Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

shitfly

Jury Service

Recommended Posts

Obviously discussions about live cases or details of past cases is a no-no, but in general how did you find it? I've got one coming up in the next few months.

Did it go past two weeks? If you were self-employed could you get out of it?

Was it interesting?

Was it dull?

Was it a privilege/chore?

Would you do it again (given that you can be excused if you have)?

Edit: Will I go to prison for starting this thread? :) I recorded loads of that Law and Order UK - is it good or sh1t? Given that 80 hours (minimum) of my life has 'allocated' without choice, should I 'invest' another hour to watch one of them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was called to do two weeks jury service. In reality I did about 3 days jury service and 3 days sitting around before they said I was not needed for the rest of the fortnight. Those 3 days of trial in many respects reaffirmed my faith in the British jury-based justice system. It was a particularly fascinating case in which the details were often quite hilarious. Having said that, I regarded it as a privilege and a serious responsibility. I suppose it's the luck of the draw what kind of case you get. One thing the experience taught me is that if you're in serious trouble then a good barrister is always money very well spent.

My advice would be to prepare for a long wait. A good book or an ipod are essential. Yes, I'd do jury service again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know someone who did it a few weeks ago. It was pretty easy to defer for a few months as she had lots of stuff on at the time.

She actually found it quite distressing as all of the three cases she got were sexual offences, two if which involved kids if I recall correctly. I think a few of them were told they could opt-out of the third one given that they'd already had two pretty shitty cases already.

She certainly took it all pretty seriously and says most others did too. I find it quite interesting that lots of people seem to want to get out of it at any cost - especially people on here. People are all too keen to have their little rants on here about the state of the country/justice system yet many seem to feel that they should be allowed to skive out of any responsibility to do anything about it when it gets handed to them ona plate. You can't get sacked by your employer so where's the problem? I can see it if you're self employed but I still think you should be doing everything you can to do it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got the letter for it the other week, much to my anger. Quite frankly the whole system annoys the hell out of me, because to me it's utterly unacceptable to order someone about outside of a context they've personally agreed to (e.g. it's different from being ordered about if you join the army because you agree to that by joining the army). I'm sounding rather Injiny here, but it boils down to one bunch telling you what to do with your time and your life simply because they've got the muscle to back up what they say, and you can't do the same to them because you haven't. It's not as bad as conscription (which is utterly vile), but it's the same principle.

I also find the ban on revealing what the jury discuss very disturbing - what if the rest of them decide "Yeah, he looks shifty, let's find him guilty"? AFAICT it means it's impossible to know whether the jury have properly examined the evidence. In all conscience I'm also not sure that I could say someone is guilty if I don't think they should have any guilt about what they did, even if it's against the law, and similarly it would be a lie to equate "not guilty" with "the prosecution has not proved the case beyond reasonable doubt," (or however it's termed). In practice I'd probably end up complying, but only because I'd consider it under threat.

If it wasn't so unacceptably forced on me I'd probably be looking forward to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People are all too keen to have their little rants on here about the state of the country/justice system yet many seem to feel that they should be allowed to skive out of any responsibility to do anything about it when it gets handed to them ona plate. You can't get sacked by your employer so where's the problem?

Where the hell do you get the idea that anyone should have any responsibility for anything other than their own actions and choices? That boils down to only having any responsibility to people you agree to have anything to do with. The only hint of responsibility towards anyone else is to not do anything that adversely affects them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got the letter for it the other week, much to my anger. Quite frankly the whole system annoys the hell out of me,

Familiarise yourself with this little rant. Maybe print it out and hand it around others involved, like your fellow jurors, officers of the court, and above all any journalists present.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Familiarise yourself with this little rant. Maybe print it out and hand it around others involved, like your fellow jurors, officers of the court, and above all any journalists present.

