Public Opinion Agrees Lying to Get Out of Jury Duty Should Be Grounds for Arrest [INFOGRAPHIC]

SodaHead Infographics 2012/04/02 16:00:00
Susan Cole, 57, nearly managed to lie her way out of jury duty. She played the "post-traumatic stress disorder" card well enough to convince the judge in June, and if she'd left it at that she would have been home free. But she decided to brag about the devious act on a radio show, and as luck would have it that same judge was listening in. The judge issued a warrant for Cole's arrest.

Because jury duty is something that affects nearly everyone, we were interested in finding out if the public thought lying to get out of it is really deserving of arrest. It's a civic duty, sure, but the idea is tempting. People joke about it all the time. Who knew the consequences could be so dire? Let's dive.

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Top Opinion

  • Bomba777 2012/04/02 18:58:50
    Absolutely not. Being forced to serve on a jury is a violation of human rights, it removes free choice.

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  • Anarchico Anthony 2012/06/10 17:40:53
    Anarchico Anthony
    I think serving on a jury should be elective, and not mandatory
  • TheNightFly 2012/04/16 07:38:33 (edited)
    I've always gotten out of it by honestly answering 'yes' to the part of the mail-in questionnaire they send you that asks if serving "would cause extreme financial burden".

    Forcing people to serve is probably the best way to deprive the accused of a fair trial since they are more inclined to side with the majority without bothering to deliberate whatsoever and end the trial as soon as possible.
  • Nanjing03 2012/04/15 19:30:23
    Serving on the jury is a civic duty and nobody should try to avoid it if they value their role in our representative republic. That said, some court houses treat their jurors well and try to provide some comforts like coffee, lunch, and other needs considering that many jurors are losing time and money from work. Others insult their jurors with obscenely overpriced vending machines that may or may not take their money, overcrowded, hot and noisy waiting rooms, and mouthy court clerks.
  • Jim 2012/04/15 16:56:55
    Jury duty is a pathetic waste of time because the cops are corrupt, the evidence is often questionable, and the prosecutors are over zealous. That being said, the hell with it.
  • klausd11 Jim 2012/04/17 20:54:21
    That's were YOU come in:
    Questionable evidence? Acquit!
    Reasonable doubt? Acquit! (yes, you have to!)
    Your conscience does not let you convict someone for something that is not a crime? Vote "not guilty". That's what our RIGHT to trial by jury means.
  • Jim klausd11 2012/04/17 21:15:51 (edited)
    Deadlock the jury until they kick me out because I question all of the evidence.
  • Jim 2012/04/15 16:54:03
    It doesn't matter to me because I always tell the truth when it comes to jury duty: I don't trust the police.
  • ☆ QueenAline 2012/04/14 19:27:48
    ☆ QueenAline
    I think there are probably plenty of people who would voluntarily serve on Jury duty...being forced to do so is ridiculous
  • ♥ Jaded ♥ 2012/04/13 07:36:18
    ♥ Jaded ♥
    I have absolutely no problem with jury duty, but I honestly think that being arrested for lying to get out of it is absolutely absurd! If that was the case then half of the country would be in jail... LOL! Also, we waste enough space in jail arresting people for stupid things... How about we stop arresting people for things that SHOULDN'T matter so we have room for the murderers, rapists, etc... You know, people who ACTUALLY deserve to be locked up...
  • JAA 2012/04/12 17:46:07
    I've been called to jury duty 4 times, & only once was selected to serve on a jury, & that was a murder trial that lasted 4 weeks. I had no problem with going, even though I was not paid by an employer to be there, so I figure I've lost about $6,000 in income to serve my country.

    Young people, I think, are not being taught integrity, character, serving others, or respect for their country or authority. Many parents have let society down by neglecting the proper education of their children.
  • M'lud 2012/04/12 14:27:15
    What a sad state we are in as a society. A substantial proportion of our citizenry (45%) profess to believe it is just fine to lie, it is just fine to shirk your civic duty, it is just fine to turn your back on one of the basic tenets of our country's foundation. Shame on us!
  • JAA M'lud 2012/04/12 17:41:17
    Parents are failing our kids & not teaching or role-modeling character & integrity, nor respect for authority.
  • Starchild M'lud 2012/04/13 10:06:38
    Yes, too many judges think it's okay to lie to jurors by telling them it is their duty to find defendants guilty if they broke the law, when the real duty of jurors is to judge not just the facts of a case, but the law itself, and whether it was fairly applied.

