June 9, 2023 | Eul Basa

Tales From Jury Duty

Love it or hate it, jury duty gives us some fascinating stories. Here, these people took to Reddit to spill about their experiences in the box.

1. You Had One Job

I'm not a big fan of jury duty after I actually had to serve on one. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I did because we actually helped a guy not get charged when he didn’t deserve it. But the jury selection was frustrating.

I had asked the judge to be let go because I was a full-time student and full-time working to support myself, but instead, they let a dude who owned a house here but currently was living in Chicago go instead, plus I think a housewife who didn't want to leave her children with a babysitter or something along those lines.

Then during the trial, it’s obvious the officers messed up royally. We could have given a “not guilty” verdict on the first day, but we had two people who thought he was guilty. So we decided to come back the next day and talk about it. The next day was a nightmare.

One of the two people decided over night that he was innocent just by going over the evidence in their head. This was the right call. However, there was one woman…oh God, the memory haunts me still. She said she believed in her heart that he was guilty and that there is no way the officers had messed up this trial.

I asked her what evidence shows that he was guilty without a reasonable doubt and she couldn't tell me. But you know, her feelings. Then the real trouble began. We went through two foremen who tried to convince her to change her vote. This went on for two full days, so 16 hours of deliberation.

Finally, on a Thursday this old man who looked like a priest goes, "We need young blood to take over this jury and get things done”. He looks straight at me and goes "You’re now the foreman”. All the housewives were in agreement.

I was done with sitting in this room by this point, and done with this woman who had gone on to say that she could "wait us all out because she had nothing to do at home". I knew what I had to do. I said we are going to vote one more time and if it's not unanimous, I’m going to the judge and telling him we can't come to an agreement.

She bolts out of the room crying and finally, the bailiff comes and asks what’s wrong. I tell him and he goes to the judge and explains what happens. Then I have to come in and talk to the judge about why this woman was crying. I let her have it.

I told him that she didn't take notes, she didn't understand the rules of what a juror does, and that she should have been excused the second day. "Oh, okay well we are bringing in another juror now, you all can take an extended lunch break”.

The next juror comes in. She sits down and blows my mind. She says: "I was a wife of an officer for eight years. Those guys messed up royally and that guy is innocent, let’s vote”. We voted and were out of the building 30 minutes later.

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2. You’re Not Cut Out For This

I served on a jury once with the most inane older woman sitting next to me the whole time. She was seriously terrible. She spent most of the trial time writing emails on her iPad, doing the crossword puzzle, or sleeping.

When she wasn't doing any of that, she was interrupting the testimony to ask people to "speak up," ask clarifying questions, make side comments to the other jurors, or to tell the attorneys or even the judge that she thought they weren't supposed to do something based on her misunderstanding of the pre-trial instructions.

Her to the judge: "I thought we weren't supposed to consider such-and-such testimony”. Judge: "If something comes up and I don't want you to consider it, I'll tell you, now shut the heck up”. But it got worse. Once we got into deliberations, she had the audacity to volunteer herself as the foreperson.

Every single one of us gave her the biggest stare ever, until finally, one woman managed to break through her flabbergastedness to say, "I think I'd prefer it if you weren't our foreperson”. We immediately elected that second woman as our foreperson.

The crazy older woman also held up our deliberations with rambling anecdotes that had no relevance and a consistent misunderstanding of the statutes that we were debating. I still have no idea how she made it onto that jury, but she was genuinely trying to do a good job (when she felt like paying attention) at least.

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3. Black Magic Woman

I was called for jury duty once. Before the voir dire process, the judge was addressing the entire group and gave an overview of the case. I think it was a traffic issue or something otherwise very small. The judge was trying to determine if anyone had a conflict of interest.

One lady raised her hand and said that she was a Wiccan, and would absolutely never, ever, ever swear on the Bible. The judge let her finish her rant, which was entertaining because she was almost belligerent.

When she finally finished, the judge's response was along the lines of: "Calm down, lady. You don't have to swear on a Bible. And that is definitely not getting you out of jury duty, so get over yourself”.

