Fact Checked

Why do I Have to Serve Jury Duty?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

One of the principal rights of all citizens of the United States is a right to a trial before a jury of one’s peers. Thus being a citizen of the United States means that at some point you may be called to serve jury duty. It is call “duty” because it is actually a responsibility of each citizen. Without citizens willing to fulfill the call to serve, we would all be unable to have access to the right of jury trials.

It may seem inconvenient, and frequently is, to serve on a jury. However, it is also a chance to actively participate in allowing other citizens the basic freedoms to which they are entitled. It helps to put the shoe on the other foot here and imagine what it might be like if you were charged with a crime and no jury could be seated to deliberate your fate.

The right to a trial by jury is guaranteed to all American citizens.
The right to a trial by jury is guaranteed to all American citizens.

The jury is one of the checks and balances that is supposed to make trials fair. One makes an appeal not just to judges or to lawyers but to the “average Joe or average Jane.” In other words, the jury is supposed to be made up of people just like you, not judges or attorneys.

Therefore, when one receives a summons to serve jury duty, it is important to respond. Some employers generously pay for a person’s time when they have jury duty. Others, like the self-employed, may find that it means financial hardship. Depending upon the judge and the laws of the state, there are a few reasons why one can be excused and not serve.

A jury summons demands the presence of a citizen in court for jury duty.
A jury summons demands the presence of a citizen in court for jury duty.

These reasons can include proving extreme financial hardship, having to care for a dependent that is disabled, or being mentally or physically incapacitated to the point where one could not reasonably deliberate on a jury. In many cases, although one gets a summons, one will never actually have to serve jury duty. This is because many cases are settled prior to even getting to court. Usually a potential juror, who waits for a day or two and has the case to which they are assigned settled, has fulfilled his or her obligation.

Juries are part of the system that makes trials fair.
Juries are part of the system that makes trials fair.

In addition, one is not required to serve jury duty more than once every 12 months. If you receive a summons and have recently been on a jury, a call to the court can usually mean you don’t have to serve again. Many people fail to answer summons to serve jury duty, however, which is technically illegal. It is also a shame, since it is the responsibility in a democracy for all people to uphold the principals that give us our basic rights.

In special circumstances, a person called for jury duty may be excused from service.
In special circumstances, a person called for jury duty may be excused from service.

Ultimately, if one must serve jury duty, consider it not only a duty but also a privilege of citizenship. We are often used to thinking of citizenship in a passive way. To serve on a jury is to actively be a citizen. Though it may be troublesome to have a week or two taken from you, how much more troublesome would it be to have a court system that did not give the individual basic rights and privileges?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent MyLawQuestions contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent MyLawQuestions contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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Discussion Comments


I was called for Jury duty and I raised the exact same points. Why or how would it be fair for government to demand I be somewhere, if I have committed no crime? Where is the freedom in that?

Second, If I don't want to be there, how are you being fair to the person who is on trial. Do you think they will get a fair trial by a bunch of people who are losing a day's pay? Um, no!

Third, while there, the question was asked on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being, you don't want to be there, 10 being you are excited to be there, 2 answered with number 10. Put those two and whoever else is happy to be there, on a rotation. There are a lot of people who are retired and probably happy to have some place to go, call them!

Fourth, please don't tell me it's my duty. The two courtrooms I was called in for, were about to have a trial for criminal mischief and the other was trespassing. First, this seems so minor and ridiculous to me, that you need to call 41 people to sacrifice a day's pay for this. They didn't kill anyone. Requesting a jury trial for something like this shouldn't be permitted. The Judge is supposed to be qualified to determine guilt or innocence in things as simple as these. Let him or her do their job!!

Fifth, if you are still going to say it's my duty, fine. I will accept it as soon as the government pays me a day's pay that is equivalent to the judge, attorney, court officer and Judge's assistant. Don't tell me it is my duty to do it for free. I don't have to do anything else for free, so why do I have to do that for free? Because the government says so? You're not free, because anytime the government can demand you do anything, it means you don't have the rights they claim we do.