    Many of those in power would like us to forget that the jury is supposed to be a check on the power of government and a bulwark against tyranny.

    juror rights
  • Jim M'lud 2012/04/16 16:58:31
    I wasn't lying when I proclaimed that I don't trust the police.
  • tobe 2012/04/11 14:20:53 (edited)
    i know im told again and again its an honor but what i see is being legally told i have to take off work and my personal life while they pay me a little cash that doesnt add up to what i need. there are alot of people out there who love jury duty. i dont see why they dont have you check a box on your drivers liscence, like organ donors. i think plenty of people would check it. perhaps people who can afford to take a cut on wages for a little bit. would i lie if i got one of those dreaded little envelopes in the mail, no. i would show up and do what i was suppose to because its the law and im not going to send someone to jail because im unhappy with the system. id take it seriously.
  • srini 2012/04/11 04:47:14
    I can remember when a (non-USC) poster on an immigration forum stated that she had received a summons for jury duty, and asked for advice on the matter--and was given a nastygram "no" on whether she could serve, with the nasty responder's message leaving an opening for the question (which I posted) "what if a dual-citizen, to get out of jury-duty, shows the foreign ID?". Nasty's response to that one was really incoherent.
  • Starchild 2012/04/10 08:14:30
    No one should be compelled to serve on a jury against his or her will. Forced servitude is a form of slavery. If they paid jurors half as decently as they pay judges, they'd have plenty of volunteers. They should cut the pay of judges and other court personnel and use it to provide reasonable compensation for jury duty.

    Jurors should also be fully informed of their rights to vote on not just whether a defendant broke the law or not, but also whether the law itself is fair, and whether it was fairly enforced in a particular case. No one should be automatically disqualified from jury service for holding any particular belief. The whole point of having twelve people randomly chosen is to get a representative sampling of society. If certain views and perspectives are screened out during the process of "voir dire" (Latin for "jury tampering"), then defendants are denied their right to a fair trial by jury.

    fully informed jury

  • JAA Starchild 2012/04/12 17:48:38
    Perhaps you should go live in another country. You better hope that others don't feel the same way if & when you are tried for anything.
  • Starchild JAA 2012/04/13 10:22:28
    I'm glad you believe in the right to choose to live in another country. I agree -- peaceful people should be able to cross national borders.

    If and when you are tried for anything, you better hope that the people on your jury know their rights as jurors, and that they can vote their consciences and acquit you if they believe the law is unfair or that it was unfairly applied in your case.

    People are getting arrested and risking their personal safety to help the public get access to this information:

  • JAA Starchild 2012/04/13 13:42:18
    Go on, you're a nut case.
  • Starchild JAA 2012/04/13 14:01:50
    People always say stuff like that about those who want real change. Wouldn't you like to live in a free country?
  • JAA Starchild 2012/04/13 14:06:40
    What is it about "go on" that you don't understand?
  • Wretha S JAA 2012/04/17 06:22:58
    Wretha S
    I would honestly say that IF I were on the wrong side of the court room, I would hope that the people in the jury actually wanted to be there and weren't sitting there being angry because they felt forced to be there.

  • JAA Wretha S 2012/04/17 06:48:30
    Absolutely!! That's how ALL citizens should see jury duty. It's a privilege in order to help insure that justice was being served, that innocent people didn't go to prison, & that the guilty were given the appropriate sentence!! Have you ever sat on a jury?
  • Wretha S JAA 2012/04/17 08:03:28
    Wretha S
    No, been called to jury duty 3X, went to the first one, didn't get picked, I think I had to go 2 days. The second time, I had moved out of that county, The third, just a year ago, I didn't have to go because I'm the sole caretaker for a disabled lady, that disabled lady was also summoned for the same jury duty, she didn't have to go because she is disabled, we live in a very small, very rural area, the person we called at the courthouse knows us and said she would be happy to take us off the list. I was actually happy not to have to go to that one because the place where I would have had to go is just about 100 miles away, I don't own a street legal car, I would have had to borrow a vehicle to go, and I don't know how I would have paid for a motel and food (I don't make very much money being a caretaker, it's more a labor of love than a job, she's my friend), I don't know for sure, but I think they might provide a motel, but I didn't know. I believe they are putting in a big federal court in the town just next to mine, so I suppose if I get summoned again, it would be much easier (even possible) for me to go.

