Monday 5 May 2014

”You're not goin' to intimidate me - I'm entitled to my opinion!”

Well, tomorrow I report for jury service.

Hey, STOP LAUGHING AT THE BACK! I've been waiting for this moment for years.

So … there may be a drop off in blogging and/or responses to comments once the scheduled posts give out at the end of this week (here, and at ‘Orphans’) if I've got to cope with deciding the fate of my fellow man or woman (plus another Tube strike), or, if I spend all my time hanging around in the jury room and not getting picked, readers may not notice any difference.

The court apparently has wi-fi, so maybe I can do some blogging on the government’s dime for a change!

If I do get picked, I can only hope for as exciting and action-packed a trial as these jurors had…


Anonymous said...

You may find that your access to t'interweb is restricted to prevent you blogging about the cases in your court. On the other hand, you may be able to seek obscure legislation you can ask the magistrate/judge about, thus causing chaos - something you are known never to do :-).
I am reminded of the story of the man warned for jury service who phoned up the court to confirm his attendance and asked, "By the way, what's the backyard done?"
Suggest you start watching "Twelve Angry Men" for atmosphere.
Penseivat (who never arrested an innocent man (or woman)

Anonymous said...

Damn this autocorrect. It should be 'bastard' not 'backyard'!

Budvar said...

The way I see it was he wasn't so much attacking a witness, but in the process of using the Jedi mind trick of waving his arm around saying "These are not the gang members you were looking for...".

JuliaM said...

Penseivat, that's the movie the post title comes from.. ;)

Anonymous said...

Good luck,you may have your eyes opened to the pointlessness of the justice system.
I did jury service many years before joining the police and have obviously given evidence hundreds of times so I can see it from both sides.I think you will actually find it quite boring.

Anonymous said...

You may get to convict a scrote who the judge gives thirteen life sentences who then walks out of an open prison and wonder if it was a waste of time.

Anonymous said...

Oooh, your civic duty to keep quiet, for once. A challenge you will rise to, of course. Never done it, myself.


Demetrius said...

Hanging around? Is this not prejudging the evidence? In any case do they still hang people?

Rickie said...

I hope you get a trial julia because there is a good chance you will not, i was lucky and got 2 trials when i did my jury service last year, plenty got nowt and just turned up every day bored stupid.

I didn't think it was boring at all, I was completely unaware of how the 1st trial would affect me and the other jurors too, ....i thought i had nearly 3 weeks off work but instead ended up constantly thinking about the trial, waking up in the night took over me completely, it was a sexual assault case , nothing serious but the fact that somebody was going to get convicted if the police had their way on fuck all evidence and a sloppy police investigation staggered me....that was the worry would the other jurors not give a fuck cos he was a foreigner as well...he was not guilty.

2nd case....guilty assualt, a nasty bastard from a family of bastards , this story actually involved 2 court cases as i have just found out....the nasty bastard a veteran of courts and the police was a devious bastard who falsely tried to get a member of the victims family convicted too.

Impression: 3 average lawyers. 1 brilliant,
judges....both impressive
police...shit and sloppy, they didn't give a shit about anything.

jurors.....20 others who took it seriously , although it was only in the jury deciding room to make a decision when you finally discovered who they were and how they thought....don't judge a book by its cover julia....nowt as queer as folk.

I want to be a court usher....what a job, crap money but fascinating.

12 angry men.... a great film and its worth taking note how they were debating the trial and how each juror was give time to express their views.....i made sure this happened during my trials because folk like the sound of their own voices and will take over the show given a chance and some will not utter one word.

Thats my tip, a great experience overall.

Good Luck

Ed P said...

Good luck - take lots of reading material. My 2 weeks were mainly spent waiting around. Then you're called as one of 14 to 15 potential jurors, more waiting, then into court. 12 picked, 3 sent back to wait, wait & wait again. Crap food on offer too.

Furor Teutonicus said...

XX Rickie said...

police... they didn't give a shit about anything.XX

Why bother when you spend 6 months collecting the best evidence ever seen in court,the bastard is guilty as Hel of 16 murders, or something, he has a record as long as the M6, and he gets two days probation and a week painting old ladys houses?

MrsErdleigh said...