In my situation, I told the judge and the attorneys I will not sit on a jury and make a decision about something so trivial as trespassing and give the person a record so they can never have a decent job. I told them the whole idea should be embarrassing to them to even put on such a circus. I let them know, if I am forced to sit through this, I will not make a decision either way, guaranteed! I was sent back down to wait again for the next judge. I told them the same exact thing. I was sent home, of course.


I don't understand how I can get fined or go to jail for literally opening my mailbox. "Freedom" really is slavery.


I just got a summons myself. Yeah, right. I don't plan on showing up, as I live about a hundred miles from the city the trial is to be held in. Not only is that bad enough, but I don't have a vehicle to get there and don't plan on borrowing one. I'm not going to walk or hitch-hike there either. And I won't be paying any fines for non attendance. If they send any cops to pick me up, they're not gonna find me either. I see there are plenty of shills defending the process on this thread. Probably judges and lawyers.

To them, I say this: I hope when the next middle eastern "Revenue Enhancement" crusade comes around, you all, or your children if they're old enough get drafted and sent over there. Then you'll find out first hand what an "honor" and "privilege" it is to "serve" your masters. Bunch of sheep.


It's hilarious, all these posts talking about how "hard" jury duty is, and how you'd rather have a tooth pulled. You complain that jury duty is under threat of jail, and is unfair to people who have conscientious problems with the system. Well did you realize that you can mention those problems to the judge, and they will most likely let you go?

I recently sat through a jury selection process, and it was amazing how easy it was for people to make excuses. All you have to say is, I don't think I could be a fair and impartial juror, or I don't agree with the US legal system, or I don't trust cops, or I don't trust people of that race, and they will let you go.


It's not an honor to serve when under the threat of contempt of court, jail time and fine. An awards ceremony is an honor and if not attended carries no legal fines and stripping away of time/freedom.

By making the jury system antagonistic to those who object over conscious problems with the system, you do not produce the best justice system, but you may create a fast one where people aren't willing to mentally participate and wait out making a verdict to go with the flow. And in the system, where the judges and lawyers are versed in the law and the manipulation of such, but the jury is not remotely versed in law is a disadvantage. I'm not proposing no jury system, but the current one needs tweaking, and for those who say no, it's fine or can't be changed, amend your thinking. Laws can be tweaked, and even struck down, so yes, the jury system can be modified; you just may not want to because of the scope of your beliefs.

Find a way to make volunteerism more a part of the process. Vet the system for those most willing to be reasonable (not angered) by the process, and have a little basic training so that slick lawyers don't truly bend the laws when representing their clients, and you might find fewer sites about how to avoid such civic duty, such honor, or currently, forced labor.


Jury duty is worse than getting rodents in your bed, all because the country has not been able to dethrone the legal profession. No country has the amount of litigation we have.


@post 6, thanks for the great advice. I'll be as negative as I can be.

@post 26 and 36: freedom of speech, but not in court, not in a doctor's office and not with the banks.

By the way, America is the only country in the world where they have such a backward system where people are forced to do jury duty. This is not by choice. Tell me, what does freedom mean? I would like to see itemized statements from the government where all our taxes go. Isn't this equality?

The court in my county is corrupt and people know it. and as a member of the jury, would I be guilty by association regarding the corruption? Rich people can buy themselves out of jury duty -- oops -- donations anyone?

I know a person who leaves for Spain six months out of the year, and never has to do jury duty because he is out of the country.


I do think you Americans are a sad, narcissistic bunch of people. I am glad I do not live in your country and do not have to interact with you. I am also glad I do not have to face you if I am on trial in your country. Why do you think most countries in the world call you the "Ugly Americans?"


I want nothing to do with jury duty. I would think they would want people on juries who really wanted to be there. It makes me sick to my stomach to think about it. I don't want to talk in front of a bunch of people who I don't know. I think it really really sucks that we have no choice in the matter. I have a friend who just had surgery and I'd rather go through that than serve on a jury.


If you don't show up or have a valid excuse then you get arrested and/or fined. Serve or else. It should be a choice. Besides, what if a murderer gets off on a technicality? Then the jurors would live in fear for the rest of their lives.


