I love court and miss it dearly. I find criminal law fascinating. Sorry you found it so rubbish eva, it is an incredibly important and necessary job. I will get stuck on a customs case if I get called up for jury duty - yawn!
Tedious because there was an unbelievable amount of hanging around.
Shocking because of the overt racism of my fellow jurors. First case involved a young black woman. We, the jurors, were sent to our room to ponder our verdict. First thing that was said, pretty much, "well, it's obvious she's guilty, these black people are all the same".
I loved it (possibly for slightly shallow reasons) didn't get an awful case.got childcare paid for, spent most of time without any court time at all, which i spent doing work that otherwise would have had to have done around childcare. At othertimes got released so did all christmas shopping. This is probably not what you meant Op?
I did it 5 yrs ago and mostly I found it interesting both for watching the process in action and the discussions in the jury room which were surprisingly thorough but there was boredom in between cases they were both short trials
I enjoyed it, did a really long case, 2 1/2 months! Until we had to discuss the verdicts, then things got complicated. We were discussing for a week, all day, not allowed out for sandwiches, or cigs, and in a room with 11 people you wouldn't ordinarily spend time with. ARGH! Some people get very power hungry!
You shouldn't have found it intimidating, we had some good rows though!
An important role to do, I think, and it was interesting, like being in an episode of Perry Mason, I kept turning round when thry referred to the jury, didn't sink it it was me!
I was on the Jury for a GBH case. Several guys had attacked a mixed group outside a nightclub. It was areally vicious incident. The evidence was really clear, and the one guy they actually caught offered nothing in his own defence apart from he was now working with "disabled people".
The judge spent ages explaining the law about "joint enterprise" ie if you enter into criminal behaviour jointly it doesn;t matter exactly who did what when IFYSWIM.
To my complete shock, most of the Jury felt SORRY for the guy. No one doubted he was there and involved, but "we can't be sure it was him that kicked the young girl in the head" etc etc No one felt sorry for the victims! There was me and one other guy arguing the point of law, and at the end the rest agreed he was guilty, but only agreed he was guilty when the other guy assured them he was bound to get a non-custodial sentence.
The "poor" chap got sent to prison for 18 months. He had a history of similar stuff. The other Jurors wouldn't speak to me after that!
I thought it was a fascinating experience, but it did shock me a bit that you have the right to be judged by your peers but that those peers seem to be incapable of understanding a case and the Law despite really clear explanations. This was a relatively minor case, but.....
I'm a lawyer so can't do jury service. In the USA you can. I used to work for a very well respected trial lawyer in New York. He was the last person anyone would want on a jury so spent his entire jury service being rejected at the selection stage by other trial lawyers who were worried about his influence in the jury room!
Personally I would never do it. I dread getting a summons for it. They have been trying to get dh to do it for months but he's a police officer in the district they want him to do jury service. He knows 99% of the defendants and works on their cases. They still keep asking him though.
Interesting that people have such differing experiences of it.
MollieO Im pretty sure they have changed that rule - you can now be called for jury service - the only reason you couldnt sit on a particular trial was if you knew a member of the trial team of defendants
I did 6 weeks, met a variety of people I wouldn't otherwise have (made one friend too) and got an insight into the whole process. It was ultimately frustrating, though, as we had to find them "not guilty", although I'm 100% convinced of their guilt.