I second the advice about reading material. Take your kindle if you have one and load it up. There is loads of hanging around and this is the time to read that classic novel you've been avoiding for years. :-)

Rickie said... my 1st case , local girl versus muslim........evidence wasn't needed, how could the lovely thing from a public school who spoke very well and was a credit to her family who were in the court every single minute be beaten by a muslim with an interpreter.........boy did her family stare the jury out, i mean stare and stare and stare....i don't think this did her any favours either,all 12 jurors knew it was happening.

What happened when the verdict was given....mum and dad didn't break the emotion whatsoever

2nd case , because of witnesses police had little impact on the case.

My only other point is that the police were given an easy time in the dock, they were certainly not bashed like witnesses were, i put this down to local lawyers in a small town not wanting to upset local police who then hold a grudge and payback when the stakes are really high on a high profile case. In a big city i would imagine this dosen't happen.

This isnt corruption or underhand but it was noticeable, the police were dragged in from the beat and shoved in the dock, they were unprepared, they couldn't remember things, it was piss poor.

If they cared about the cases or the victims it didn't show.

JuliaM said...

"Good luck,you may have your eyes opened to the pointlessness of the justice system."

I think the local press I've read over the years had already achieved that objective...

"Oooh, your civic duty to keep quiet, for once. "

I know! But I can make general observations as to the efficiency (or lack) of the court process... ;)

"I hope you get a trial julia because there is a good chance you will not,"

Yup, colleagues have told me the same.. :(

" Crap food on offer too."

At least the taxpayer's paying! I can experience the benefit culture!

Anonymous said...

I didn't get a trial when I was called up either. The book that I took was On liberty and other essays by John Stuart Mill. I found the food at bit ordinary but perfectly edible. I finally read the book all the way through during a hospital stay this time last year.


Anonymous said...

Rickie do you ever think why the police didn't "remember things" or were "piss-poor", your words not mine?
The cases take months to come to court.In the meantime I will have dealt with possibly hundreds of incidents.For the victim and witnesses they can remember the crime with crystal-clear clarity as it has happened to them and it's personal.
We also have no preparation.We can literally get dragged in to court without warning.
But don't imagine we don't care because it's a lot of work to get criminals to court so I want them to be found guilty.
I can't answer your point about getting an easy time in court in the counties though as i'm in the Met.I have noticed that barristers do go easier on police witnesses over the years as one of them told me it's counter-productive to bash the officers as the juries don't like it.

Rickie said...

I agree jaded, the reason for police poor performance is they are busy, there are busy when the offence occured,, they are busy whilst doing an investigation and they are certainly dragged in without warning to court several months after the offence

That dosen't mean the police weren't piss poor, just that there are reasons for it, i just think one mans life being ruined on a sexual assualt case didn't mean too much to the police when they virtually run into court fumbling for paperwork and stuttering and looking stupid...and it dosen't look good for the supposed victim side either, they don't care cos they are busy and its low level case involving a muslim that should have been an easy prosecution can talk about anything you like about a case after its finished, the press could be there and print every word can you!!!, the only no no what is said in the jury room stays there.

Its an old wifes tale that jurors can't say a word about the trial.

The odd thing that struck me is that outside the court you can bump into witnesses, accused, victim...queue behing them to enter the court, see the whites of their eyes in costa coffee whilst you scoff a cake, see lawyers...its an odd situation,but don't ever make any contact with any of them.

see tom hanks on a real life jury story that got dumped because of a remark to him.

Furor Teutonicus said...

XX and they are certainly dragged in without warning to court several months after the offence XX

And when that is late/night shift Friday and you get a court warning for 09:00 Monday morning, YOU try getting the civy cunts from admin to find your pocket book from when the offence happened.


PJH said...

If you want to get out of it, I heard a rumour that mentioning / asking about jury nullification may help... (probably a bit late for Julia, but thought I'd put it out there for others reading; just canting up on RSS feeds.)

JuliaM said...

"I didn't get a trial when I was called up either. The book that I took was On liberty and other essays by John Stuart Mill"

I'm ploughing my way through Andrew Vacchs' 'Burke' novels again. In actual book form, to save the Kindle's battery.

"The cases take months to come to court."

Jaded, granted I've only been there a couple of days, but what I've seen of the efficiency levels of this court makes me weep...

" can talk about anything you like about a case after its finished..."

Oh, I may well do a rather general post on the court workings (or failings) when it's all over.

"If you want to get out of it..."

Ooooh, no! Even just sitting in the court waiting room is great people-watching & eavesdropping time :)