I have a few problems with that too. The main one is the "just find them not guilty" regardless. If someone has done something that they should go down for then I wouldn't want them getting off - two wrongs don't make a right. The other one is the taxes point. I don't object to taxes, or at least those taxes that you wouldn't be forced to pay anyway even if you were living in isolated self-sufficiency. There are more grey areas there that I've never resolved to my satisfaction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got called back before the smoking ban but told them I had asthma, which I do, and i never heard from them again. If you went into courts back in those days they were full of rooms choc full of people smoking - now they all seem to stand outside.

I actually would find it interesting and, only this week, I have been looking on the court listings for the trial of a Swansea solicitor up on charges for alleged mortgage fraud - fancied going along and having a look. The trial was supposed to start on Monday but his name has not appeared in the court listings this week.

On the other hand, some of these trials can be very harrowing as a juror - there have been some pretty gruesome murders, sexual assaults, etc, that it might be difficult getting the information and imagery out of your mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got the letter for it the other week, much to my anger. Quite frankly the whole system annoys the hell out of me, because to me it's utterly unacceptable to order someone about outside of a context they've personally agreed to (e.g. it's different from being ordered about if you join the army because you agree to that by joining the army). I'm sounding rather Injiny here, but it boils down to one bunch telling you what to do with your time and your life simply because they've got the muscle to back up what they say, and you can't do the same to them because you haven't. It's not as bad as conscription (which is utterly vile), but it's the same principle.

I also find the ban on revealing what the jury discuss very disturbing - what if the rest of them decide "Yeah, he looks shifty, let's find him guilty"? AFAICT it means it's impossible to know whether the jury have properly examined the evidence. In all conscience I'm also not sure that I could say someone is guilty if I don't think they should have any guilt about what they did, even if it's against the law, and similarly it would be a lie to equate "not guilty" with "the prosecution has not proved the case beyond reasonable doubt," (or however it's termed). In practice I'd probably end up complying, but only because I'd consider it under threat.

If it wasn't so unacceptably forced on me I'd probably be looking forward to it.

But this is just the nature of life - we all have to do things we don't want to from time to time, big deal. As for jury service specifically, sorry but I think it is a matter of personal responsibility and duty, quite honestly. So it takes up a bit of your time - tough.

Like I said above, lots of people whine like hell about the criminal justice system yet on the other hand try and avoid doing anything about it even when the opportunity is handed to them on a plate. If you try to blag your way out of it then don't complain the next time a copper decides to kick fvck out of someone for no apparent reason.

My friend who recently did it took it very seriously indeed. She found it to be a massive responsibilty to be one of the people who might have to send someone away for a very long time. Do it - it's character building.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where the hell do you get the idea that anyone should have any responsibility for anything other than their own actions and choices? That boils down to only having any responsibility to people you agree to have anything to do with. The only hint of responsibility towards anyone else is to not do anything that adversely affects them.

You're right, you are sounding very "injiny". If you can't see anything relating to a persons personal responsibilities towards society as a whole then you fully deserve the kind of society you appear to be proposing.

Anyway, your last two sentences are contradictory. The jury system is the system we have, you have been called to serve as part of it so surely you have a duty to see that nothing is done to adversely affect other people? You may be the one person on the jury who manages to convince the others that someone really is guilty and so protect others from him or that he isn't and protect him from prison.

This sort of crap that you and Injin come out with isn't really some high-concept protection of individual freedoms. It's basically the fact that you just don't want any personal responsibility. My friend who recently did JS was very aware of what she was doing and took it as a great personal responsibility - and was actually quite rattled by it all. I don't think you or Injin can actaualy hack that so invent this crap to protect your selves, quite honestly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did it go past two weeks? If you were self-employed could you get out of it?

No. One case finished within 2 weeks, I did not get selected for a second case and was 'sent home' four days early. Not self employed, and didn't try/want to get out of it.

Was it interesting? Was it dull?

There was a fair bit of waiting around filling time reading a book but the actual jury service bit was very interesting.

