Thank You, Excuse You
There are plenty of ways to wriggle out of service, but some excuses just don’t stick.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
If you’re summoned to jury duty, don’t freak: Chances are slim you’ll actually serve. You may not be called from assembly into a courtroom; and if you are, you may not make it into the jury box. Once there, you have three escape routes: You can convince the judge that serving would be an undue hardship. You can turn off an attorney enough that s/he uses one of 10 “peremptory challenges” to thank and excuse you without cause. And if you show that you can’t be a fair juror, an attorney can ask the judge to dismiss you with cause. Here are some of the excuses I heard on my days in court.
EXCUSES THAT WORKED
1. I hold the Bible’s law above America’s.
2. A relative served time for/was a victim of the alleged crime.
3. The charges trigger a personal trauma.
4. I love cops/I hate cops.
5. I know people involved in the trial.
6. I’m a student missing class.
7. If I serve, children/students won’t eat.
8. Circumstantial evidence is BS.
9. The Fifth Amendment is BS.
10. No speak English.
EXCUSES THAT DIDN’T WORK
1. My workplace needs me.
2. I go to church.
3. I don’t get paid for jury duty.
4. I’m moving out of town, but can make alternative arrangements.
5. I have a medical appointment, but it can be rescheduled.
6. I suffer frequent urination.
7. I speak English OK, but it’s not my first language.
8. A relative was falsely accused of the alleged crime.
9. It’s my birthday.
10. I’m a reporter.