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4. Don’t Always Follow Your Heart

I was on a case where one of the jurors lied about knowing the defendant and people associated with the defendant. It was a really bad case, but the juror initially said “not guilty” because he couldn't bear to convict.

So after we all explained that we were here to just weigh the facts and evidence in the case, he relented and said guilty. But it didn’t stop there. Then he found out we might each individually have to say that we agreed with the verdict in the courtroom after the Jury Foreman read the verdict.

He freaked out but went into the courtroom anyway, and sure enough after the verdict was read the defense attorney requested the jurors be polled. When it came around to him and they asked, "Do you agree with the verdict?" he screamed, "Nope!"

Mistrial. Lots of screaming at him from other jurors, and he got a talking to from the judge.

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5. I’m On Your Side

It was my first jury duty, and I didn't want to get out of it because it seemed like it could be fun, so I answered honestly. It was a guy charged with assault on a peace officer. The man claimed this was a lie and was fighting it.

The defense hated me because I have two family members who are officers, so they asked me questions for a very long time. They asked what my family members told me about their work and all that. I just told them they didn't tell me things as gossip but more like life lessons.

The lawyer asked for an example and I said, “Well they told me if you ride a motorcycle without a helmet your brains will get cleaned up with a cup”. He laughed and I guess decided I was ok because I was put through. It took a long time to get all the jurors and I was in the first group to go up, so it was interesting to see the whole thing through.

They had to dismiss a lot of people, so the selection itself took two days. But when it started, alarm bells immediately went off. The officer testified that the guy lunged head-first at him, he flipped on the shoulders of the defendant, and was whipped off with a helicopter-like motion.

This was fishy to all of us because of the size of the defendant and the size of the officer. Then they went through a long list of officers who “saw the whole thing”—all with drastically different stories and a lot of them were lies. Like, if you matched the stories with the pictures and measurements where it took place there was just no way.

Allegedly the officer landed on his knee, causing damage that would never heal, but pictures had just redness that was equivalent to kneeling in Mass. Meanwhile, the defendant had bruises and taser marks everywhere. Other men at the scene testified to officer brutality against the defendant.

Deliberation was pretty ridiculous because it was about 50/50, but the people who thought he was guilty thought so because in their minds he was guilty no matter what. The other jurors spent two days trying to reason with them.

I just sat quietly reading the paperwork. This ended up being a huge mistake. At this point, a fellow juror, who obviously thought I was on the officers’ side, told me, “I will kill you if you hang this jury”. I actually agreed with him that the guy was innocent, but he didn't give me a chance to say that. Apparently. he really needed to go back to work.

In any case,  I felt the defendant was innocent but I was trying to find a way to prove it to the 50% who thought he was guilty. Then I found it. The officer who said he was injured filed (and was denied) disability for a knee injury one year before this all happened.

I showed this to the other jurors and we took a vote again, 100% not guilty. When we went out and read the verdict the judge was stunned. She was always clearly on the prosecution’s side and made us tell her one by one. Afterward, I asked the defendant if he really did hit the cop and he said no.

I said, “No lies? I mean they can't charge you again and I just want to know if I made the right choice”. He said, “No, I never touched him”. The defendant was a really nice guy who was previously doing really well at university, so hopefully, he was able to go back to school.

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6. I Fought The Sign And The Sign Won

My mom's from New York but has been living in Toronto for 30 years now and has full citizenship, etc. However, she retains that classic pushy New Yorker self of hers. One day she’s called to jury duty so she heads down there to sit around all day.

She is finally called to go to another room or something and a sign directs her to the wrong room. So she walks back and turns the sign around so that nobody else will get confused. This set off a bizarre chain reaction. Now, one of the local clerks or whatever sees this and puts the sign back, saying that my mom doesn’t have the necessary authority to remove the sign.

So she asks the clerk if they can have that authority, and they reply in the negative. Not wanting to leave a clearly wrong sign sitting around and making people angry, my mom takes it to the next level up. Here, the guy still can't authorize the moving of the sign.

My mom flips out at him, essentially saying, "IT’S A SIGN THAT'S WRONG JUST POINT IT THE OTHER WAY," and still no luck. So, she goes to see his manager. Once there, same situation. He can't move the sign and won't listen to reason. But they didn’t know my mom. She continues to go up the chain.