My fellow jurors were a broad mix intellectually, emotionally, politically, and demographically. All took the task very seriously and genuinely sought to be fair to both prosecution and defence and reach the correct verdict. We may or may not have done so, but the public spirit shown might surprise people who bemoan the wothlessness of the general public.

Was it a privilege/chore? Would you do it again (given that you can be excused if you have)?

I'd certainly do it again. The system needs people to make up a representative group of peers. If you can manage to (unfortunately not everyone's workload is compatible with doing it) then you'd find the experience worthwhile.

Edit: tidying scruffy quotes etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're right, you are sounding very "injiny". If you can't see anything relating to a persons personal responsibilities towards society as a whole then you fully deserve the kind of society you appear to be proposing.

Anyway, your last two sentences are contradictory. The jury system is the system we have, you have been called to serve as part of it so surely you have a duty to see that nothing is done to adversely affect other people? You may be the one person on the jury who manages to convince the others that someone really is guilty and so protect others from him or that he isn't and protect him from prison.

This sort of crap that you and Injin come out with isn't really some high-concept protection of individual freedoms. It's basically the fact that you just don't want any personal responsibility. My friend who recently did JS was very aware of what she was doing and took it as a great personal responsibility - and was actually quite rattled by it all. I don't think you or Injin can actaualy hack that so invent this crap to protect your selves, quite honestly.

I find your reply both arrogant and insulting. At the end of the day some group thinks that they have a right to arbitrarily order me to do something. That is simply unacceptable, no matter how worthy the cause. How does anyone have the right to summarily order someone to do something that they've never agreed to in the first place? Laws of prohibition can be acceptable, laws of compulsion never, unless they're merely part of something optional (e.g. you don't have to drive but have to take a test should you chose to drive).

There is nothing at all contradictory about my last two sentences unless you think that not interfering with someone is identical to stopping someone else from interfering with someone. They're not. It is wrong to turn your back to others. It is far worse to force someone to turn to face them. Let's leave the "you must do what we say is for the good of society" nonsense in communist countries, please.

I am happy to take every responsibility for my own actions. I don't know where you get the delusion from that I should have any responsibility towards anything that I've never agreed to be a part of. I am the only one who should decide that. If I decide to ignore everyone else then that may make me a contemptable coward, but that's better than being an arrogant bully.

I could just about tolerate the system if it was presented along the lines of "We know this is bad, but it's the lesser of two evils." I still possibly wouldn't agree (putting aside the compulsion issues I have serious doubts about the ability of 12 randomly-picked people to be routinely capable of looking at evidence and making logical, rational decisions based soley on that evidence). It is completely obvious that the "lesser of two evils" approach is the only one under which any compulsion can ever be justified.

You're also completely overlooking the point that I never said that I didn't want to do it. In even warily looking forward to it, because it might be quite interesting. It's the compulsion part that disgusts me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're also completely overlooking the point that I never said that I didn't want to do it. In even warily looking forward to it, because it might be quite interesting. It's the compulsion part that disgusts me.

Given the number of suggested ways of getting out of it is there really much compulsion? You could easily get out of it, but aren't choosing to. Kudos.

Hope it turns out to be a worthwhile use of your time. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was called up a few years back. Had to do the call up in the morning thing for a few days - but was never actually called in physically. So I decided to class that as being 'presented' for Jury Service. I am not sure if that is technically correct or not but who cares. Got called up again about a year ago. Just sent them a copy of the previous call up, the date I was called and informed them that as I had 'presented' for Jury Service on this date I was, according to their rules, exempt for the next 5 years until date xx/xx/xx.

It worked.