I am disabled so forget them and even if I were not, my dad was held as a POW, tortured and came back to live through hell in his own head. Oh, and he was treated like crap by this government. Do I give a crap about civic duty? Hell, no!


Why do Americans always think their judicial system is the best in the world? I'm not a patriotic Dutchman but for sure our system is working way better than the American one. It shows in all statistics and studies done. It's about time Americans open their eyes and try to learn from places where some things might work better. At the same time I know with the past and current US media, it's hard not to be ignorant living in such a big country.


I work at a Walmart barely making any money, and a large amount of it goes to my family and the mortgage. I don't even have the ablility to create my own future. Is that a hardship?


Unfortunately, many conscripted jurors do not understand basic constitutional rights and as a result, citizens are convicted of non-crimes.

If jury duty was voluntary, then passionate people would choose to be part of the process, and we would see more nullification which would lead to a more free society. In other words, if informed juries knew that selling lemonade (for example) is a non-crime and, then they could nullify the courts, and eventually the police would stop wasting everyone's "time and dime".


Citizen responsibility, or not, it is plain crap that we don't have the right to say no. Just because there are people who would say no definitely does not mean that all people would.


I'm self-employed (as a contract engineer) and every day I'm on a jury duty would cost me $400, forcing me to give up that much money involuntarily is a clear violation of my rights under the due process clause of the 14th Amendment.

For those who think I have no right to complain about this, you should consider yourselves very lucky to be able to afford such vacations. Some of us have to work to support ourselves and families.


It's not disrespect to want a better system and not want to participate in the current forced system. It's disrespect to those who died fighting for the country to exercise your freedom of speech to disrespect them in print or vocally.

And if you believe the justice served by a forced jury is better than reforming the system for willing volunteers, then look over the cases in the news where you find 'travesties of justice".


I served yesterday. We had to be there by 7:30am. No judges showed up til 9:00am. There was a huge pool of jurors and we were packed into a room like sardines. There were not enough chairs. Needless to say many people stood until they started taking groups (after 9:00am) to various courtrooms.

Pay phone didn't work. Cell phones weren't allowed on court premises. There was virtually no pay parking (no reimbursement), and absolutely no free parking.

The women's jury room restroom only had two stalls. Toilet paper and towel dispensers barely worked and there was no soap.

We were frequently told what an honor it was to serve.

One woman had an obviously bad back. They would not let her speak to anyone early. She had to wait til she was questioned in the jury box and then she explained that she had been in a car accident several years ago and sitting on hard surfaces and standing was very painful. (That's all any of us had to sit on -- a few wooden benches and not enough folding metal chairs). After several dirty looks, and a few rude remarks she was dismissed.

I don't think this is what the early founders of our country had in mind by the term civic duty. So much of this system is antiquated. They could actually save money using technology: Most of us could be sworn in and use Skype or video questioning and they could at least narrow the pool.

I was there from 7:30am to 3:00 pm and am self-employed. Many of us got rides into the city because we know about the parking - no direct bus route.

There is no cafeteria. Pop and junk in vending machines at high prices, and no restaurant in walking distance.

They need to re-think the system. Making improvements in jury service does not mean the legal system is broken or not the "best in the world" it just means that we now have the technology to make a complicated, bloated jury system function more smoothly for the times.


Where do they get off saying it's our right? If that is true, then we should have the right to say no. They will tell you that only free Americans are chosen. What I want to know is were do they get free and jail in the same sentence? If you don't go, they arrest you.

I thought we were in America, not a third world country where you don't have a choice. I'm sure there are a lot of people who don't work who can do it. Leave us who do work alone. We have families to feed.


Jury service is a civil duty that the government created to help citizens be able to have a fair trial. There may be several people who have committed the crime so they should do their time. I completely agree, and thanks to the country that we live in, our government gives every citizen the right to show his/her side of the story and be able to have a jury of his/her peers decide, instead of having the judges and the attorneys decide.

If you all are going to cry about serving jury duty, and most cases gets called off anyway, and panels only end up having to come in maybe one or two times, then I hope that you are all voting and researching our country's rules and procedures on your own. In fact, I believe that if you don't vote or don't participate in our civil duties as Americans, then you should just keep quiet about your opinions. because you obviously don't have any if you're not going to voice them in things that may actually change the way our government works.