    The funny thing is, I don't know of a case I would be welcome to sit in as a jury member, I've been sexually assaulted as a kid, I've been robbed at gunpoint, I believe in the death penalty, and probably lots of other things that would make a defense attorney very nervous about me.

  • JAA Wretha S 2012/04/17 08:16:49
  • greg 2012/04/09 14:54:24
  • Shadow13 2012/04/08 23:06:15
    Jury duty is a responsibility of the citizen to preserve democracy and justice, just like the soldier's duty is to face enemies that threaten the nation, citizens have a duty to ensure justice is maintained and that guilt and punishment is not decided upon a shadow organization.

    Those whom lie to get out of jury duty shirk their duty, are like a soldier who deserts his unit before a decisive battle. There are means to legally become exempt, but mere convenience is not a worthy one.
  • Wretha S Shadow13 2012/04/17 08:08:12
    Wretha S
    I see where you think this is accurate, the difference is when you join the military, you are volunteering to serve, so yes if you shirk your duty, that is just wrong. Being summoned for jury duty isn't something you volunteer for (though you CAN volunteer for it, as I understand)... not saying you should or shouldn't try to or want to get out of jury duty, but it definitely isn't the same as being in the military.

  • Shadow13 Wretha S 2012/04/18 05:33:16
    One can still be conscripted for military duty, we just prefer volunteers. I've seen a judge have deputies canvas city streets to fill positions for jury duty. It's a desperate measure, but legal.

    Soldiers and civilians hold an inherent duty to ensure our democratic traditions. Without citizens to vote, to serve on juries, or pay their taxes the nation will cease to exist, just as if we held no army and was invaded. Each contribute or are suppose to for the betterment of all, but many citizens have become apathetic and lethargic and this explains why we have politicians now blocking bills to ensure fair pay to women, and to get \dangerous products off the streets. http://www.upi.com/Top_News/U...
  • blackrings70 2012/04/08 21:02:04
  • GLaDOS 2012/04/06 14:33:53
    I haven't served, yet. I want to, though! I probably won't get to, sadly.
  • Met GLaDOS 2012/04/07 00:29:03
    If you vote they'll get around to calling you eventually.

    If you're not at least registered to vote, they don't have you on file.
  • GLaDOS Met 2012/04/07 00:43:58
    Got the letter, my number didn't get called, though. Additionally, I have issues that will probably disqualify me. - .-
  • Met GLaDOS 2012/04/07 02:19:36
    i keep telling myself next time they call me, i'm going to fake a weird facial or neck twitch, and start and end every sentence with the word mostly.

    Mostly, i think that will get me the rest of the day off... mostly.
  • GLaDOS Met 2012/04/07 12:06:08
    The fact that you'd actually try to get out of it irritates me, especially if you have the actual chance to be asked without being disqualified.
  • Met GLaDOS 2012/04/07 17:05:26
    Having to take off work and spend hours in a waiting room just to be dismissed irritates me.

    I've never been selected for a jury, and the stats say i probably won't. Also, as opinionated as i am, i'm probably not the best selection for a jury. i'd make up my mind based on body language, and fight to stay awake for the rest of the procedures.
  • GLaDOS Met 2012/04/08 15:18:10
    Well, then you only need to worry about losing a day.
  • tobe GLaDOS 2012/04/11 14:27:59
    some people can afford to lose a day
  • GLaDOS tobe 2012/04/11 15:42:30
    Most people can afford to lose a day. If they can't, then they can return the little thing saying, "It would cause great financial burden on my family."

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