PS - I have a reason for not doing it. I would lose a lot of money. Would happily do it if out of work. Unless it was some sort of horrifc case. That would be hard to do I imagine. Heard a few stories of people who have been permanently disturbed by this sort of thing. I am not sure if doing your 'duty' is really worth the expense in cases like this. However it does go on in the World so should you just turn your back and pertend it doesn't ? Not an easy question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Given the number of suggested ways of getting out of it is there really much compulsion? You could easily get out of it, but aren't choosing to. Kudos.

Hope it turns out to be a worthwhile use of your time. :)

A unjust system that's incompetent at being unjust is still inherently unjust.

I'm not really interested in trying to get out of it because, despite the parts I deplore, I still think that it's the right thing to do. If the letter had been "Would you be willing to...?" instead of the arrogant "You must..." then I would've said yes, provided my company would've still paid. If I was going to lose out financially then I would be trying to get out of it. The fact that it can have a financial impact on people is also obscene.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a few scrapes with the law as a youngster and have never been selected for Jury service. I am a different person from back then, I suppose we all are.

I would have no problems if selected to form part of a jury. I am not sure of the criteria regarding offences going back in time. I have been Police cleared to work with children/schools and often work closely with the Police through my job.

Defintely step up if asked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a few scrapes with the law as a youngster and have never been selected for Jury service. I am a different person from back then, I suppose we all are.

I would have no problems if selected to form part of a jury. I am not sure of the criteria regarding offences going back in time. I have been Police cleared to work with children/schools and often work closely with the Police through my job.

Defintely step up if asked.

Just looked it up.. Apparantly I can be called for Jury service.

Guilty as charged.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was called up a few years back. Had to do the call up in the morning thing for a few days - but was never actually called in physically. So I decided to class that as being 'presented' for Jury Service. I am not sure if that is technically correct or not but who cares. Got called up again about a year ago. Just sent them a copy of the previous call up, the date I was called and informed them that as I had 'presented' for Jury Service on this date I was, according to their rules, exempt for the next 5 years until date xx/xx/xx.

It worked.

PS - I have a reason for not doing it. I would lose a lot of money. Would happily do it if out of work. Unless it was some sort of horrifc case. That would be hard to do I imagine. Heard a few stories of people who have been permanently disturbed by this sort of thing. I am not sure if doing your 'duty' is really worth the expense in cases like this. However it does go on in the World so should you just turn your back and pertend it doesn't ? Not an easy question.

You're fine, as long as you actually turn up you haved satisfied the requirement whether or not you actually get assigned a trial.

Those are good points about the effect it can have on someone. I get the impression that the system is quite accomodating on people who would be likely to be very upset by this sort of thing. After all, why would you force someone to do something which may result in them not being able to arrive at a well considered verdict? The girl I know who's just done it who found herself getting three sex cases said that most of the people she sat with ended up getting called for the same cases. They were told that if they didn't want to do a third case of that nuture then they wouldn't be expected to and would be excused the remainer of the time left - 3 days, I think it was. They weren't particularly horrific but weren't too pleasant, apparently. The very bad cases must be horrendous to have to sit through.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm actually looking forward to it - a sense of personal involvement in what is a critical part of the 'system'. If I can offer a balanced view on the case(s) I may be called on then I'll be happy.

Actually what concerns me is being involved in emotive cases that

1. I might find difficult to deal with (murder/rape etc)

2. I might prejudice on appearance - I try not to do this in everyday life - I'm sure we all do, but its wired into every 'animal's' perception of risk, an ancient protection mechanism.

3. Might go past 2 weeks - being self employed this would be a big problem. I've already deferred once. I know you can talk to court officials to ensure you don't land on a lengthy case, but the judge decides and so could still happen.

I am well aware that my opinion in a serious case could directly affect someone's life, both victim and defendant. I only hope I can be as fair as possible just as I would want if I were to stand trial. Additionally, if I were to find someone charged by an grossly unfair law (and there have been many over the past decade) then I might find it difficult to convict them - especially 'victimless' crimes...