According to her, this took several hours that she was supposed to be sitting waiting for jury duty selection, maybe with a good book. Eventually, she reaches el capitano and apparently, he was the one person there with any intelligence because he essentially said "JUST TURN THE DARN SIGN AROUND LADY".

She is then escorted by the top management to the place of the sign, where she turns the sign around to face the proper direction so nobody else will be misled by bureaucratic, nonsensical signs.

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7. Utterly Oblivious

The only time I got summoned, and thankfully never made it out of the jury pool, there was someone who I thought for sure was going to get held in contempt for his stupidity.

The judge was giving a speech on the importance of jury duty and our contributing to the justice system. One of the other prospective jurors gets on his cell phone and very loudly starts a conversation with someone about the bus schedule.

The entire jury pool was looking at him, the bailiff was glaring at him, and the judge paused for a moment before continuing his speech...while the guy was still talking on his phone. The guy was either extremely disrespectful or so stupid that he didn't realize what he was doing.

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8. Do What You Gotta Do

The first time I served jury duty, during the selection process, one of the lawyers asked a prospective juror if he knew what the meaning of “innuendo” was. The prospective juror, who was obviously trying to get out without serving, responded "An Italian Enema". He was removed from the courtroom.

All of us just looked at one another and nobody said a word.

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9. I Hate People

I sat on a jury for a civil case once. It was a lawsuit over a person injured when some safety equipment malfunctioned. The company that produced the safety equipment switched their manufacturing from China to Thailand and when they did, they didn't bother to update their required third-party safety certificates.

They claimed they had, but they could never produce the actual certificate or get anyone to testify that they had done the certification. Not to mention that the product completely failed to do its job when required.

So we sit down to deliberate and the jury foreman wants to take a quick poll to make sure we're not unanimous in our thinking. We go around the room, and myself and another woman are the lone "guilty" votes. I'm surprised, but that's ok, I have sound logic and facts on my side. But I didn’t know what was coming.

The woman that also voted guilty starts looking nervous, and she begins scanning the room. "Well, uh, I mean, if everyone else thinks not guilty, then, I'm changing, I'm changing my decision, I don't want to sit in here any longer than I have to".

So there you go, someone was permanently disfigured by a billion-dollar corporation that was trying to save a few bucks by outsourcing their production from China to Thailand and didn't ensure that their "safety product" was in fact, safe, but this woman has places to be that day so screw this poor dude with a mangled face. Awesome.

Never put your life in the hands of a jury. Ever. Oh, and during deliberations I asked for the reasoning behind each person's "not guilty" verdict. Here were some of the better ones: "But I really like this company," "I didn't like the injured person's lawyer, he seemed smarmy," "I don't know, I think they just want money".

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10. My Ears Are Burning

I was on one jury for a traffic accident. The person suing the driver objectively changed her story—this was in the notes of both the medics and the officers. I was seated close to the table where the people who were suing sat, and I got an even more eye-opening conversation.

I heard her husband whisper to the lawyer, "No, say it happened this way, rather than that way. I think that sounds better”. They didn't win. We took one vote immediately upon retiring to the jury room and we were in complete agreement. After the vote and right before we called the bailiff, I told the rest of the jury what I had heard.

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11. Vigilante Mom

So, as I think we all know, many people make outrageously disqualifying statements because they want out of jury duty. My mother, on the other hand, was thrilled to be requested for jury duty for a very high-profile case involving the mob.

They asked her some routine questions and were pretty much about to accept her as a member of the jury. Then she raised her hand to speak and ruined everything. She proudly stands up and says: "Your honor thank you so much, this is such an incredible opportunity for me, these people are a true menace to society and I couldn't be more pleased they will finally get what they deserve and get sent away for a very long time!"

DISMISSED! In retrospect, that was an incredibly foolish thing to say in the same room as mobsters, but Mom’s alive and well today.

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12. It’s Probable That Guy’s A Jerk

A female attorney was involved in jury selection. She was explaining the difference between possible and probable. She asked if it sounded possible that she drove her Camry to court today. The jury agreed. She asked if it was probable and they agreed.

