Poll: Are you too clever for Jury Duty?

(real poll at end)

What is “reasonable doubt”?

a) I’m not sure.

b) I’m reasonably unsure.

c) A doubt that is reasonable.

What is the definition of guilt?

a) Eyes too close together.

b) Shifty-looking.

c) Proven to have committed a crime.

If the prosecution has failed to give enough evidence of a defendant’s guilt, you should:

a) See what your friends on Facebook think.

b) Toss a coin to decide.

c) Find the defendant not guilty.

If the evidence is debatable, on what basis can you make an inference?

a) How fit the defendant looks.

b) A sample of the defendant’s handwriting.

c) The full evidence put before the court.

The guilt or innocence of a defendant is decided on:

a) Whether he or she has a nice face.

b) What you’ve read about her or him on the internet.

c) Only the evidence presented in court.

Under what circumstances might a jury be “hung”?

a) If the judge is really upset with them.

b) If they fancy a night in a hotel.

c) If, after an extended period of deliberation, they cannot agree on a verdict either unanimously or by a majority acceptable to the judge.

What does a “unanimous verdict” mean?

a) The opinion of an unknown person.

b) An unknown opinion.

c) A verdict agreed by every member of the jury.

What is a “majority verdict”?

a) The opinion held by most people on Twitter.

b) The opinion of most people on Twitter aged 18 or over.

c) A verdict need not be unanimous, so long as there are no fewer than 11 jurors and at least ten agree.

Can a juror come to a verdict based on a reason not presented in court and which has no facts or evidence to support it?

a) Yes.

b) How much is it worth?

c) Absolutely not.

Under what circumstances can you be excused from, or defer, jury service when summoned?

a) I can’t be bothered.

b) It doesn’t pay enough.

c) By law, you must do jury service when asked. But you can defer if, for example, you have a holiday or operation booked.

Who can you discuss your jury deliberations with?

a) Google

b) Family and friends and their mates.

c) Only other members of the jury, in the jury room.


The real poll:

Jury Duty, what's your track record?

  • Dodged 'em all (32%, 155 Votes)
  • Still to be summoned (30%, 147 Votes)
  • Done some, dodged some (24%, 117 Votes)
  • Done 'em all (13%, 63 Votes)

Total Voters: 482

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Source:  Martin Phillips and The Sun


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  • LesleyNZ

    It is time to reevaluate the jury system. We have justice by the available. 3 Judges would never have found David Bain innocent on the evidence.

    • Bunswalla

      David Bain has never been found innocent.

      • LesleyNZ

        Absolutely true – I should have put quotations marks around the word “innocent” or put “not guilty”.

  • SerSydney

    I’m 49 and never been summoned

  • Vlad

    I did jury duty . The discussion in the jury room was witless, the evidence was about as rock-solid as you can get (no prejudices here, it really was) but a significant proportion of the jury members wanted to drag it out overnight for a free feed.

    • peterwn

      Jury I was on wanted to find the guy ‘not guilty’ and get out – it was a week before Christmas – all the prosecution could offer was a load of bullshit – he was really scraping the bottom of the barrel. Must have been the best Christmas present the guy and his family ever had.

  • Gazzaw

    What would we replace a jury with? Surely no one is seriously suggesting that we rely on a panel of judges selected from the current mob.

    • LesleyNZ

      Very true – hmmmmm – well the standard of our judges will need to be addressed.

    • StupidDiscus

      Cops with Glocks. Duh.

    • parorchestia

      Some countries have a panel of “wise people” selected from the community assisted by a judge who instructs in points of law. Evidently it works well for big cases and is much cheaper than a jury system.
      I agree our present system sucks and we need some changes.

  • Kacanga

    I wonder how many of our solid citizens who polled above as avoiding all jury duty complain about the justice system. Just like the numpties who don’t bother to vote but complain about the government.

    • Hazards001

      Until the jury system actually compensates a jury member for lost income it will continue to fully supported only by those wealthy enough to take the time away from their business or work and the old aged pensioners who are keen to go for a bit of excitement and the occasional dole bludger that thinks there may be a free meal in it.