The reason the juror pay is so low is because all of those people who complain about paying their taxes don't want to pay any more than they have to, or like most citizens of this country, they just live off the government and expect to get hand outs whenever they can. State employees haven't even got living expenses raise in almost five years and they don't think that they will for at least another two or three, let alone raising the budget for jurors whom you think should be paid above minimum wage just for serving on a jury, which is your civil duty to this country.

So if you all honestly took the time to learn about our country, read the Constitution and our Bill of Rights, and maybe even watch the news or vote for our political leaders, then you would understand about spending one or two days out of your busy lives participating in a service that could possibly change your views of the judicial system and help someone other than yourself for a change.

The difference in this country compared to what it used to be is that too many think everything should just be handed to them and they shouldn't be responsible for having to follow any rules because they already know it all and back when the Constitution was being written, people actually cared about this country and making it a better place for everyone, not just themselves.


I personally do not think that I would ever be able to go through jury duty. It goes against everything I stand for. The person that I would be judging did something wrong and that is human. As a fellow human being, I could have easily made the same mistake. who am I to judge? And as a separate individual, I did not experience the events that led the person to the crime, so once again who am I to judge?


Jury duty is a form of involuntary servitude, or slavery. If the government provided proper compensation, a jury system that relied on voluntary service would work, and could use the same screening process as the current one to remove those unqualified for the job. It is precisely because the government does not want to fairly compensate jurors that this current oppressive system exists.


If jury duty paid more to make up for all the hours I would be losing then I wouldn't mind at all. But it's such a tiny amount its almost an insult that my whole day is only worth $15.


Privileges of citizenship? What a joke.


I don't understand why they send a form for you to fill out, asking is there any reason you would be unable to attend. I said yes, I'm a stay at home mom of four boys and one is a newborn.

We have only one car which my husband takes to work and we don't live around family who could help babysit while i have to be there. And obviously it wasn't a good enough answer.

I have no desire to want to be on the jury trial. Why don't they have law students or someone who enjoys these things go instead.


Today I just fulfilled my third jury summons -- one summons every 2 years in september. First time, I went at 8 a.m., went through voir dire and it turned out the person on trial had stolen a honda accord. Guess what? Someone stole my honda accord before so I was dismissed (true -- not a lie to get out of serving). Two years later, I was picked to sit on a DUI case. It lasted two days.

This time my duty was for today friday at 10:30 a.m. -- not a good sign. Sure enough, I get there at 10:30 a.m., and we are left there until 11 a.m. before anyone saw us and we were told the judge is coming to speak to us (150 of us) later in this room. He will be here when he is free, but nobody knows when as he is very busy.

At 11:30 a.m., we were sent for lunch to be back at 1 p.m. At 1 p.m., we are back, but no one sees us. At 1:30 p.m., about six people in suits towing briefs appear and sit at the banquet tables that were brought in. About 20 minutes later, the judge comes in. We hear it's our civic duty and what an honor it is, etc. We are then told it will be at least 21 trial days, split up of course, for a civil medical negligence case. We hear 20 more minutes of what an honor it should be for us. Finally, we are asked if we have a legal reason to be excused and to step to the other side of room. Those who are okay fill out papers and come back Monday.

Turns out, 65 of us sit and wait to be interviewed by the judge. We sit and wait. The judge comes back and once again tells us what a great honor it is we are presented to serve, etc. Finally gets around to telling us that statistically, 85 jurors are enough to choose from, so we are dismissed, once again telling us what an honor it is for us to have the opportunity to serve and we are missing out on a great experience.

Meanwhile, I happened to smile at the girl next to me, who says she has never served, and I get called out by the judge because I must think jury duty is a big laugh and I should serve on a jury. I was livid. My response was, "Your Honor, I have served on a jury and it is not a laughing matter."

