Asians, Football, Jury Duty, Racism, Sports, Trials

How (Not) To Get Out of Jury Duty

Honestly, I don’t understand why people hate jury duty so much. What’s the big deal? You don’t have to go to work. You can sit down and read stuff on your iPad or play Angry Birds. Then you go home. How is this a hardship to be avoided at all costs?

And if you are extremely lucky, you get to be a part of the justice system. What kind of fairweather citizen is too busy to participate in justice?

Well, not everybody appreciates the awesome responsibility of jury duty. Today we’ve got two stories of people trying to shirk their civic responsibilities — unsuccessfully…

First we see the common occurrence of the wealthy and powerful person reluctant to do his civic responsibility. ESPN reports that John Mara, owner of the New York Giants football team, tried to use the NFL draft to avoid jury duty. When that didn’t work, Mara, a Fordham Law graduate, came up with this doozy:

“My only other issue with that is we’re in a lockout situation right now, which may or may not end at some point in time,” he said. “I’m one of the lead negotiators for the owners’ side, so if for some reason negotiations start again, that causes — that causes me an issue.”

The judge said he would reconsider if there was “a real emergency.”

For those who haven’t been following along, the NFL owners have locked out NFL players. So Mara is essentially saying that since he won’t let his employees show up to work, he’s too busy to sit on a jury.

Thankfully, it didn’t work. Mara will be a fourth alternate juror, and I guess he’ll just have to check his Blackberry to find out if his fellow football owners feel like allowing anybody to work.

At least Mara’s attempts to avoid jury duty were grounded in facts. In our other story, a New York woman played the old “race-baiting fantasies” card to try to get out of jury duty. The New York Daily News reports:

Juror No. 799, an Asian woman in her 20s who said she works in the garment industry, was up for jury duty in the death penalty trial of Bonanno crime boss Vincent (Vinny Gorgeous) Basciano.

It didn’t take long for her to start looking worse than the defendant.

Asked to name three people she least admired, she wrote on her questionnaire: “African-Americans, Hispanics and Haitians.”…

She also declared that cops are all lazy, claiming that they sound their sirens to bypass traffic jams.

Dude, what did the Haitians do other than absorb hurricanes and earthquakes?

In any event, I know there is blatant racism in the world, but in New York City people usually know they need to hide these feelings. In the big city, you never know when an African-American, Hispanic-Haitian cop is within earshot of your drivel and willing to Taser you down.

It appears that the judge wasn’t buying her performance:

“This is an outrage, and so are you!” Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis told the woman, holding up her bile-filled juror questionnaire…

It is not unheard of for people to try to get out of jury service by making ridiculous statements concerning their views.

It was unclear Tuesday whether that was this woman’s motive.

And if it was, it didn’t work.

Indeed, the woman was going to be seeing a lot of Brooklyn Federal Court.

“She’s coming back [today], Thursday and Friday – and until the future, when I am ready to dismiss her,” Garaufis said.


Now, I don’t think jury duty is a good way to punish true racists. If this woman really believes all of the things she said, she should be denied the right to carry a weapon, ’cause I don’t want her to shoot me, and then sent on her way.

I suspect, however, that this woman doesn’t actually hate black and brown and blue people. I suspect that she has an unreasonable hatred of jury duty. In that case, MOAR JURY DUTY seems like exactly what this lady needs.

If you want to get out of jury duty, don’t try to lie about your deep dark racism or your important job preventing other people from working. Just do what most of your fellow citizens do when confronted with this issue: show that you are way too intelligent, knowledgeable, reasonable, and resistant to BS to sit on a jury with the below-average Americans that trial attorneys are looking for.

An intelligent juror is a trial lawyer’s worst nightmare.

John Mara picked for jury duty [ESPN]
Judge gives ‘Juror No. 799′ indefinite jury duty after she makes racist remarks on questionnaire [New York Daily News]

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