Juror #5 And The “Privilege” of Jury Duty

Submitted by Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

Those of us on this side of the jury box routinely think the jurors hang on our every word and feel greatly honored to sit in judgment of their fellows. Well maybe some do, but here’s an actual letter (misspellings and all) from Juror #5 to a trial judge lamenting his plight:

Your Honor

I am tired of spending day after day wasting my time listening to this bullcrap. This is cruel and unusual punishment. The plantif is an idiot. He has no case. Why are we here? I think my cat could better answer these questions . . . and he wouldn’t keep asking to see a document.

I’ve been patient. I’ve sat in these chairs for 7 days now. If I believed for a second this was going to end on Thursday I might not go crazy. This is going to last for another 4 weeks. I cannot take this. I hate these lawyers and prayed one would die so the case would end.

I shouldn’t be on this jury. I want to die. I want to die!! Well not die for real but that is how I feel sitting here. I am the judge, you’ve said that over and over, well I am not fair and balanced. I hate the plantif. His ignorance is driving me crazy. I know I’m writing this in vain but I have to do something . . . for my sanity. These jury chairs should come with a straight jacket.

An entire day today and we are still on the same witness. The defense hasn’t even started yet and we have 3 days left 3 days my ass. Not that the defense needs a turn considering the plantif and his lawyer (who looks like the Penquin) have no case!!!! Thanks for letting me get this off my chest. Please keep the disordelies nearby. I may need them.

– Juror #5

Source: www.lawhaha.com

~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

20 thoughts on “Juror #5 And The “Privilege” of Jury Duty”

  1. John:

    “thankfully I didn’t have my 357 with me, because these people were too stupid to live”

    why would you want to kill democrats? That isnt very nice.

  2. John,

    A judge doing his job properly has anything but a cushy job.

    The emphasis being on “properly”.

  3. frank QUOTE”Either he got a really bad case or (and frankly this is my assumption) juror #5 is a moron. ”

    Lottakatz QUOTE “LOL, I wonder how many judges actually feel the way #5 does on any given day?”


    Frank I watched a judge explain to people for 15min WHY they were here in court…(not to try the case, but just a preliminary hearing)…and then the next person came up and he had to go through the WHOLE speech again!!

    Your not going to believe this, but I swear, he did this for the next TWENTY PEOPLE!!
    If I hadn’t have been there I would have never believed it myself….as it was, thankfully I didn’t have my 357 with me, because these people were too stupid to live…Hhahhahahhaha

    I always thought Judges had a cushy job…WOW was I ever wrong!

  4. Marnie,
    Sometimes it is a pain in the ass to do the right thing for your community. No one said it would be easy. If you were on trial for something that you didn’t do, you would want a jury that fought through the boredom in order to give you a chance to prove your innocence. I don’t agree with your view of being a juror, but I am thankful that you served when called. We should all be happy to serve on a jury, even if it is a pain in the ass.

  5. rafflaw 1, February 5, 2011 at 10:13 pm
    thanks for the topic. I have never been called to serve on a jury, even before I was an attorney. I think #5 should suck it up and do his civic duty like anyone else who is called. Hell, he probably would just be sitting in front of the TV during that time anyway. He might just learn something while he serves his community.

    It is exactly that kind of shitty attitude toward jurors that has created a system that treats them with such disrespect that jurors attitude toward the “performance” they are being forced to witness day after day, under threat of jail and fine, which often causes jurors to choose an bad guy and project their frustrations on that person. Be it the judge, one of the lawyers, the plaintiff or defendant. That doesn’t help the process of reaching a Just decision.

    When you can’t even go eat lunch without worrying that if you get slow service and are 10 minutes late back to court that the bailiff will be after you with hand cuffs and you will end up with jail time or a hefty fine you tend to be come jaded.
    Then when you sit in court and watch what often seems pointless discussion and interruptions that make no sense to you as a layperson you tend to become even more jaded.

  6. Anybody who has been called for jury duty knows what a major pain in the ass it is.
    I have been called for petite jury in one county three times and served once. I wont tell about the trial but it was stupid.

    I moved to another county and was called for petite jury twice, and in a two year period three times for a state trial. One of the petite jury panels had to watch a part of “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (No, I am not kidding.) in lieu of the lecture on what a privilege it is to serve and how many ways you could end up in jail or being fined.

    For the state trials, one whole day was siting in the basement of the auditorium so all of the potential jurors who could be excused went and met with a judge.
    Next day I had to listen to the same hour long incredibly boring speech three times. It was given by an elderly judge about telling us what an honor and duty it was be called up and serve, and then a whole list of threats about fine and imprisonment and a laundry list of thou shalt nots.
    If I made it into a court room in a jury panel I had to listen to the same damn speech again.

    I did sit on a murder trial.

    It’s not that the people who herd you around don’t treat you decently, but you are just furniture, to be shuffled around, threatened with jail and fine very hour on the hour, and reminded of what a great privilege it is to have to go through this.

    Oh yeah, and no parking available, and good luck getting lunch in under an hour in a down town area at noonish.
    And there was the day in central Texas in summer when the air conditioner went out, but we were still locked into the jury room and still had to sit in the jury box and sweat and sweat and sweat. During beaks everybody else could go to the air coditioned part of the building, but not the jury.