Actually, what I wanted to say in reality was what a joke it was being called every two years when people I work with are never called. What a waste of people's time to come in at that time: sit there, wait, go to lunch and listen to the typical political speech. So like our government inept wasting our time. Not paid. No coffee provided. Day off work, buy own drinks, gas, food and waste valuable time.

Maybe if they were more effective, then instead of making us sit and twiddle our thumbs, and call 150 people to narrow down to nine for a civil trial, maybe the jury for civil cases should be paid. The lawyers are.

Then I had to wait in line until the clerk was ready to give us a letter saying I was at the courthouse. Please. I don't mind doing jury duty, but my employer only pays up to 80 hours for jury duty within a 36-month period and my husband is unemployed, so I am the financial means in this house and we live barely paycheck to paycheck. If I don't get a check, the bills aren't paid and we are evicted. At least my employer pays for some jury duty.

My co-workers cannot believe I get called every two years. The court says it is random picks from drivers licenses. Please. It must be a narrow pool if the same people get picked.

And by the way, the case was against an obstetrician for a delivery 13 years ago. I know the doctor and his partners since I am an RN. Most doctors that I know stopped delivering babies because of malpractice insurance costs and just do gynecology.

And I am not unpatriotic – just fed up with being picked and sitting and waiting when called. It's a waste of my day and they are inept and disorganized. I should get a courthouse job.

The judge also laughed about how Oct 10 would not be jury day. He would be in the courtroom as all the judges will be, but technically all the court employees are off – open but not open. That's our system!


If everyone would realize that jury duty is akin to involuntary servitude, (and the 13th amendment of our own constitution has something to say on that matter), and that although you are summoned to appear on a jury, you (as a citizen) are never required in kind to vote. Imagine that.

This is nothing less than a smack against our own liberties and freedoms. It's conscription, straight away.

Having those who wish to serve as a juror, then "volunteerism" should be much preferred.

The time to remove this "order to halt our lives in their tracks" for the sake of less than minimum wage (and sitting around and doing nothing for most of the day - a typical government trait) should be now.

We've too many doing that already. How's that working for us, anyway?

When real justice returns to our courtrooms and stops protecting the perpetrators, I might reconsider my views, but not before. If that's being biased, fine by me.

And yes, Judge Louis Brandeis stated we all have the right to be left alone.


I have been searching the web for hours and cannot get an answer to the question is serving on a jury required by a law or a duty? I have no desire to serve on one, not because of any money issues. I am retired Not because of any inconvenience. And before anyone starts with all this patriotic stuff, I have a disabled veterans card awarded to me after being drafted into the Vietnam war. I went because it was the law, but I had a choice. I could have chosen to leave this country as many did and were later granted amnesty when government realized it was a waste of time, not to mention the brave men and women who gave their life for nothing! What about being a law abiding citizen and not needing a jury?

I am 65 years old I have never needed a juror because I obey the law. Here is the part I like best: you respond to your jury summons, you get selected, you come to a verdict with your other jurors being honest and fair. The case is appealed and some "judge or judges" decides that we did not understand the "law" and throws the whole case out. Then there's the kicker: we need more money from all you honest, law-abiding taxpaying citizens to retry this case with people who are not attorneys or experts in "the law." Sounds like job security to me.


What a bunch of cry babies! Boo-hoo, why do they force me to fulfill my civic duty -- one of the few requirements for being a citizen of the USA.

All of these cry-baby complainers just need to turn in their citizenship and go away. Not one of them deserves citizenship in this country! They are disrespecting every single freedom fighter and our founding fathers by crying and whining about their lives being inconvenienced by a jury summons. They all are a bunch of spoiled crybabies who don't deserve freedom because you take it for granted. They all make me sick! Maybe once they experience another judicial system, they will finally appreciate your US citizenship and the few requirements that are asked of them.


How does the government get away with paying less than minimum wage? This so-called "privilege" is a joke! Our rights as citizens are rapidly diminishing in this country. Yeah, I know that it is still comparatively better than other countries, but just wait, soon, America the land of the free will be no longer, it's already happening right in front of our eyes! Innocent til proven guilty. Yeah right, guilty as hell until proven innocent!