She next asked if it was possible that Brad Pitt had picked her up in a limo and drove her to court. The jury agreed it was possible but not probable. She asked a male juror why it would not be probable. He answered, "Brad Pitt travels all over the world and he has Angelina Jolie. What makes you think he would want to come here and give you a ride to work?"

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13. Put That On A T-Shirt

I was called for jury duty about nine months ago. I got to the interview part and barely got the chance to sit down before I was dismissed. When I asked why, I was told that the defendant in the case was an officer.

I failed to understand the connection until they indicated my t-shirt I looked down and almost laughed. When I got dressed that morning, I just picked the first shirt in the dresser and it happened to be my Watchmen t-shirt, all black with yellow letters reading "quis custodiet ipsos custodes" or “who will guard the guards themselves?”

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14. Too Close For Comfort

Not my story, but my dad's. Apparently, they asked if anyone has a reason they should be excused, and my dad raised his hand and said, "Yeah, I work with the defendant, I was present during the incident in question, and I am probably going to be called as a witness". The judge laughed and excused him.

This happened in Brooklyn, NY. What are the odds in a court system with 2.5 million people to choose a jury from?

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15. Rambo Grandma

Yes, during voir dire on a major case, an elderly grandma-type stood up and said that if the victim was involved in an illicit activity, he deserved what happened to him. I later saw the judge at a social function and he said at that moment his vision of her changed from a sweet old lady knitting in a rocking chair to Rambo granny on the roof with an automatic.

I agreed. Obviously, she was not selected. Our justice system does not work if reasonable people are unwilling to serve or put aside their personal viewpoints to uphold the law as it's written.

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16. Nice Try, Though

The case I was on was a violent case. The judge was giving us information about the case, and someone in the back yells out, "I don't believe in capital punishment!" I assume this was to get themselves out of serving duty. The judge then yells back, "It doesn't matter, it’s not a capital case. You aren't going anywhere”.

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17. An Age-Old Vendetta

While being questioned by the attorneys during jury selection, one woman in the pool said: "I don't know if this is the right time to mention this, but the defendant looks just like my ex-husband and I am having a very angry physical reaction to him”. She was not selected.

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18. Don’t Be A Scrooge

I was part of a jury that awarded someone over 6 million dollars. The dude was in his 40s, had a wife and three kids, and was permanently disabled from a work accident and could never work again.

There was one guy who was absolutely convinced we shouldn't give him over 1 million. His reasoning was utterly stupid. It wasn’t exactly that he thought the guy didn’t deserve it. He just thought 1 million was more than enough to support this dude and his family for the rest of his life.

He had already incurred $500,000 in medical expenses at that point as well...

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19. Say That Again

My dad was once called for jury duty, and there was this little old lady going through voir dire with him. She must have been as close to deaf as possible because the conversation with her and the lawyers went like this:

Lawyer: Do you have any experience with X?

Lady: WHAT?

Lawyer: Do You Have Any Experience With X?



Lady: Well, you don't have to shout. What was the question?

After a couple go-arounds of this, the lawyers moved on. The lady must have really wanted to be on the jury, because after about three people got asked questions, she suddenly starts screaming, "I AM A GOOD CHRISTIAN WOMAN! HOW DARE YOU IGNORE ME!”

She made the jury. My dad did not. That was the day he decided the justice system was bunk.

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20. A Friend Of A Friend

Some years ago, my friend, let's call him Dan, was called in for jury duty. Dan's a big guy, with a big voice, but a total teddy bear. During the jury questioning part, the defense attorney gave the prospective jurors the prosecution's witness list and asked them if they knew anyone on it.

Dan raised his hand, pointed to a name, and said, "Yeah, I knew this guy, he used to be a co-worker of my dad”. The defense attorney, who was apparently big into grandstanding, launched into a speech about conflict of interest and how that destroys the foundations of the judicial system. But he was missing a crucial piece of the puzzler.

Dan stood, held both arms out, and yelled, "HOLD ON!! DOES IT MATTER THAT THIS GUY DIED THREE WEEKS AGO?" Apparently, the judge had to recess the court because everyone was laughing too hard.