    So yes you do realize from the conversation that go on in the long hours you are locked up in the jury room, that your fellow jurors are becoming increasingly stressed by the loss of freedom and from the constants threats.

  7. I just served on a jury, and I have a little sympathy for Juror #5. Luckily for me, the case was neither completely lopsided nor did it take as long. We spent four and a half days on the case. It seems to me to have been about twice as long as the case deserved, but I understand that the plaintiff deserves a fair shot at putting on a case…

    The plaintiff was clearly injured by a moving car in the parking lot of a bar where his heavy metal tribute band had just played. A fight broke out in the lot, where a mob of 4 to 20 people jumped on the car of an individual, who managed to “shake them off” of his car, then drove around the lot several times at high speed looking for his missing date/girlfriend who had become separated during the fight. The plaintiff claimed he was an innocent bystander who had no idea he was wandering into this violent situation, and was struck, out of the blue, by the car. The girlfriend of the driver of the car claimed that the plaintiff was one of the people who had attacked the driver/car, implying that his injuries were sustained when the drive “shook” his way free from the mob. This might have been interesting/relevant, but the defendant was not the driver, but the bar.

    It was pretty clear early on that the plaintiff wasn’t making any real ground in blaming the bar for the fact that some guy injured him out in the parking lot. (Luckily, the judge threw out the Dram Shoppe element because the testimony came nowhere near incriminating the bar in over-serving the driver of the car. Short of willful/gross negligence on the part of the bar, I would have argued for something like jury nullification had we been forced to decide on a Dram Shoppe claim.) During the trial I tried to “keep my mind open” in case some other testimony or judge’s instructions recast the ongoing cases. In the end, we found entirely for the defendant. The plaintiff wept – it turns out the driver of the car probably has no insurance, so the plaintiff has no real recourse to get money to cover the injury that seemed to be mostly or entirely his own damn fault.

    Two things really struck me in the case: 1) The testimony given in court by the various groups of witnesses contradicted each other so much, that clearly several people sat there in court, and lied their rear ends off. Who knows what really happened, but whatever it was, I watched several people completely lie under oath, and on the record. That was pretty stunning. (And worrying – given how little a jury has to go on, a small group of liars could seriously swing a verdict..)

    2) The jury instructions were terrible. Each individual instruction was OK, but as a whole, they didn’t fully explain what we were expected to do and they failed to lay out on what basis we were expected to determine our verdict.

    What I pieced together was that we had three options for a verdict: 100% in favor of the plaintiff – simple enough – the bar was 100% responsible for the injury/damages. The other two were the confusing part: I think that if we had found that the bar was less than 100% responsible BUT MORE THAN 50% responsible, then we would make a partial award to the plaintiff. And if the bar was less than 50% responsible, then we would find in their favor. In the end, the jury (at least those of us who spoke up during deliberations) were pretty sure that the bar wasn’t significantly responsible, so we were comfortable giving the plaintiff nothing.

    But it really bugs me that the instructions left me so unsure of where the thresholds were supposed to be in deciding a verdict. As for “proximate cause” and those issues, we would have been totally confused if the case had been at all “close.” I really wonder how many cases turn on lousy jury instructions!

  8. Yeah, it’s a little different than the lawyer tv shows.

    I must give the guy enormous credit for “(t)hese jury chairs should come with a straight jacket” though.

  9. Mespo,
    thanks for the topic. I have never been called to serve on a jury, even before I was an attorney. I think #5 should suck it up and do his civic duty like anyone else who is called. Hell, he probably would just be sitting in front of the TV during that time anyway. He might just learn something while he serves his community.

  10. LOL, I wonder how many judges actually feel the way #5 does on any given day? The letter was a gem, thanks for finding it.

  11. frank

    Bingo! A representative of the “ME” generation (or a descendant of same) addicted to instant gratification of all wants and no clue as to the responsibility of paying for them.

  12. You go juror #5. I was juror # 5 recently. The case lasted only one day thank God. It was a stupid case about a motor vehicle violation. The plaintiff represented himself and after 3 and a half hours of deliberating, we found him not guilty on all counts. I hope to never have to do this again for a very long time. I think I would have gone crazy too if I had to be there another day. Juror #5, I feel your pain.

  13. Juror #5 sounds like one of the Senators sitting on the panel during the Porteus Impeachment.

    Seriously mespo … doesn’t the Judge have some responsibility here to move the trial along?

  14. Either he got a really bad case or (and frankly this is my assumption) juror #5 is a moron. Raised on a diet of TV entertainment, incapable of focusing on adult discussion for more than a couple of minutes, in need of constant visual stimulation and terse one-liner sound bites. #5 is very likely to be unable to hold two conflicting ideas in its tinker-toy brain insisting that the world is black or white and can’t separate a lawyers performance from the case.

    “A jury is 12 men brought together to decide which side has the better lawyer” – so this is not exactly a new phenomena but it seems to have gotten a lot worse over the last 30 years.

  15. Juror #5 should have just said during voir dire:

    “I have heard about this and I think that so and so is guilty as hell” or “that happended to my grandmother and I wanted to hang the guy myself”.

    problem solved

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