I consider this a privilege, inconvenience aside.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got called back before the smoking ban but told them I had asthma, which I do, and i never heard from them again. If you went into courts back in those days they were full of rooms choc full of people smoking - now they all seem to stand outside.

I actually would find it interesting and, only this week, I have been looking on the court listings for the trial of a Swansea solicitor up on charges for alleged mortgage fraud - fancied going along and having a look. The trial was supposed to start on Monday but his name has not appeared in the court listings this week.

On the other hand, some of these trials can be very harrowing as a juror - there have been some pretty gruesome murders, sexual assaults, etc, that it might be difficult getting the information and imagery out of your mind.

How did you find this information TMT - I looked at CourtServe but it doesn't appear to be that detailed!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was called for jury service when I was about 24.

It started on about 3rd January for 2 weeks, and I'd already organised 3 weeks off over Christmas - was wonderful... 5 weeks off work :)

The longest day was only about 4 or 5 hours and a couple of days we were all told to just go home.

You're forbidden from discussing the detail of the cases; suffice it to say:

Of the two cases we did hear, frankly, both were probably guilty, but neither could be proven beyond reasonable doubt. I was actually surprised at how little tangible evidence there actually was in the more serious of the two cases (rather nasty incident) but the jury were left with no choice but to find not guilty.

Would definitely do it again; I'm self employed now, but if it were local I could "work around" the lost time. Expenses were paid and were reasonable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm actually looking forward to it - a sense of personal involvement in what is a critical part of the 'system'. If I can offer a balanced view on the case(s) I may be called on then I'll be happy.

Actually what concerns me is being involved in emotive cases that

1. I might find difficult to deal with (murder/rape etc)

2. I might prejudice on appearance - I try not to do this in everyday life - I'm sure we all do, but its wired into every 'animal's' perception of risk, an ancient protection mechanism.

3. Might go past 2 weeks - being self employed this would be a big problem. I've already deferred once. I know you can talk to court officials to ensure you don't land on a lengthy case, but the judge decides and so could still happen.

I am well aware that my opinion in a serious case could directly affect someone's life, both victim and defendant. I only hope I can be as fair as possible just as I would want if I were to stand trial. Additionally, if I were to find someone charged by an grossly unfair law (and there have been many over the past decade) then I might find it difficult to convict them - especially 'victimless' crimes...

I consider this a privilege, inconvenience aside.

You are given clear guidance, and for me point 2 didn't arise (Personally I have this kind of "distance" from everyone except closest friends and don't consider myself prejudiced against or biased by race, religion, affluence, etc - that said, we all have some deep buried prejudices regardless of how balanced we think we are, and I'm not suggesting that you have more or less than anyone else!)

The magnitude of the situation the person is facing transcends stereotypes and prejudices and both trials were fair. The juries were also unanimous and neither case took more than an hour to reach a verdict.

I do think it's a privilege and a duty and it is quite fascinating. It does show you how it all works and I do feel reassured by the court element of the system in terms of being fair should I ever end up at the wrong end of it for something I'd done, or been accused of having done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never ever again ...!.......stepfather molesting his stepchild..... 8 yr old child describing oral sex from a video conference room ....mother then admits she was molested as a child too ..!....during the jury discussions , two of the women said it had happened to them ...the judge accepted a 10/2 not guilty ..... ..... Then the family all walked into my office about 2 month's after the trial (looking for credit, totally unrelated) We had a very awkward 5 min before I got someone else to do it .... still occasionally see one or two of the jurors in my local area .............. I felt unclean for weeks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of the two cases we did hear, frankly, both were probably guilty, but neither could be proven beyond reasonable doubt. I was actually surprised at how little tangible evidence there actually was in the more serious of the two cases (rather nasty incident) but the jury were left with no choice but to find not guilty.

I'd have a problem with that - saying "not guilty" in those situations is, IMO, a lie. After all, "Not guilty" and "Probably guilty but can't be suffciently sure" are two quite different things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • 245 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.