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21. Don’t Judge A Book

I was selected a couple of years ago and was one of the younger people on the jury. After hearing the case, we all went back into the room assigned to us and everyone was ready to write the guy off as guilty.

We decided we would do a show of hands vote. It was 11-1 guilty. I was the 1. I cannot explain to you how angry some people got. I just wasn't ready to call someone guilty when A) the lawyer did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was guilty and B) we barely even discussed the case.

One guy told me, “Prove to me he's innocent,” and I got very annoyed. I said, “It's not my job to prove he's innocent. It's the lawyer's job to prove he's guilty which he did not do, so you have to convince me he's guilty, not the other way around".

I ended up getting it to 8-4 not guilty by the end of the first day, which was insane to go from 11-1 guilty. When they kicked us out for the day, one of the other jurors pulled me aside and told me how much he respected me for standing up to some of the people in the room.

The next day I lost all the ground I had gained. It was an extremely frustrating experience. You hear incredibly ignorant things like, “Just look at him. He did it,” because the guy had kind of a creepy look to him.

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22. Try A Little Harder

My aunt was recently on a jury for a two-week, really violent trial. One of the questions they asked before selecting the jury was: Can you make a judgment based on the evidence and can you apply the law to the case based on the evidence?

Obviously, the prospective jurors had to answer "Yes" to that question to make the cut. Then, after two weeks of trial, the jury went to deliberate. It got horrific instantly. Right off the bat, two different people said pretty much the same thing: “Only God can judge, it's not up to me to judge these people”.

So, this horrible man who had done horrible things got off because two people didn't have the hutzpah to deliver a verdict. That's just messed up.

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23. Don’t Mess With This Grandma

My grandmother got called for jury duty once, for a trial about a guy not wearing his seatbelt properly. When asked how she felt about seatbelt laws, she said in her best crotchety old lady voice, "If I don't want to wear a goddarned strap across my girls that is my decision. I NEVER wear my seatbelt”.

They did not select her.

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24. Put Him Away

My first jury duty was…interesting. The case was eyebrow-raising. It was actually for a judge that had been, well, “touching” himself during his trials. Yeah, and now he was on trial.

The case itself was incredibly easy. The prosecution had a TON of evidence and witnesses. The judge just said the whole thing was a joke and he even berated us (the jurors) for wasting his time.

We gave him four years, but he served 10 months and was released as an offender. Of course, he got detained again for stalking a girl. Sick guy.

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25. An Iron-Clad Excuse

One time I watched a doctor ask to be excused from jury duty because his being there would be unfair to his patients. The judge replied that he understood his concern but could not excuse him based solely on that reason.

The doctor then replied, "Of course you feel that way, you aren't sick". 15 minutes later he was the first person excused.

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26. Had Enough With Your Legalese

It was my first time doing jury duty. I was interested in the whole process, but having never done it before, I was a little nervous about it. I brought some music and a book and just prepared for a long day. As I walked in, I had no idea how weird my day was about to become.

I came into the waiting room before we went to the courtroom. There are about a hundred people that just look miserable. Quiet, swollen, and miserable. As I'm looking around the room for a seat I suddenly see a familiar face.

It was my uncle. I proceed over and say hi, and it turns out we're in the same jury pool. This pretty much guarantees one of us won't be on the jury. Although it's not technically verboten to have family members serve together, I hear it's not something the lawyers like to see.

Anyway, my uncle is loving the whole thing. He's pretty much taking this as a vacation day. Everyone else in the room looks to be hating life and he looked as content as if he was sipping fruity drinks in Cabo. So, we hang out, joking and having a good time. Finally, we get called in to the jury. My uncle is one of the first 12 called up.

He looks kind of nervous, but he goes up without hesitation. I must mention that at no point has he talked about trying to get out of jury duty. I don't think he was looking forward to it, but he clearly didn't mind doing it.

Anyway, the judge explains that this case is about a very young girl and her mistreatment at the hands of a family member. The girl is also probably going to have to testify. So the lawyers get to ask their questions. They're going one by one till they get to my uncle.

