Some say Jury Questionnaires Go Too Far

Some say Jury Questionnaires Go Too Far

There are 16 comments on the WLTX Columbia story from Apr 29, 2007, titled Some say Jury Questionnaires Go Too Far. In it, WLTX Columbia reports that:

More than 2,000 questionnaires with highly personal queries are sent each month to prospective federal court jurors in South Carolina.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WLTX Columbia.

Jose

Cheraw, SC

#1 Apr 29, 2007
I have a great idea. DONT FILL THEM OUT, QUIT WHINING ABOUT IT. dont you have better things to do than whine about a questionnaire?
leroy

Lake City, SC

#2 Apr 29, 2007
if you think these are bad wait until you show up for federal jury duty, questions get worse in open court. the time i served one guy came in 10 minutes late, judge put him in jail that night so he would be on time next day.
Mark Taylor

Santa Cruz, NM

#3 Apr 29, 2007
I used to work for the State's Dept. of Corrections on the K-9 Unit. Part of our job was to search inmate's cells for contaband. I used to routinely find juror information in the inmate's cells. This information included the names, date of birth, and social security numbers of jurors. I would assume that the inmate that represents him/herself is entitled to the info but, I think that it should be edited.
Bryan

Hilton Head Island, SC

#5 Apr 29, 2007
Mark Taylor wrote:
I used to work for the State's Dept. of Corrections on the K-9 Unit. Part of our job was to search inmate's cells for contaband. I used to routinely find juror information in the inmate's cells. This information included the names, date of birth, and social security numbers of jurors. I would assume that the inmate that represents him/herself is entitled to the info but, I think that it should be edited.
This really freak me out!!!
Robert Meek - Loris SC

Conway, SC

#6 Apr 29, 2007
I haven't ever been called to federal jury duty, thank God. I have been called to local jury duty, first in Charlotte NC, and three times down here.

I remember the first time very well, even though I was in my young 20's, I couldn't help but think "I'm too young and immature for this!" I truly felt that I was so.

The other three times came more than a decade later, and I didn't feel that way, specifically.

I didn't get questionares of any significance, consequently. Only a notice to show up, with a place to write in if I felt that I should be exempt.

I only filled that in once: less than a month after my mother died. I did not feel that I was emotionally stable enough to perform jury duty. They initially denied this, and said to be there. Had my boss not been an in-law of someone connected, I would not have been postponed, but she called for me, and advised the in-law that I truly was very distraught.

I was told I got a deferment, but that next time, I had to do it, and I did so, a few months later on.

Questions were asked, in general, to us, the jury pool: did we know, in any way, shape, or form, at all, the defendant, for instance.

The fact that I'd eaten in the defendant's local restaurant disqualified me, even though I didn't know him from anyone else in the world.

Another case was alleged child molestation, and we were asked if we could be objective.

I said "No," because I knew of two adult cases where they'd been molested as children, and seen their pain, and felt I could not be objective.

Grudingly, almost as if it were not enough of a reason, the judge agreed to not put me on that case, and threw me back into the jury pool.

Ironically, I've always spent my time in the jury pool, for days on end, instead of on a jury.

Now, I wear oxygen 24/7, and could not physically do it, anymore. I can't help but wonder if they would agree.
jim

Lexington, SC

#7 Apr 30, 2007
If they were not guily then they would not be there, pick me, PLEASE.
wsquared

Okatie, SC

#8 Apr 30, 2007
I just finished filling one of those forms out and it wasn't in the least bit invasive.
wsquared

Okatie, SC

#9 Apr 30, 2007
As a further comment on jury duty in general, it strikes me as a commentary on our society that we can all stick magnetic ribbons on our cars for "Support This" and "Support That" but when we are asked to do those things that truly support our democracy, like jury duty, most folks wiggle and squirm every which way to get out of that task. Who was it who commented on fair weather patriots?
I served on a Federal Jury as an alternate a few years ago and will gladly do so again if asked.
leroy

Lake City, SC

#10 Apr 30, 2007
the federal case I was chosen for was an asbestos case. prospect of being not able to do anything but jury duty for up to 120 days with no tv news, no newspaper and being monitored when on phone with family was not something I looked forward to. being self employed, jury duty was really going to mess with my income and business future.
glad case settled out of second day.
Rodney

Lexington, SC

#11 Apr 30, 2007
Danni wrote:
Oh, I love filling out these questionnaires. It gives me the opportunity to explain why they don't want to have me for a juror. Everyone is guilty. No matter what the crime, I call for capital punishment. Kill 'em all!
Thats a little harsh!!! If you commited a crime would you want people to kill you???
Rodney

Lexington, SC

#12 Apr 30, 2007
Jose wrote:
I have a great idea. DONT FILL THEM OUT, QUIT WHINING ABOUT IT. dont you have better things to do than whine about a questionnaire?
thats right!!!!!!
WColaGal

Columbia, SC

#16 Apr 30, 2007
Mark Taylor wrote:
I used to work for the State's Dept. of Corrections on the K-9 Unit. Part of our job was to search inmate's cells for contaband. I used to routinely find juror information in the inmate's cells. This information included the names, date of birth, and social security numbers of jurors. I would assume that the inmate that represents him/herself is entitled to the info but, I think that it should be edited.
If prisoners have access to that information then it is no wonder we have a problem with identify theft! That is absolutely absurd!!! There's more I would like probably like to say but am incredulously speechless!

Since: Apr 07

NOT around here!

#19 Apr 30, 2007
I believe in capital punishment for misdemeanors!!!!

Traffic stops call for the SWAT Team!!!
Ima Lady

Newton Grove, NC

#23 Apr 30, 2007
wsquared wrote:
As a further comment on jury duty in general, it strikes me as a commentary on our society that we can all stick magnetic ribbons on our cars for "Support This" and "Support That" but when we are asked to do those things that truly support our democracy, like jury duty, most folks wiggle and squirm every which way to get out of that task. Who was it who commented on fair weather patriots?
I served on a Federal Jury as an alternate a few years ago and will gladly do so again if asked.
I agree!

HOWEVER...I've been called for jury duty more than 10 times since I registered to vote at 18 (I know it's not done primarily by registered voters anymore). I am 43 now. I believe I've done my civic duty and it's time for others to have a chance.(I asked the Lexington County Clerk of Court once why I've been summoned so many times, and she said that the computer often picks up on people who have unusual names.) I don't know if that's true or not, but it's very possible since my first name IS very unusual.

I've also received Federal Jury questionnaires, but I didn't find them invasive or too personal. They need personal info to be able to select a jury of "peers" for the accused.

By the way, I read one of the earlier comments which said NOT to fill out the questionnaire, and that definitely IS NOT the thing to do. You can (and WILL) be arrested for contempt of court (same as if you don't show up for magistrate, city or county court if you're summoned). Your chances are pretty slim being chosen for jury duty...Especially if I've been summoned! LOL!
hanging judge

United States

#24 Apr 30, 2007
Just do jury duty. Sometimes it will be good and sometimes it will be difficult. Just do it and don't whine. You will be appreciated even if you don't realize it. The judge will appreciate your effort even though he/she is sometimes not allowed to say so at that point and time. Believe me, I know and thank you!
A soldier

United States

#25 Apr 30, 2007
I wonder how many would like to be on the Bush Cheney jury pool.

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