the boys that work out in the Dessert with me, it created a very long and heated disscussion Very Happy nearly end in a wild Donnybrook till i pointed out that they aqreed with each other but where coming at it from opposite ends Very Happy Very Happy

phil

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 5:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Jury Duty Reply with quote

"Hi, my name is Dimitri, I hunt, own guns, think capital punishment is the only way to deal with murderers and pedophiles and believe in Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ"

That would get me out of Jury Duty in our Liberal "Multicultural and non-discriminatory" lower court system. Mad

Dimitri

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