At my uncle, the defense lawyer asks a very reasonable question: "Do you believe children lie?" I actually knew my uncle’s response to this, he calmly stated, "No, I could never imagine my kids lying to me at that age, it's very difficult for me to believe that young children will lie".

Now, I've always felt this was a bit sappy. I love my cousins, but I know they weren't as honest as they could have been. But my uncle believed it through and through. The defense lawyer was undeterred. Clearly, she was actually expecting this response, and she wanted to prep everyone in the room for what her eventual argument would be. She proceeded to paint a scene.

"Alright, let's imagine for a second that there is a man standing outside the courtroom. He tells a young child that something is true, which is not true. He tells them that this thing that is untrue is the truth, so the child comes to believe that this thing is true, although it's not true. Now, the child comes into the room and testifies. They sit there and tell you what they believe to be true. But it's not the truth. It's just what the man outside the courtroom said was true. Do you believe a child could have that happen to them?"

This lady could not have used the word "true" more often without it simply being a joke, but it was easy enough to understand what she was going to argue eventually: An adult had told the girl these lies and convinced the little girl she needed to testify. But she had no idea who she was dealing with.

First, my uncle just sort of stared at her for a few seconds, considering this possibility. I was truly curious to see what his answer would be. Finally, after a short time of contemplation, he said: "I have no idea what you're talking about". The defense lawyer paused and…described the whole thing again.

Again he responded, and I believe this was his honest response: “What?” At this point everyone in the room is laughing, even the judge has a grin. The lawyer seemed flustered, not even kind of able to break through the shell of my uncle’s confusion. The lawyer calls a sidebar, and both lawyers walk up to the judge.

She's clearly asking the judge to hold my uncle in contempt, or at the very least dismiss him on grounds of not being fit for jury duty. At this point, the judge laughs aloud and says, "Nope, he stays". They have to go through the rest of the questioning before the lawyers can dismiss jurors without reason.

The prosecutor sat with her assistant for five minutes strategizing before excusing two jurors. When the defense lawyer got a chance, she jumped up and excused my uncle. The judge chuckled again. Later that evening I swung by his house to hang out with my cousins and recap the events of the day.

I walked in and my uncle’s only response was, "I still have no idea what she was trying to get at!"

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27. The Cat’s Out Of The Bag

My best friend in college was called to jury duty. The judge told the prospective jurors the name of the defendant and asked if anyone knew him personally. One of the jurors stood up and said, "Yeah, I know him. We did five years in the clinker together”. This was actually more catastrophic than you think.

The judge called a sidebar and after a minute dismissed all the jurors because they had been tainted. The fact that the defendant had previously done time was not supposed to be disclosed. Fastest mistrial ever.

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28. It’s Who You Know

When I was 19, I got called for jury duty in the town I grew up in. I listened to the briefing about the case and thought—man, this is going to be easy to get out of. The victim was a classmate of my younger sister, at the same middle school I went to.

Besides that, one of the witnesses was a teacher I had previously at the school, and another was an officer who was my own high-school classmate's father. I was so, so wrong. This all came out during jury selection, and they picked me anyway.

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29. Not For Me

I've been called to jury duty a few times, but this was my first and only time making it into a courtroom. I should note, I'm white and live in a predominantly Black area.

The defendant was a young Black male and was there for some sort of auto theft. I'm in my late 20s and was dressed in business casual. The judge went through the first set of general questions to remove potential jurors, none of which applied to me.

Next, the defense and prosecutor got to strike so many jurors from who was left. Everyone was in a line and as each juror went to the front of the line, if either side wanted to strike they could. I got to the front of the line and the defendant (not the defense attorney) took one look at me and said strike.

Guess he thought I'd find him guilty.

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30. Follow The Evidence

The first time I got called to jury duty, I was in my mid-thirties. This woman was charged with driving while drinking. It was a weird case. Every time the prosecution would start an argument, the defense would object, and the judge would call them up to the bench.

They'd confer for a few minutes and decide that the issue couldn't be discussed in a few minutes, so the jury was asked to leave the courtroom and wait in the hall. We'd wait out there for a half hour to an hour, get called back in, and the prosecutor would start a new argument.

