Gransnet forums


Jury service

(31 Posts)
Menopaws Sun 12-May-19 21:17:18

I'm starting jury service tomorrow, fine about doing it but just wondered if anyone else has done it

tanith Sun 12-May-19 21:25:23

I did about 3 yrs ago I really enjoyed it.

NanKate Sun 12-May-19 21:29:18

Yes I did a week at the Reading Crown Court. Very interesting.

On one of the cases I was elected the Foreman and had to announce someone was guilty. All of us jurors were allowed out of the building early so that we didn’t come across any of the guilty person’s relatives in the foyer.

Take something to do as you often have to be allocated a case and that may take some time.

M0nica Sun 12-May-19 21:32:32

There was a thread on this very recently.

allassinsane Mon 13-May-19 08:45:46

I did about six or seven years ago. There is a lot of sitting around so take a book or something, though ofcourse you can have a chat with other jurors. Where I did it there was a basket with balls of wool and knitting needles that you could use if you wanted, so there were a few unfinished bits of knitting you could carry on with. I didn't but some did, even a couple of the young blokes had a go with a bit of tuition!

Scribbles Mon 13-May-19 11:40:09

I've had to do it twice. The first time in the 1990s and then about 15 years later. I absolutely hated the experience both times. A lot of tedious sitting about when, even with a book or knitting or whatever, you're just thinking of the useful everyday things you ought to be getting on with at home or at work.

Both times I did it, the weather was warm and the courtrooms got very hot so it was difficult to stay awake and attentive for much of the time. Some of my fellow jurors wanted to make a political point about everything when discussing the evidence; in one case two of them were determined we should acquit two burglars who'd been caught "bang to rights" because it was "obvious" (they said) the accused came from deprived backgrounds. In another, one juror was convinced the accused was only charged because he was black and nothing to do with the 2kg of skunk found in the footwell of his car and the hunting knife down his coat lining. (That case was dismissed on a technicality and sent for retrial so we never found out the truth).

I really, really hope I never have to do it again!

boheminan Mon 13-May-19 13:47:49

I did Jury service a few years ago. Very interesting. Case lasted over two weeks. Also not every one that turned up for the Jury was picked to attend.

MiniMoon Mon 13-May-19 14:17:11

I've never been called up for jury service, but my DH has. He got out of it nicely as he had his own business then and told the court employee that he knew the accused. When asked, he said "Oh yes I know him, he's a regular customer of mine". He wasnt, but they didn't know that!

Liz46 Mon 13-May-19 15:20:00

I did it three years ago. I think I may have mentioned on the other thread that, with the benefit of hindsight, I should have visited my policeman neighbour to learn a bit about drugs.

Incidentally we were not allowed knitting needles or crochet hooks!

Izabella Mon 13-May-19 19:21:34

exempt thank goodness

Tedber Mon 13-May-19 20:27:45

I have been requested for Jury Service THREE times! Each time, it corresponded with a move of area/country!!! I was then exempted!!! I would LOVE to do Jury Service t.b.h. Then again, I watch so many police programmes and am TOTALLY wrong when guessing who is right and wrong - not sure I would be much use! Anyway good luck - hope you are better than me

oldgimmer1 Mon 13-May-19 20:50:33

I did it 20 years ago. I loved it - so interesting.

It was an underage sex case. The defendant went down.

I was one of two jurors who did not believe beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant was guilty.

The judge allowed a 10/12 verdict though.

I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

bikergran Mon 13-May-19 21:38:03

Yes did it a bout 8 yrs ago , two cases.

As OP says just because you are called and arrive at courts you don't always get chosen , say there are 14 of you arrive only 10/12 may be chosen.Not sure if the ones that arn't are sent home,cant remember.

We wern't allowed out at lunch time we had to have sandwiches brought in,

It was interesting. Also makes you listen to both sides of any story before making judgement.

Witzend Tue 14-May-19 12:21:13

I did it about 3 years ago - found it interesting, and reassuring to see how our justice system works - especially the judge impressing on us that if we had the slightest doubt, we must deliver a not guilty verdict. Better than the other way around.

What did surprise me was a poster on the jury room wall about a juror (an academic who you might think would have more sense) who despite very stern warnings NOT to do so, had investigated the defendant via the internet.
She was banged up for many months.

allassinsane Tue 14-May-19 17:12:52

Liz46 The knitting needles etc. were already there, in the room were you wait to be called into the court-room. Your bag is searched anyway as you enter the building so if anyone had anything that was not allowed it would've been taken off them anyway.

