Has Anyone Served on a Grand Jury?

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jcz1
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Has Anyone Served on a Grand Jury?

Postby jcz1 » Thu Dec 27, 2018

My xmas present from the federal gov't was a summons to serve on a grand jury. :thumbdown:

I'll be at the Eastern District of Virginia, in Alexandria. The special counsel had or still has a grand jury there, which returned an indictment of Paul Manafort. I have no idea if I will be on a jury for something that noteworthy, and of course I won't be allowed to say if I am. The "invitation" says that it could meet for 1 to 3 consecutive days per month, from 6 to 18 months in duration. :shock:

I know that the proceedings are secrets that we have to take to our graves, not even telling spouses about it. But if there's anything that anyone would like to say about their experience, I'm all ears.

:pop:

XFactor
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Re: Has Anyone Served on a Grand Jury?

Postby XFactor » Thu Dec 27, 2018

Maybe posting about it here will get you removed?

jcz1
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Re: Has Anyone Served on a Grand Jury?

Postby jcz1 » Thu Dec 27, 2018

XFactor wrote:Maybe posting about it here will get you removed?


The fact that I have been called, and if chosen that I am serving on one, is not a secret. We have to tell our employers why we aren't at work, etc.

What the proceedings are about - now posting that information would be bad. I don't know yet, there might be bigger consequences than removal, such as criminal charges. Not planning on doing that.

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MaxGravy
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Re: Has Anyone Served on a Grand Jury?

Postby MaxGravy » Thu Dec 27, 2018

I was called by the feds once but not chosen. It was luxurious compared to county jury duty. Only a few folks in the group and most were from out-of-town staying in nice hotels, at taxpayer expense. It was Sacramento during the Unabomber trial and security was extreme.

Several times I was called by the county and once I served on a criminal jury that lasted for weeks. It was a three strikes case but we weren't told that until after we returned a verdict on the current charges. Then we spent another week reviewing the defendant's priors and deliberating over the third strike. There were many exciting moments and a lot of it was interesting but for the most part I spent hours and hours reading boring legal documents and then discussing them with people I didn't like. I enjoyed the experience but not really my idea of a good time.

Also, if you can't confide in and trust your spouse, who can you?
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natsb88
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Re: Has Anyone Served on a Grand Jury?

Postby natsb88 » Thu Dec 27, 2018

I was summoned to be "on call" for federal jury duty for the month of November. Had to check my status every Friday night to see if I was needed the following week. Was not chosen to report. Would have been nearly an hour drive each way, just under the threshold to get a hotel per diem.

everything
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Re: Has Anyone Served on a Grand Jury?

Postby everything » Thu Dec 27, 2018

I've received the summons before for our states federal arm courts, which is in the capital city of my state. I bothered them right back, called and said I have mental issues, they asked, are these professionally diagnosed, I said no I don't have any paperwork to back it, I'm an undiagnosed nutjob, they said that's not enough to get you off the hook, sorry. They never called on me, and hopefully blacklisted me.
Indeed the paperwork they send is so vague about what/when they want you, etc. but the letterhead is so nice. I didn't like it, felt like they were looking for cooperative, so I tried to be what they didn't want.
Last edited by everything on Thu Dec 27, 2018, edited 2 times in total.

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smackvay
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Re: Has Anyone Served on a Grand Jury?

Postby smackvay » Thu Dec 27, 2018

Is this notification done via the mail or served by a cop with a summons?
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jcz1
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Re: Has Anyone Served on a Grand Jury?

Postby jcz1 » Thu Dec 27, 2018

smackvay wrote:Is this notification done via the mail or served by a cop with a summons?


Mine was in the mail, but since it's not certified mail they can't prove you ever got it.

I did some research about not showing up (just out of curiosity of course!), and it seems that a bench warrant is likely issued in that case. This could result in US Marshals coming by to take you to tell the judge why you didn't show up, or it could just be an arrest if you are ever pulled over in a traffic stop, from what I've read.