This happened three times. The prosecution had to rest his case without ever really having made one. Yet somehow, miraculously, three of the six members of the jury decided she was guilty...because they just felt like she was.

I felt like she was too, but that's not how it works. The six of us "deliberated" for an hour, but no one was willing to move from their original positions. I even got them to agree that the prosecution didn't make his case, but for some reason, these three people felt happy to convict despite that.

I find that horribly disturbing. If you can't make a case, then you don't get to convict.

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31. I Say Tomayto, You Say Tomahto

A guy was on the stand testifying about whatever, and he said "...and then she hit me in the head with a smoovie”.

"A what?"

"A smoovie. Ya' know, for smoovin your clothes?"

"You mean an iron?"

"Sure, an iron”.

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32. Unintended Consequences

A friend of mine was once called for jury duty and brought in on a case where a guy in a bar had peed on another guy's shoe. The offended dude punched the guy in the face. It got dark, fast. The guy fell, hit his head, and didn’t make it. They were now going after the puncher.

When the lawyers got to my friend, they asked him what he would have done if he were in the defendant’s position. My friend replied, "I would've beaten the heck out of him!" He was not selected for the jury.

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33. This One’s For The Big Companies

The Ford company was being sued by a guy who rolled over his Explorer into a ditch. According to him, if the roof had been stronger, his wife would have lived. Now, if the thing had been built like a tank, and she had been wearing a five-point harness...maybe she would have.

But cars can't all be tanks. I fought tooth and nail with the other jurors about this. I may have come across the table at another guy...not one of my proudest moments. See, while they had shown that the car could have been built better and the roof would have crushed less as a result, they had NOT proven that it would have been enough to make a difference to the woman.

Would four inches less have saved her? Would it have crushed four inches less? More? Less? Those were not answered definitively by anyone. The people on the jury wanted to give the guy money because "Ford can afford it". I fought them with all the logic I could throw at them and single-handedly turned the jury eventually.

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34. Get Me Out Of Here

The accused kept turning around and staring at me, so much so that the judge told everyone to stop and asked me if I knew the guy!! I was so scared I dropped my purse and all the contents. I did not know the guy and I was promptly let go.

Tales From Jury DutyShutterstock

35. The Courtroom Got A Makeover

My mom was on an all-female jury, including the alternates. At one point, they rang up the highest lunch bill the bailiff could remember. At another point, when the judge asked if anyone had any questions, another juror made the judge turn red and leave the room when she asked, "What's under the robe, boxers or briefs?"

Tales From Jury DutyShutterstock

36. Too Smart For Us

My "I didn't get selected for Jury duty" story went like this:

Prosecutor: "Do any of you know what the differences are between guilty, not guilty, and innocent?"

I raise my hand.

Prosecutor: "Go ahead".

Me: "Guilty is someone who we find committed the act, not guilty means there was not enough evidence to convict, and innocent means that the person in question did not commit the act they are being charged with”.

Another Juror: "Wrong. Not guilty and innocent are the same thing”.

I was told that my services were not required and they kept the other guy. I still received my $10 for the day although that didn't even cover the parking I paid for two blocks away from the courthouse...

Tales From Jury DutyShutterstock

37. There’s Always One

My mother worked in the courts, and she used to tell stories. Basically, on any jury, you can expect to get at least one idiot. She used to say requiring a unanimous verdict was insane. Once, a juror refused to convict because she insisted the man was “too attractive” to be guilty.

Another time a juror sent a letter, claiming she was forced by the other jurors to convict. The letter was filled with misspellings and written at a 2nd-grade level.

Tales From Jury DutyShutterstock

38. Both Sides Now

I was on the jury for a trial, and I was harassed by the defendant while coming out of the courthouse one day. I was excused at the end of the trial before deliberation—but there was a twist. I ended up having to go to court again several months later to testify against the guy.

Tales From Jury DutyShutterstock

39. That’s…Not What You Want?

My dad's never been on a jury because he's an engineer. The last time he was called, they explicitly told him he was being excused because lawyers don't want engineers on juries.

I did some reading after hearing this. Apparently, lawyers are instructed to weed people who "think professionally" out of juries because they tend to consider evidence over arguments.

