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Refusing to serve jury duty, get 5 days in jail

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Postby greeney2 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:10 pm

In California, they now just send you a summons to serve, and you must call in, register, and request a transfer, delay, or excused. Previously they would only send a perspective juror questionnaire but began going directly to a summons. People question if that is all legal, or how can they prove you did not get the summons. They really make it very difficult nowadays. This guy sounds like he was just blatant about it, and found out, you can go to jail. I would like to know the real legality of this, and what landmark cases can force you so serve on a jury. Personally I have served 3 times, and last time around (after I had retired) requested to be excused and it was accepted. That would have been my 4th time. I always got paid from my company, so that pretty much seals you into serving. Most juries are made up from government contractors, state or government employees, and big companies with unions that pay for jury duty.

This is a tough issue because on one hand we all complain about crime, and terrible jury decisions, we should want to do our civic duty, and make a difference serving on a jury. I found the experience was a very good one. My 3rd case was a double homicide, which I was not accepted for, and do not know why, other than certain people may make bad jurors for certain crimes. I would recommend anyone who can serve to give it a try. Its a bit of a personal sacrifice, but you can make a difference in our justice system.

What is your opinion about serving, and about this guy who ended up in jail?



Texas man jailed after failing to appear for jury duty
By Eric Pfeiffer, Yahoo! News | The Sideshow – 7 hrs ago
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A Texas man has been sent to jail after repeatedly skipping jury duty.
There is a near universal dread of being called to jury duty. But the case of Jose Bocanegra Jr. is an unusual reminder of how shirking one's government-mandated responsibility to pass judgment on one's fellow citizens can result in getting yourself into trouble with the law.
"He tried to get disqualified by stating he was a felon—that got denied," Jury Bailiff Paula Morales told a local Dallas-Fort Worth affiliate. "He tried to get excused by claiming he was the caretaker of an invalid. We couldn't substantiate that, so that was denied."
Sometimes Bocanegra, 20, just simply didn't show up for his assigned jury duty.
Interestingly, the authorities finally went after Bocanegra when he did show up for jury duty—only to leave the scene minutes later. A bench warrant for his arrest was then promptly issued.
Legally, a person cannot be asked to serve on a jury more than once every two years. Though most individuals are asked to serve at far more infrequent intervals.
There are several ways an individual can legally attempt to avoid jury duty, citing various professional, personal and legal conflicts. And beyond that, you may not even be asked to formally serve on a specific jury when you show up for the selection process. But if someone blatantly skips jury duty, the repercussions vary across different jurisdictions. In some cases, an individual will simply be assigned to serve on another jury. Or the individual may be fined. Or, as in the case of Bocanegra, the person can actually be sent to prison.
"I called him… his phone wasn't accepting phone messages. I sent him an email, told him it was imperative that he contact me immediately, and we never heard back from him," Morales told CBS. "So then I was forced to take it to the judge."
The next day Bocanegra stood handcuffed in front of a judge who held him in contempt of court. In explaining his absence from jury duty, Bocanegra reportedly told the judge he didn't like waiting in line and that jury duty was too time-consuming.
"I didn't want to because it's all the way in Fort Worth—way out of the way," Bocanegra said in the courtroom.
"The judge told him he wasn't taking his jury duty seriously, considering his history. So he sentenced him to five days in the county jail," Morales said.
"I mean, we've tried and tried and he just kept shirking it and shirking it and it wasn't going anywhere. So we didn't have a choice."
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Postby En-Lugal » Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:23 pm

It's not like they don't give you ample notice. I found this link on the subject. I've never been fond of how the prosecution and defense can pick jurors they think will deliver the verdict they want.
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Postby greeney2 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:40 pm

Found this article about another person in trouble faking a jury duty excuse.




Woman Sentenced for Faking PTSD
By Katie Moisse | ABC News Blogs – 8 hours ago
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A Denver woman has pleaded guilty to second-degree perjury and attempting to influence a public servant for faking post-traumatic stress disorder to dodge jury duty, according to a statement from the Denver District Attorney.
Susan Cole arrived for jury selection in June 2011 looking purposefully disheveled, wearing curlers in her hair and mismatched shoes, according to an affidavit obtained by the Denver Post.
Cole reportedly told Denver District Court Judge Anne Mansfield she "broke out of domestic violence in the military" and had "a lot of repercussions," including PTSD.
"Her makeup looked like something you would wear during a theater performance," court reporter Kelli Wessels told investigators at the time, according to the Denver Post. "When the judge asked the entire panel if anyone had a mental illness, [Cole] stated she had difficulties getting ready in the morning, which was apparent to me by the way she was dressed."
Cole was excused from her civic duties. But her plot was foiled four months later when Judge Mansfield heard a woman bragging about how she faked mental illness to evade jury duty on a local radio show.
The woman, who called herself "Char from Denver," was Cole, an author who uses "Char" as a pen name, the Denver Post reported.
Cole pleaded guilty Tuesday and was given a two-year deferred judgment for the felony count of attempting to influence a public servant, a felony, and two years of probation for the misdemeanor count of second degree perjury, according to the Denver District Attorney. She is also required to perform 40 hours of community service.
"As a mental health professional, I find this disturbing and upsetting," Dr. Joseph Calabrese, a psychiatrist at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, told ABC News at the time. "PTSD is a very serious, life threatening illness. And things like this tend to trivialize it."
PTSD is an anxiety disorder brought on by a traumatic event, such as domestic abuse. The debilitating symptoms, which include emotional numbing, anger and terrifying flashbacks, increase the risk of suicide.
"I find these sorts of things distracting and inappropriate," Calabrese said of Cole's "manipulative" behavior. "That sort of criminal behavior has nothing to do with mental illness."
Cole's book, " Seven Initiations with El-Way's Secrets," claims to help readers "deal with difficult relationships and situations" through biblical passages. Cole offered investigators a copy of the book as evidence of her struggle with domestic abuse and mental illness, but was unable to prove she was diagnosed with PTSD, the Denver Post reported.
"I think this is problematic on a number of levels," Dr. Adam Brown, clinical assistant professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center, told ABC News in June 2011.
"Mental illness certainly could interfere with someone's ability to serve on a jury, but it isn't something as stereotypical as dressing and acting the way she did," Brown added. "Many people have mental illness and you'd never know. They don't stand out. In that way, I think it contributes to the negative stereotype."
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