That damned envelope shows up, informing you that you must Serve Your Country. No, not a draft notice, the other one; Jury Duty. This might not seem so bad…you get to decide someone’s fate and maybe read newspapers with holes cut in them…but the government has conveniently “forgotten” to link what they pay you to inflation, so that you’re getting the same four cents per day (to make up for your lost work) as ancient Roman citizens got when Caesar was still in his bronze diapers.
But if you try to ditch jury duty, you have to face twin hurdles:
- You will be a “bad citizen”, as the whole fabric of society depends on trial by jury…
- And, far more important, if you try to skip out they’ll reinstate capital punishment for jury evaders, or at least drag you into court and fine you or something.
So you have to come up with a really “compelling reason” why you can’t serve, despite your honest desire (cough) to live up to your civic duties.
Unfortunately, the courts will often reject even truly valid reasons, so the ones you’re making up right now are even less likely to save your butt.
But tremble in fear no longer, a solution is at hand!
Simply Be Honest
All you have to do is admit to the court that you know the powers you would have as a juror.
See, the courts weren’t really in on the whole “Constitutional Convention” thing, and ever since 1787 they’ve been bending over backwards to weed out troublemakers who insist on sticking to some of the rights protected back then.
No, not the gun nonsense. Not that free speech silliness. Nothing about income taxes being only for federal employees, or who gets to have abortions.
What really pisses off judges and lawyers is that whole “Juries have the power to decide the law” thing.
See, the guys who set up the whole US Government decided to include Common Law in the court system. This includes the power of a jury to decide that the defendant did indeed break the law, but that the jury doesn’t approve of the law.
So the defendant is not guilty by reason of the law sucking, essentially.
Can you think of any laws like that?
If you’re like me (sorry, didn’t mean to be insulting), you can probably think of more crappy laws than poop-free ones.
So you, as a juror, get to reject any law you don’t like.
You can check out the carefully lawyer-inspected explanation of this power, at the Fully Informed Jury Association website.
Now, having read this far:
You Are Free from Jury Duty
I kid you not. It was that simple.
No judge or lawyer even denies that you have this power.
But they do refuse to let anyone who knows about this power serve on a jury.
Nice loophole for the power-hungry courts, eh?
But their little scam is YOUR salvation.
All you have to do is tell them you know about your right to toss out bad laws, and they will decide you can’t serve, just as if you knew too much about the case, or were eleven months pregnant.
When they’re screening you, and they get to the question
“Will you follow the law as given, even if you disagree with it?”,
or any kind of question about “Jury Nullification” (the power you have to toss out…nullify…a law), or when they ask you if there’s any reason you shouldn’t serve, you simply tell the judge you know your rights as a juror, that you can reject any sucky law even if the judge instructs you not to. Don’t worry, no matter how annoyed he looks, the judge will simply release you from jury duty, to go back home to your family and job or whatever.
YOU are a hero, because you’ve struck a blow against their little evasion of freedom and justice…and yet you’re also FREE FROM JURY DUTY!