    • Bafacu

      Would be happy to serve, but with a struggling business (you know, the one’s that employ people but make little money for their owners after they have paid all their taxes and obligations on reporting on behalf of the Govt Departments who all have over inflated staff numbers doing bugger all) I can not and will not do Jury Service. I have no visibility as to the length of service they ask me to perform (they have generally been over 3 weeks possibly with one a potential 8 weeker) as I refuse to have my business collapse so I can help out our “justice” system.

  • Michael

    I’ve been summoned 4 times and been 3 times. 3 times to the High Court, once to District Court. The only other time was when I was working on a project and my absence would have stopped it.

    Every time, when name has been pulled from the ballot for a jury I have been challenged. Every time the Judge says don’t take it personally, there are so many theories about Juries – but every time it’s been middle class, young and middle age, white males who get challenged off, everyone else (older men, all women, and any minority) get on.

    So I’m wondering, why summon me? I’ve never been on a jury.

    • Mark D

      Pretty much the same experience, turn up for a week, but get challenged whenever I’m actually called for a jury so I’ve never been on one. Now as I’m self employed I would be reluctant as there is no income for the family if I’m on jury service.

    • GregM

      Same. turned up twice, challenged, see ya.

      • parorchestia

        They don’t want pepple who can think -they want people they can sway. That’s how the system works in NZ.

  • Phar Lap

    I have done jury service,very enlightening.Was given another opportunity to do two in one week .One was a Lower Court and the second was a High Court.Sadly i was booked to go on a holiday that very week and asked for a no show.I would love to be asked again ,which seems remote,as i got the feeling the registar,or whoever requests an appearence didnt believe my reasons for declining.Would recommend everyone if given the opportunity to go on jury service, grab it with both hands.Amazing experience.

  • Timboh

    I’ve done it for a drug trial over a few days. I can highly recommend doing jury service. Previous to this I had always thought my job was more important and got exemptions but felt guilty so the next one I turned up. Got selected and got educated. Internal jury politics, tactics used, courtroom hierarchy, lies, truth, which is which, and the effect of alpha individuals in the environment I was in. Especially in the jury.

  • LesleyNZ

    I don’t think I would be selected for jury service………once they find out what I believe in.

    • Go on…

      • LesleyNZ

        Well I will say I am very conservative and proper and I don’t like bad language or swearing. That I am a creationist and I believe in God and that I don’t believe in abortion or gay marriage and I think capital punishment is kind of OK for some crimes of murder and…most importantly I think David Bain is not, not-guilty.That should probably do it.

        • I didn’t see a problem until the Bain part. Mind you, I don’t know anything for sure. It just seems for him to be innocent you have to accept a set of coincidences that challenges the mind.

          • LesleyNZ

            Maybe I should have said I don’t think David Bain is innocent – same as not, not guilty?

          • Ah. My bad. :)

            In that case, you have a 100% pass for jury duty from my perspective.

          • LesleyNZ

            Oh no – thought I would be no good. :)

        • GregM

          I am probably the dead opposite to you Lesley, but good on you for sticking up for your beliefs, I respect that.
          We are agreed on the Bain debacle.

  • Mr_Blobby

    Never been summoned to a jury. I think it is probably the domain of the elderly entering their bewilderment years and the weak minded.

    If I was to sit on a jury. I would hope it was some worthless case, that should have never gone to court, like that guy that stabbed the tagger, and some useless jury found him guilty of man slaughter. Regardless of the law or the judges directions, he would have been found not guilty, by me.

    Our current justice system is a huge waste of time. It is expensive and completely ineffective. It is criminal that it is allowed to carry on.

    We should just throw it out and start again.

    • StupidDiscus

      Cops. Glocks. Problem Solved.

  • Bart67

    Been summonsed three times. Dodged once, as I was overseas for work. First time I turned up, ended up being elected foreperson! Second time, selected for jury, and defendant entered a guilty plea.
    Also I am white and middle class(ish!)