I thought that we live in a free country. Why can the government force people to go to jury duty. This is abuse of power. This needs to be changed. I think that it should be illegal to force people to go to jury duty. This is a dictatorial way of treating people.

I feel that they are taking away my freedom. They should ask people. I am sure that there are people who want to go.


Why do i get called every three years for jury duty, when a lot of my friends hardly ever have to serve?


I thought we lived in a "free country" - apparently I was wrong especially if I can be arrested and fined simply by saying no to jury duty service. Service my butt. What a joke - it stinks to be forced to do anything doesn't it? Well, we are being forced into doing this!

I think we should have the choice of attending or not (there might be a group of individuals that actually like and want to "serve"). Isn't it wrong to commit a crime anyway? If so, they why would it be necessary to add that as a US citizen, you have the right to a trial by jury.

They should just say, if you commit a crime and get caught, your fellow citizens must pay the price literally and figuratively!


I went yesterday. It's bad enough being forced into this, but when you get there, you are made to sit there all day, and as far as I am concerned you are treated worse than the alleged wrong doer.

The system of jury selection does not work in the world today. They put four hundred or more people in a room, make you watch a movie, telling you how lucky you are to have been summoned, and then the threats start. It is a day later, and I am still recovering.

This experience has made me very angry. I am a sixty year old woman and I don't recall ever being so disrespected. The system of trial by jury is fine, it is the jury selection process that is broken. The one judge had not made any decisions about the jurors and it was 2:30 P.M. so everyone just sat. I call that abuse of power. This man had no care in the world for the people stuck down in the lower level, with few windows, and people coughing and sneezing. It was a horror. Next time it goes in the paper shredder!


Re "basic rights of citizenship." This is where you're wrong. People who are born in this country should not be forced into something -- it is our right.

And thank you for proving the point on the argument against forcing us for Jury duty. People don't want an angry jury, therefore don't force us into it!

We are already citizens; we don't have to "work" for it. We already are. Hello!


The working class should not have to do Jury duty. They have their own responsibilities to their families! Welfare career parasites should have to do jury duty. All they do is sit on their tails all day anyway.


As I am self-employed, and am in a very competitive market, even one or two days of this "forced" requirement, presents a real financial problem. And, please spare me that old tired line of performing a "civic" responsibility! There are many persons who are either retired or unemployed who can and do serve with pleasure. Compelling people to serve with the threat of arrest or fines is a far-cry from America's vaunted "freedom".

The jury selection process is draconian at best. It stands to reason that people who *voluntarily* serve generally tend to make for better jurors than those who are forced under the threat of governmental penalties. Just like the draft, people who volunteer to become soldiers make for a much better military!


I just got jury duty in June. i work for a company overseas and i can't do jury duty at that time. I would get fired form my longtime hard-working career job.

I've been working hard to get it. It took me three years to get that job and I told them i can't make it their because I have jury duty in america. They are going to fire me if i don't show up for work.

And jury duty is my last thing i need right now in my life.


I agree that it is tyranny! And it is not selfish to not want to serve on a jury.

If I were retired or had lots of money to where I was able to pay my bills then I would happily serve, but how are people supposed to keep their house and lights on and food on the table with no money?

If it's a citizen's responsibility, then how about making it a law that while a citizen is "serving" we do not have to pay our mortgage, utilities, other bills, etc. and we all qualify for food stamps? Better yet since we all pay taxes why don't we get paid for our service? It's not the fact of just not wanting to do it, it's the fact of the stress and long term hardship it brings!


I have been called to serve by the US State Court and my local county court six times over the last 10 years. Every time the letter says I was picked at random. What a bunch of bull. If I am picked at random, then the pool must be really small.

I know 30+ people that have never received a summons in their life who live near me. I feel I am stuck in the pool and they will never stop calling me to serve. It's starting to really disrupt my life.

I understand duty and all that but the system is broken. It is unfair to stress me out and force me to drive my car in heavy traffic 60+ miles to "wait and see" if I am needed. Especially as often as I am called. Ridiculous. Just sign me 'Forever Sick of Jury Duty'.


I just got a summons for jury duty. I have no desire to sit on a jury, and I resent being forced to take time out of my life to be forced to serve or face the threat of paying a fine or jail.

