Jury service

Prompted by me getting selected for jury service in September…here is a poll:

  • I have done jury service and enjoyed it
  • I have done jury service and not enjoyed it
  • I have not done jury service but would quite like to
  • I have not done jury service and don’t really want to either

0 voters

Could have a bit of a chat about it too if you like.

I know one person who has done it but that’s it. I’d like to do it cause I’m nosey.

Yeah this is my wife’s reason for wanting to do it too. I know someone that did it once and it went on for weeks but it was a really boring financial fraud case where some lawyers just said numbers to each other for days on end.

I’d be well interest in that partially cause it is job adjacent

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I did it in March of this year. Hated it. Grim case, highlighted just how flawed the system is and, unbelievably, coincided almost day for day with a three week period where I would have had the flat to myself for the first time in years and was looking forward to sitting in my pants playing playstation or whatever.

I will say though, one of the key things I was most apprehensive about going in was being confronted with the indifference of the general public and that absolutely wasn’t the case. It was very heartening to see how seriously everybody took their duty. Learned a lot about myself and how I communicate during deliberation as well.

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Guy at my old work was on the jury for the Fred West trial. It gave him PTSD and pretty much ruined his life.

I would like to do it, but I have the attention span of an average lazy bored man in his 30s, so justice would very much not be served if I was on a boring case, or anything that lasted longer than about 15 minutes

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This is exactly what I’m worried about, I’ll be in the deliberating room and someone will ask me something and I’ll have to admit I was thinking about football or sandwiches instead.

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Was supposed to do it during the pandemic but was all a bit disorganised, they just texted me the evening before telling me not to come in the next day, which carried on for three days then they told me just to forget it.

Also stayed at a Jury’s Inn in February of this year but only for one night and the breakfast was a self-service buffet. So nothing to add to this thread.

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I’ll tell you what I really hated, cross-questioning of witnesses. In every day interactions, for the most part, you’re dealing with people from a shared understanding of mutual trust. This is the exact opposite of what a lawyer’s job is and it’s so unedifying to see. People who were just unlucky enough to be in a place when a bad thing happened having to relive it is bad enough without that reliving being consistently questioned and undermined over complete minutia. It really shouldn’t need to be as antagonistic as it is.

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Did it about 5 years ago.

Pros: late starts, early finishes, long breaks where nothing happens, exceptionally long subsidised lunch break. Everyone working at the court was exceptionally friendly too and really worked hard to put you at ease.

Cons: the case will almost certainly be bleak as hell, mine was just a really sad situation involving a lot of incredibly vulnerable people. Most of my fellow jurors were sound too but there was one who’d clearly decided the defendant was guilty the second she looked at him, and tried to convince us that he deserved to go to prison “because it would be good for him”.

The negatives definitely outweighed the positives for me and I wouldn’t do it again if I had the choice.

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Yeah it’s Plymouth Crown Court so unlikely to be a particularly light case.

Never had it myself. My mom had it twice in like the space of two years. She must be one hell of a juror.

Would quite like it. Don’t have to go to work - like by LAW, absolutely pissing on my boss’ authority there I love it - and I dunno you get to solve a mystery and shout objection and strut around in a rhinestone jacket

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This did my fucking head in tbh. My service lasted three and a half weeks, it could easily have been wrapped up in a fortnight if the sessions actually lasted a normal working-day duration.

Didn’t help that I was walking 1hr 45 there and 1hr 45 back every day. One day I got there and we were in court for literally 25 minutes before being let go for the day. Very stupid.

not sure enjoyed is the right word, but I found it interesting to see how it all worked (or didnt).

the reality of the 2 cases jolted me a bit really, and the other jury members attitudes too.

did it while at uni, didn’t get a case, but got lots of reading/essay writing done and got nice lunches on expenses for a few days

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The prosecuting barrister was such a prick to the defendant. His whole schtick was to just say over and over again “we all know you did it so just admit it” in his haughty expensive school voice while the guy got more and more frustrated because he had no idea what he was supposed to say.

Did it 9 years ago, I enjoyed it purely because I was working in a job that I absolutely hated and jury service got me out of work 2 days a week for a month. I was still on the electoral roll at my mum’s address at the time so I had to go to a court an hour away. I was supposed to go back to work if I finished up early - I finished up early every time but obviously didn’t go back, I’m not a mug.

Didn’t actually get called onto any proper trials, which was the dream. Most days you’d turn up, not get picked and go home. Twice my number was called, I got sworn onto the jury, and then it turned out the case was being thrown out. Brilliant stuff.

There was one serious assault case that I got called up for which was supposed to last for weeks, but it happened in my hometown, on my friend’s street, so I mentioned that to the judge when they ask you about possible concerns and he excused me.

For some reason they called a new jury for the same trial the following week, my number was called again but as one of the backup jurors, which meant I didn’t get to speak to the judge about concerns, and had to come back the next day and sit in a jury room waiting to see if anyone didn’t turn up. Someone didn’t turn up, which meant I was up instead…and then someone came and told me I was excused again. Bit of a faff but another day out of work.

Would find it more annoying now that I don’t mind my job.

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In my case the prosecutor was weirdly antagonistic with witnesses compared to the defence who very clearly had a much better way with people but then when it got to closing arguments took on a really oddly headmasterly attitude with the jury which really put people’s backs up.

It was kind of fascinating anthropologically but also just reiterated how wild it is that the entire system relies so much on “vibes”

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Done it. Really excited beforehand, absolutely hated it by the end. Sexual assault case with no defence and with DNA evidence and still couldn’t get a majority verdict. Underlined every feminist urge I’ve ever had as realised even the most believable women aren’t believed. Perfectly nice people do not believe them. Even after all that, felt bad that a young lad went to prison (even though he deserved it) for what so many get away with every day. I was foreperson and fluffed my lines. Whole thing was super stressful and has really stayed with me. I would still do it again as consider it a civic duty and all that, but I wouldn’t relish the opportunity.