The penalties for not showing for federal are $1k fine, community service, and/or 3 days in jail.

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agnostic
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Re: Has Anyone Served on a Grand Jury?

Postby agnostic » Thu Dec 27, 2018

i think it is somewhat of a duty. grand jury decisions impact our lives and i hope there
are a few level headed people mixed in to make a somewhat reasonable decision. besides
this could be a VERY interesting time to be involved. especially around DC. Good luck.
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Re: Has Anyone Served on a Grand Jury?

Postby loosechange808 » Fri Dec 28, 2018

Yup I got picked to be on a federal grand jury. Served for about a year if I recall correctly. It's somewhat interesting, but something I'd never want to do again because it's so disruptive to your every day life.

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Re: Has Anyone Served on a Grand Jury?

Postby Brick's » Fri Dec 28, 2018

Apologies in advance as always:

Patrick Henry put it: “Why do we love this trial by jury? Because it prevents the hand of oppression from cutting you off. This gives me comfort - that as long as I have existence, my neighbors will protect me.”

Prior to servig on a jury, I would greatly recommend all Americans read: Primer for Prospective Jurors, and Doing Your Best as a Trial Juror: Surviving Voir Dire. Both by FIJA at: https://fija.org/library-and-resources/ ... cards.html

After reading the above it is also recommended that every individual strive to attain the jury foreman position while serving.

And not that I am advocating such behavior, should you not want to serve on a jury one would only need to be caught disseminating such or similar material under the windshield wipers of cars in the court house parking lot prior to reporting for duty, the jury waiting room after reporting or to do other than the brochures advise.

I haven't been called back for jury service for over two decades. Sometimes a price is paid for freedom and increasing that awareness to others. I was much more bold prior to having children.
"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities" Voltaire

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Purple and Gold
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Re: Has Anyone Served on a Grand Jury?

Postby Purple and Gold » Fri Dec 28, 2018

jcz1 wrote:
I know that the proceedings are secrets that we have to take to our graves, not even telling spouses about it.

:pop:


lol, come on now..thats almost as bad as when the Credit union loan officer ( my Mom ) told me she couldnt revel my credit score to me :lol: :?

I use to get jury summons for civil and criminal trials about every year until the last time I served i voted to find the guy not guilty of armed robbery (he had an unloaded BB gun :roll: ) So Another person and I voted for a lesser charge of 1st degree robbery) Believe it or not in La. you can be convicted of a felony with a 10-2 jury vote :shock:
You would not believe the things that were said in that jury room :shock:
Very disturbing to me bc this was a guys life they were debating and 10 of the jurors had a one track mind of this guy is guilty as charged so lets get the F outta here. :? We were in court trial all day and started deliberations late that night until 3 AM the next morning, There was only one juror question for the Judge and Very little time was spent discussing the merits of the case.

I had a childhood friend serve on the jury with me and he hasnt spoke to me since the trial ended, all bc i wouldnt go along with the program and i dared to vote for a lesser charge, people are so Pissy and it makes me :lol: If i had known it was going to bother him so much i would have voted for an even lesser charge than i did. :shh:

Anyway, that was many years ago and I havent received any kind of summons since :D
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Re: Has Anyone Served on a Grand Jury?

Postby Operadad » Fri Dec 28, 2018

I have been called for just about every kind of jury duty you can get.
including federal grand jury; ninety miles from my home..
the only one crazy enough to actually put me on a jury was a county jury in Eastern Pennsylvania....
we awarded the person who brought the case 4 times the amount he requested; just because it should have been settled out of court.
We went to lunch, and when we returned, all of the rest of the cases for the day had been settled !!!
imagine that....

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Re: Has Anyone Served on a Grand Jury?

Postby XFactor » Fri Dec 28, 2018

I don't have a problem serving if called but you cant expect my employer and I to take large losses financially. We both cant afford it!

jcz1
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Re: Has Anyone Served on a Grand Jury?