They will get nothing from me except a warm body if I am forced to serve. Anyone notice how many time the word forced is in my comment because that is exactly what the government does -- it forces people to do as the government wants. What happened to freedom? Oh yeah, that's right -- the government controls your freedom, too!


Since a large percentage of the population lives from paycheck to paycheck, including myself, missing one day of work means not paying a bill.

Who should I not pay? My car payment, my gas bill, my electric bill, or maybe I just shouldn't eat.

Or maybe I should allow my mortgage to get behind because I have to serve a few days or weeks even. Why should I have to prove financial hardship? How about I fax a copy of my pay stub, and if they can match my hourly wage at 100 percent, then I'll serve. If not, then I should be excused.

This $10 or $20 a day crap doesn't pay for squat. Or how about this? How about drawing your jury pool from all the people who are unemployed and getting public aid? They're getting assistance; have them do something to earn it. Or hit on the retired population or from volunteers who want to do it just because.

But punishing hard working people with threat of jail and causing financial hardship by forcing us to do jury duty is the crime. And if someone finds that negative or selfish, they've probably cracked their head one too many times on the pavement.


I'm self employed and one day i can afford but i don't like calling all week to see if i need to go the next day. I can't schedule any work for that week and that is not fair.


Can anyone answer #1? I ask the same. I have searched and searched and can't find an answer myself. Why are our 13th amendment rights denied!


Forced jury duty is *not* democratic, and is totalitarian. A person should be able to be *asked* to serve, not ordered. That is a law that needs serious reform. People have had their utilities turned off, lost their jobs, been evicted from their homes, etc. over stupid mandatory jury duty, all they are compensated in return is a lousy $5 per day, which is hardly enough to cover a gallon of gas in the car to get there. What about the person's bills, etc? Stupid government bureaucracy!!!


Just share your negative selfish attitudes if questioned and you'll no doubt be excused.


anon21846, please quote me exactly from the Constitution to support the premise that I have a positive duty as an American citizen to serve on juries, or that somehow my rights as an American citizen require this sacrifice. I'd be very interested to read that. If you can find such text in the Constitution, then I'd agree that government is empowered to summon us; otherwise gov't's forcing of us to the jury house is no more than the right of might, arrogated to itself by itself.

I would not want someone like myself on a jury, which is all the more reason to make participation in jury selection voluntary. And I notice that you do not at all address the very serious issue of tyrannical government. It is tyranny for my government to compel me under threat of a gun--ie, fine and imprisonment--when I have broken no laws. That is by far the worse of the evils here, certainly worse than an under-juried docket.


Would you want people who were angry about jury duty to serve on a trial in which you stood wrongly accused? How would the attitude of potential jurors planning to hang a jury help you? Sometimes basic rights of citizenship require sacrifice. You don't know that you will never be charged with a crime you didn't commit. Don't you want a jury of peers willing to help you if that's the case? It seems to me those who come with awful attitudes about the process would be most likely to not even listen during service.

America sometimes means working for citizenship.


I disagree entirely with your premise. It's my opinion that I have a right to be let alone by my government, if I've broken no laws. I call being compelled to go from point A to point B by my government under thread of fine or imprisonment conspiracy to criminalize honest citizens, which is an aspect of tyranny. It's really amazing that people who will never once be scrutinized under the necessary wartime surveillance aspects of the Patriot Act behave as if their rights have been violated the law's mere passage will, at the same time, calmly, like sheep, accept this direct physical compulsion by their government as the status quo.

If jury duty is a privilege, as you assert, then let my government request that I participate in it. In fact, that is the only way they will ever gain my actual participation on a jury. I will never do anything but serve pointless time in the jury pool as long as my government forces me to the courthouse. The irony here is that, if they ever did simply ask me, and not compel me, I would probably serve. But of course, this will never change, and so my answer in every voire dire will always be: "if you put me on a jury, then I will deliberately hang it."


Oh yeah it's a real privilege to have my time taken by our weak legal system and get not a single cent for my time.


once you report for your court summons for jury duty is there a law that says you have to serve or can you go once you report?

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