Tales From Jury DutyShutterstock

40. Thank You And Goodnight

I got out of the ONE time I've been summoned for jury duty. See, I had an ace up my sleeve. I did it by showing up in uniform, and I was a bailiff at the time. I showed up after my duty shift ended, only to have the Judge look at me and ask why I was there.

When I replied jury duty, he said simply, "No...not for you”.

Tales From Jury DutyShutterstock

41. On Wednesdays, We Get Booted From Jury Duty

During jury selection, I was sitting next to two college-aged women. An attorney asked one of them whether she felt like she was easily influenced by the opinions of others. She said, "Um, I think maybe?" Then, completely unprompted, the girl next to her said "Me too!" Pure genius if the goal was to be sent home.

Tales From Jury DutyShutterstock

42. Harsh But Fair

"You will be judged by a jury of your peers”. "Can I be judged by smart people instead?"

Tales From Jury DutyShutterstock

43. Higher Education Doesn’t Belong In The Higher Courts

I was called to jury duty last year. I have a PhD. At the time, my boss, also a PhD, told me I'd be dismissed, as they don't want PhDs. I asked him why, and he said we think too much and slow up the process. Ok. Well, it worked just like he said, and I was out by 11 am.

They didn't even ask for proof. Bang, out of there.

Tales From Jury DutyShutterstock

44. Doing Your Duty

I was selected as an alternate for jury duty when I was 19. What this means is I have to sit in on the court case and do everything except deliberate at the end. I'm there in case someone gets injured or passed I guess. I cannot tell you how awful this was.

My case was a civil lawsuit that was on its second appeal. Neither of the people were there except their lawyers. They literally read the transcripts of the previous trial to each other as if they were reading a play for the first time, and as you can imagine it was incredibly boring.

I would definitely space out for hours of time...All for $60 at the end of my two weeks.

Tales From Jury DutyShutterstock

45. Equal Opportunity

I was close to being disqualified from a violent trial when I was home from college one summer. Both the prosecution and defense discussed using one of their challenges for me after I answered a question about whether or not I thought an officer could be guilty of doing something wrong.

I answered, "Well, unless they're no longer human—yes. All people are capable of doing wrong, lawyers and justices included".

Deannie Best factsShutterstock

46. Play Fair

I was summoned for jury duty in 2009 and was dismissed before I could answer a single question. Apparently wearing a novelty T-shirt that reads "Innocent Until Proven Black" doesn't go over well with our judicial system.

Tales From Jury DutyShutterstock

47. Who ARE You?

One of the jurors in selection raised his hand and asked to talk to the judge and lawyers. He was taken out of the room for them to talk. To this day, I have no idea what he said, but when they came back, he was allowed to leave…and his name was added to the witness list.

Slam-Dunk Court CasesShutterstock

48. Fancy Seeing You Here

The first time I was called for jury duty, I was the first potential juror dismissed. The reason was jaw-dropping. It was because the man on trial was my biological father, whom I hadn’t seen in about a decade.

Tales From Jury DutyShutterstock

49. Okay, But…Her?

I went through voir dire once, for a case involving hurting a child. One of the general questions was if anyone had ever been hurt like that. One woman said yes.

The prosecutor asked her if she felt the law had brought the man to justice. The woman said no, and the prosecutor asked why not. Her answer shocked everyone. The response: "My daddy got to him before the law could”. The woman was selected for the jury. She seemed quite surprised.

Tales From Jury DutyShutterstock

50. This Is Why You Should Always Pay Attention

A pal of mine recently passed his Barrister exams and told me about a case he worked on. A man had been stalking this woman and saying super creepy things to her. She was asked what the man said to her on a particular occasion and she got seriously upset. The judge asked her if she'd feel better writing it down, so she did.

It was something along the lines of trying to aggressively seduce her. So this note gets passed along to the jury so we can each read it one by one. One woman has to wake up the juror next to her, who obviously hasn’t been paying attention. He reads it and thinks it’s her coming on to him. He just smiles at her and puts it in his pocket.

Lawyers' dumbest clientsShutterstock

Sources: Reddit, ,


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