I enjoyed the experience and found it interesting to see how the system works. Don't think I'd want to do it again though as the Crown Court is 30 miles away from where I live! It's very rural.

Menopaws Tue 14-May-19 18:29:11

First day sent home at 11 after all induction to be told they have no cases today, not needed today but went to work instead but in tomorrow at 10 so will see. Initially told I would do a three week trial to be told it's been postponed so now I don't know. Oh well will see what tomorrow brings

Menopaws Tue 14-May-19 18:30:14

Interesting people watching experience if nothing else!

Marieeliz Tue 14-May-19 19:50:35

I did it in the early 2000's. It was a assault by husband on wife case. Wasn't happy re men on the jury all selecting another man as the for man. Two youngsters would not agree he was guilty one of them was more worried about finishing it all and getting their lunch. I travelled home on the train and on the last day learn't that another female juror was a midwife and agreed that he was guilty as well.

Deedaa Tue 14-May-19 21:25:00

I did it in the late 90s. A man accused of sexual assault on his step daughter. It seemed a very flimsy case with no real evidence of anything. The Foreman insisted on praying before we started discussing our verdict, several people felt that even if he was innocent of these charges, we might as well find him guilty because he'd probably done something at sometime, and another woman and I fought a losing battle to explain the legalities of the actual case and the meaning of "Beyond Reasonable Doubt"

We couldn't reach a verdict so they were going togo for a retrial. I couldn't see that another jury would do any better with the facts we were given.

stella1949 Wed 15-May-19 00:06:50

Yes, a few years ago, it was very interesting. It was a rape case, but the evidence pointed to the likelihood that the girl had willingly had sex, but later decided to pin a rape charge on the boy after they broke up. It was interesting to observe the behaviour of my fellow jurors when we were deliberating - two young men ( who both had daughters) wanted to " throw the book at him" simply because they felt protective towards the girl. Some others wanted to acquit him because they felt sorry for him. Very few jurors wanted to make a decision based on the facts ! The experience made me think that juries should be replaced by trained judges .

Humbertbear Wed 15-May-19 06:53:38

There’s a lot of sitting around. Take a good book.

Menopaws Thu 16-May-19 22:43:42

Three and a half days in I finally got on a case but only for two hours then back tomorrow, not a great subject but will be interesting to hear both sides as easy to judge early on. I agree the process firstly makes me glad I am a law abiding soul and have brought up my children to be the same and also to see how the British justice system works.

BlueSapphire Fri 17-May-19 07:11:04

Did it about 25 years ago. As others said a lot of waiting around. I did one case which lasted a couple of days, and then wasn't needed any more.

Witzend Sat 18-May-19 07:56:54

I was dismayed at the start of one case that lasted several days. It was historic sexual abuse, and I wondered how on earth you could ever be sure, when it was one person's word against the other's.

However as the case progressed, it became pretty clear to most of us that the accuser had a major and quite unjustified (money related) grudge against the defendant and was bent on punishing him.

Two of the jurors however had made upon their minds from the start that he was guilty. Luckily a 10/2 not guilty verdict was accepted.
I can't quite say hand on heart that I was 100% certain, but there was so much 'reasonable doubt' that I couldn't have given any other verdict.

Menopaws Fri 24-May-19 16:59:42

All done and can give details now it's over. A fifty year old man with four year old half philipino daughter. He was a neighbour/ parent/customer from hell. Guilty of malicious emails to headteacher for over two years. The threats in the emails were terrible, accusing them of racism etc. Sounded such a lovely primary school but the poor teachers had been terrified of this man, he had physical fights outside the school gates, never agreed to meetings and did all communication by email, weekly.
The court managed it brilliantly and the fairness and time given was admirable, he trapped himself by changing facts and blaming ptsd (no proof) and so on and so on. Yes I believe in ptsd but this was a lame attempt at sympathy from him.
Anyway guilty from us all and once that was done, we heard he had been done previously for a host of things. The judge gave him a real roasting once he was allowed and he will be sentenced soon but restraining orders etc and he said he would have to pay a substantial amount towards court costs as he considers the crime an appalling waste of time as no one should ever ever receive just frightening emails and so on.
Good to see the system work so interesting experience but have to say I didn't like all the hanging about, although realise reasons why, and uncomfortable spending so much time in close quarters with eleven people I didn't know and having to have many serious conversations with people I would not normally chose to spend time with.