Jury Duty, Screw-Ups

When an ‘Innocent’ Attempt to Avoid Jury Duty Goes Horribly Wrong

Susan Cole isn't crazy, but her hair kind of is.

Almost everyone likes to fantasize and talk big game to their friends about outlandish strategies to get out of jury duty. But when it comes down to it, most normal people don’t have the balls to show up in court and act full-out crazy to avoid being seated.

For the courageous unpatriotic few who do play the nutso card, the most significant consequence would probably be a good cocktail party story. Nobody ever actually gets in trouble for creatively trying to avoid jury duty. Right?

Well, when you call in to the radio to tell your story of jury duty tomfoolery, you never know who is listening….

USA Today explains how Susan Cole, of Colorado, is in big trouble for her valiant attempt to avoid her civic responsibilities:

A Denver woman has been charged with perjury after a judge heard her admit on a local talk show that she had worn offbeat clothes and pretended to be mentally ill to get out of jury duty in the judge’s court last summer, KUSA-TV reports.

Susan Cole, 57, was dismissed after showing up for jury selection in hair curlers, wearing mismatched shoes, reindeer socks and a T-shirt reading, “Ask me about my best seller.”

In October, Cole, using a pseudonym, told of the ploy in a call to KOA’s Dave Logan show, saying she had been emotionally upset that morning and also had “too much on my platter” to serve on a jury.

Apparently she did a bang-up job acting cray-cray. Even the court reporter was fooled:

“Her makeup looked like something you would wear during a theater performance,” Kelli Wessels, the court reporter that day, said in a statement to investigators. “When the judge asked the entire panel if anyone had a mental illness, (Cole) stated she had difficulties getting ready in the morning, which was apparent to me by the way she was dressed.”

I am actually really impressed. Cole acted so insane that the judge listening to the radio — probably only half paying attention, stuck in traffic — realized who she was months after the event actually happened. Last time I was called for jury duty, I got lucky without any shenanigans. I just mentioned that I worked with the Innocence Project, and I was out of the box faster than sh*t through a goose.

If only Cole lived in New York City, maybe the whole thing might never have been an issue. She probably would’ve been seated anyway.

As video posted on the Huffington Post shows, Cole is understandably quite embarrassed. She says the court is making an example of her. Well, yeah. Duh. Hopefully the court does not feel the need to throw the book at her. I imagine she learned her lesson.

Readers, I know y’all must have some crazy jury selection stories. Share them with us! Put them in comments, or send us an email with the subject, “Jury Selection.”

Woman charged for bragging on radio about jury-skipping ploy [USA Today]
Susan Cole Accused Of Faking PTSD To Duck Jury Duty In Denver (VIDEO) [Huffington Post]

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