Dodged the Jury Duty Bullet

On Monday I had to report for jury duty at the Downtown LA criminal courthouse, my second time being called upon to serve my civic duty. First time I served I was at Norwalk, got called in on a jury pool for an armed robbery case but didn’t get placed in the box and after 2 days I was done. This time around I got called on the first case of the morning and got placed right away in the jury box.

The case turned out to be for a gang-related murder and would have gone for a minimum of 7 days. We went through the standard questions, where do you live, are you single, what do you do, any prior jury experience, etc.. Defense asked questions and there was nothing I really had to say, there’s nothing that would prevent me from being fair. Prosecution asked us questions and I got a better idea of the case’s circumstances and the evidence available.

On Day 2, the DA went up and made a stink about the possibility of there being no physical evidence and if that would affect how we would ultimately come to a decision. I could see myself wanting physical evidence but that isn’t my choice and as a juror you can’t take the lack of evidence into consideration, only what is presented to you. I figured I could handle that and said I had no problems being fair.

After that the judge asks a few more follow up questions to the people obviously trying to get out of serving (the Russian guy who thought we shouldn’t have jurors got a 30 minute lecture) the councils started dismissing jurors in the box. Some of the obvious choices got the boot first and then bam, I’m off the jury and done with my service.

I’m still a little puzzled why the DA didn’t like me. The only thing I could think of was that I might not have been sympathetic enough since the bulk of their case was made up of witnesses. A couple other people surprisingly got the boot too. I’m not complaining, I’m just slightly intrigued about what is considered when choosing jurors. Well I’m done for a year.

2 Replies to “Dodged the Jury Duty Bullet”

  1. As I understand it, juror choice is completely a matter of prerogative and Lawyers reject jurors merely because of a hunch or feeling that perhaps they themselves can’t quite put a name too. Kinda how when your computer is running slow and you just have a hunch, for some reason, that it’s the thingammy malfunctioning instead of the whatsit…

  2. It would be cool if they gave you a slip of paper that said why you got rejected and you couldn’t read it until you were outside. Like “you were too smart” or “you were too dumb” or “you were too white.” Then at least you would have some resolution to the whole thing. It’s like a girl broke up with you and didn’t tell you why.

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