Thursday, July 22, 2010

How to Get Out of Jury Duty While Still Reporting for Jury Duty

For the past two weeks I've had to come down to the Franklin County Court of Appeals to fulfill my civic responsibility of jury duty. A lot of people hate jury duty and want to get out of it, but I've actually found a way to report for jury duty and still manage to avoid of any actual jury service. Here are my tips:

  • Shifty Eyes: When the judge or lawyers are asking you questions to determine if they want to keep you on the jury, look around at everything in the room without moving your head. Shifty eyes are a surefire way of freaking people out.
  • Strong, Unsubstantiated Opinions: When asked a question, make sweeping generalizations and adamantly support your views with illogical and irrational arguments. Remember, people's livelihoods are in your hands, and you don't want that kind of responsibility!
  • Always Answer with a Question: If that judge is going to put you on the hot seat, why not return the favor? If he asks you, "Juror #11, have you ever been convicted of a felony", simply respond, "Maybe. Have you?" You will be immediately dismissed from the case.
  • Speak with Little or No Vocal Inflection: Remember Will Ferrel's character from SNL who had voice immodulation? Yep. That'll work.
  • Assume You Have the Right to Always Go to the Bathroom: These people stand up for you when you walk in the room. You have the right to get up and leave the courtroom for any reason whenever you want. If the judge tells you to sit down you look him straight in the eyes and say, "Judge, the next time I sit down it's gonna get real nasty. Now I can either do that here or I can do that where civilized folks do. Your decision."
  • Reenact Famous Courtroom Scenes: "You can't handle the truth!" Lawyers love this.

I'm not saying that this is what I've done to get out of jury duty while still reporting to jury duty, I'm just saying this will work. And if you don't want to participate in jury duty...what's wrong with you? It's your civic duty, and people's lives are in your hands. It's an honor to live in a country that executes justice through trial by jury, so don't take it for granted. You never know when you might need an honest, thoughtful, serious jury someday.

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