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gyngve
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PostTue Jan 09, 2007 2:03 pm 
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Toonces wrote:

Serving on a jury is a civic duty (some might say privilege), and people shouldnt expect compensation any more than they should expect to be paid to vote.

I would gladly pay more in taxes each year if it would mean that I didn't have to put a stamp on my absentee ballot.  I've almost rid myself of the need to buy stamps.
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Quark
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PostTue Jan 09, 2007 2:07 pm 
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Prolly the $10 is cuz most employers do pay employees for jury duty.  No sense in taxpayers paying a guy $7.53 an hour on top of his employer wages paid to him.

Sure, the courts could pay hourly wages to the unemployed jurors and the $10 per diem to the employed jurors; but there are many reasons not to do that - one of them being employed taxpayers would have a cow, another being that to go through a process to prove employment or unemployment would be an astronomically bureaucratic and costly nightmare.  On the other hand, cows are meat.  The world needs more meat.

I thought employers were required by law to pay employees for jury duty...?  Or am I smoking crack? Maybe it's the crack.

I've never worked for any company that didn't pay employees for jury duty - too bad that so many do.

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Opus
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PostTue Jan 09, 2007 2:50 pm 
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My company paid while I was on jury duty thankfully.  The rest of the compensation from the courts I thought turned out very fair.  The $10 per day covered buying lunch.  They covered either bus fare or reimbursed me at the standard federal rate for mileage.  I drove every day because I would have needed to take several busses and leave before 6am.  Every day they scanned my ID badge and about a week after the trial I received a check in the mail for the $10 a day plus mileage.  I added up what I spent on meals and gas - it was very close, slightly higher reimbursement than my estimate.  Worst part for me was the workload I had waiting for me when I finally got back!
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Justan
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PostTue Jan 09, 2007 3:04 pm 
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whistlingmarmot wrote:
† My experience has been that it was extremely difficult to get out of service.† One might be able to put it off, but one's time will come.

If your employer won't pay for duty, or you're self employed, then it might be easier to duck out, but again, they seem not to care.

I agree with your comments. My experiences are with companies of less than 50 employees. The detail is making a case of hardship. A bigger business might have a more difficult time of this.

As an aside, the thought that there are so many jury trials that everyone will at some point be on jury duty is a frightening thought. I wonder what % of the public serves?

As to the question of appropriate pay for jury duty, what right does the government have to demand that a citizen devote their time to a task without reasonable compensation?

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Mtn Dog
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PostTue Jan 09, 2007 3:04 pm 
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Justan and Solo Steve:
I think you misunderstood my original suggestion.  I'm not suggesting we pay jurors full time, I'm suggesting we hire Professional Jurors within the court system as permanent employment positions and do away with the jury system as it exists now.  Instead of a jury of 12 you could have three jurors who are trained and have experience in evaluating forensic evidence and witness testimony.  It would save the learning curve employed now for bringing average citizen jurors up to speed with each new jury pool.

This may require a Supreme Court ruling on the change or possibly even a constitutional amendment but it would also make a huge difference in our court system.  No more defense attorneys tugging at the heartstrings of emotional jurors.  No more frivolous lawsuits with exaggerated claims because it wouldn't fly in front of knowledgeable, trained jurors anyway.  The positions could be filled with a relative cross section of society but I would imagine law students, legal secretaries, paralegals, and yes; even lawyers would likely fill these positions, for either a few years or perhaps an entire career.

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Solo Steve
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PostTue Jan 09, 2007 3:15 pm 
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mum.gif

I'm gonna let you have last word on this one, Mtn Dog -- one or both of us are close to slipping into politics and incurring the wrath of the mods! I've enjoyed the debate, and I hope we can continue it on a hike soon!  winksmile.gif
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Justan
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PostTue Jan 09, 2007 3:16 pm 
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I understood your comment, Mtn Dog. I'm not sure if I agree. Professional jurors would have a higher burden of proof, plus any good attorney would observe their patterns and learn to exploit them over time. It amounts to a way to "pack the jury." Even if not, the higher burden may lead to endless hair splitting and probably endless appeals. A big point of a jury, are folks randomly selected and have to have the case presented to them beyond reasonable doubt for them to decide. This puts the burden on the presenters of the case to explain it in common terms.

But the other side is that it is unfair (IMO) to mandate a financial sacrifice on someone in the name of civic duty. Everyone else that works for the government gets paid. This puts jurors on a level ever so slightly above folks in indentured servitude, which, is illegal and immoral. I donít this makes for a fair basis for jury selection or service.

Based on this too quick analysis, Iíd say much higher compensation, say a not entirely arbitrary number of $300 per day including meals, would be enough to solve many of the hardship issues.

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gyngve
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PostTue Jan 09, 2007 3:18 pm 
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Justan wrote:

As to the question of appropriate pay for jury duty, what right does the government have to demand that a citizen devote their time to a task without reasonable compensation?

I think it's funny you're whining about jury duty when the govt has the power to draft.
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gyngve
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PostTue Jan 09, 2007 3:19 pm 
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Mtn Dog wrote:
Justan and Solo Steve:
I think you misunderstood my original suggestion.  I'm not suggesting we pay jurors full time, I'm suggesting we hire Professional Jurors within the court system as permanent employment positions and do away with the jury system as it exists now.  Instead of a jury of 12 you could have three jurors who are trained and have experience in evaluating forensic evidence and witness testimony.  It would save the learning curve employed now for bringing average citizen jurors up to speed with each new jury pool.

And how do we make sure that they aren't corrupt / bribed / blackmailed?
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gyngve
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PostTue Jan 09, 2007 3:21 pm 
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Justan wrote:

Based on this too quick analysis, Iíd say much higher compensation, say a not entirely arbitrary number of $300 per day including meals, would be enough to solve many of the hardship issues.

holy crap!!! that's $45 an hour!!!
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whistlingmarmot
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PostTue Jan 09, 2007 3:22 pm 
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Toonces wrote:
I'll simply say that one's inability to see the forest for the trees doesn't mean another opinion "is invalid and makes no sense," and leave it at that.   angel.gif

I agree.  Putting words in my mouth isn't necessary.  I said your comparison, voting and jury duty, makes no sense.  Your opinion about not paying jurors is entirely valid and reasonable.  I just disagree with your opinion.  That's all.   devilsmile.gif
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Justan
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PostTue Jan 09, 2007 3:23 pm 
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gyngve wrote:
I think it's funny you're whining about jury duty when the govt has the power to draft.

I donít understand the comment. Government draws its power from the consent of the governed, not by mandating what the people have to do. Having hardship imposed in the name of civic duty is why folks get out of jury duty. Reasonable compensation removes the element of hardship.

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kleet
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PostTue Jan 09, 2007 3:33 pm 
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where are yoooou?

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gyngve
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PostTue Jan 09, 2007 3:37 pm 
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Justan wrote:
gyngve wrote:
I think it's funny you're whining about jury duty when the govt has the power to draft.

I donít understand the comment. Government draws its power from the consent of the governed, not by mandating what the people have to do. Having hardship imposed in the name of civic duty is why folks get out of jury duty. Reasonable compensation removes the element of hardship.

What do you think should be reasonable compensation for being drafted?
What if you are injured/killed?
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Justan
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PostTue Jan 09, 2007 5:17 pm 
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The question is outside of the scope of the conversation beyond the issue of reasonable compensation. Folks in the military are fairly compensated. Folks in jury duty are not.

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