Postby jcz1 » Fri Dec 28, 2018

XFactor wrote:I don't have a problem serving if called but you cant expect my employer and I to take large losses financially. We both cant afford it!


You might be surprised how little the courts care about that. A google search for "sole proprietor jury duty" turns up a bunch of stuff about how hard it is to get out of serving.

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Re: Has Anyone Served on a Grand Jury?

Postby MaryB » Sat Dec 29, 2018

I have a permanent exemption form local jury duty due to my back injuries. If ever called for federal I would do the same. I can't sit for hours on end. I have to get up and move every hour or so...

jcz1
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Re: Has Anyone Served on a Grand Jury?

Postby jcz1 » Sat Dec 29, 2018

MaryB wrote:I have a permanent exemption form local jury duty due to my back injuries. If ever called for federal I would do the same. I can't sit for hours on end. I have to get up and move every hour or so...


Moving every hour or so is now recommended by the medical profession for everyone. It's interesting that they don't think that they can accommodate that.

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Re: Has Anyone Served on a Grand Jury?

Postby Bucketeer » Sat Dec 29, 2018

If you get to the point where you are called for examination, perhaps it would favor you to display a certain amount of "inflexibility" to the defense. If you present as a totally binary "black/white" person with a conservative bias, a defender might be inclined to remove you.

That is probably more oriented towards criminal, rather than civil cases. Nonetheless, you could paint yourself with a very wide brush to "influence" the attorney.

You might say......

1) You believe in God.
2) You believe in traditional marriage.
3) Social standing and upbringing has no influence in determining if a person commits a crime.
4) You believe that the police are almost always correct in their arrests.
5) You voted for Trump because you were concerned about the direction of the country.
6) Illegal aliens should be deported.
7) Courts are too lenient in sentencing.
8) Welfare state, socialism, moral decay...
9) Blah, blah, blah..........

I think you get my drift. Paint yourself as an inflexible, right-wing nut-job with little sympathy for criminals or the downtrodden in society.

I was bounced by a public defender for a "State county" jury because when he asked what type of duties I performed in the military, I stated that "I protected The President and defended the Constitution", which is from the Oath of Enlistment, taken by all enlisted members.

He seemed puzzled by my reply and asked me to repeat it, which I did, in a slightly louder voice and a facial affect of overall disgust.

I was dismissed. Good luck Jim.
Gentlemen prefer Engelhard.


jcz1
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Re: Has Anyone Served on a Grand Jury?

Postby jcz1 » Sat Dec 29, 2018

I'll have to remember that list next time I get called for a petit jury (which I never knew it was called until I researched grand jury). Unfortunately there is no defense asking questions of a jury here.

Grand juries last for months, and therefore may deal with several cases, so there is no single "defense." Also, defense lawyers aren't even allowed in the room, just the gov't lawyer and the witness (and a court reporter keeping the record of the proceedings). This is one reason some cases are brought to a grand jury - it is easier to get to probable cause without that pesky opposing counsel. :lol:

The witness is allowed to exit the room to confer with a lawyer when needed. Even the judge isn't there during the proceedings, from what I have read. Not sure how "objection your honor" stuff is handled with no judge. Maybe anything goes?

I'm not sure how this 1-3 days per month thing works in terms of cases (investigations). Does the case pause until the next month? That would mean the case could take forever. I guess I'll find out soon enough.

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natsb88
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Re: Has Anyone Served on a Grand Jury?

Postby natsb88 » Sat Dec 29, 2018

There seems to be a divide among libertarians regarding jury duty. Those who believe the government has no authority to summon them to attend/participate and fight it on principle or intentionally answer questions in a manner they believe will get them dismissed by the attorneys. And those who see jury duty as a worthwhile (or at least justifiable) obligation and a possible opportunity to nullify laws that punish offenders for victimless crimes. The common ground is that asking about or mentioning "jury nullification" is a sure way to get dismissed during jury selection :lol: . It might also get you charged with contempt or jury tampering :shock:


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