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Author Topic: Jurors and Jury Pay  (Read 2478 times)

iloilo

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Jurors and Jury Pay
« on: February 15, 2010, 10:09:27 pm »

Tuesday, February 16, 2010
1-800-TEL-JURY    www.fija.org

Yes, it is true that jurors are terribly underpaid compared to all the other players in the courtroom.  Look who is not giving up their salary for that day: no one expects judges, bailiffs, clerks, or lawyers to come to the courtroom and work for $6 to $20 per day, so why does the government threaten jurors unless they do this?

Further, compare the salaries of these private working jurors with those of the government employees: most of those called for jury duty make about half as much as those government employees in the courtroom.

Most politicians are lawyers, and therefore have no interest in raising the pay of jurors, strengthening the concept of juries or jury service. Politicians have no interest in mere housekeeping that protects the human rights of the individual, you see.

Yet, if a juror does not show up when summoned, giving up their day’s wages, they can be fined, jailed, and maybe even worse, if they resist. 

Government employees have a vested interest in removing as much authority and power from juries as possible; in making jury service demeaning, difficult, financially devastating, and misdirected. Most lawyers and government employees are building a power base, not serving justice.  Jurors can serve justice.

When I say jurors are misdirected, I mean that judges routinely tell jurors that they must follow the law as the judge gives it to them, although jurors have the absolute authority and right to set aside bad laws, as they did during slavery, prohibition, and war protests.

If someone does not show up for jury duty, and refuses to pay the fine, they can be jailed.  If they resist being held in captivity, they may be tasered, or perhaps killed, all in the name of protecting the authority of government.

While every person on trial needs to have a jury trial to protect their rights from government judges and prosecutors, it is difficult on the jurors when they are under duress, financial hardship, and deceitful instructions and demeaning treatment by government employees.  Why is this so?  What is the incentive for government to treat jurors this way?

Jurors should be paid the same daily rate as the highest-paid judge in the land.  They are that integral to human rights and justice. 12 jurors are paid less per day, as a group, than one judge makes in one day.  Think about it. The thin reed of “budget considerations” is hardly valid given the the fallacy of such a defense in light of the daily payment rates of the government-employed players in the courtroom.

What is the official reason of record that governments don’t start a fund to pay jurors a proper fee? Funds could come from some of the salaries of politicians, judges, prosecutors, and other government employees. Make jury service pay what it is worth, as the last refuge of justice.  Couldn’t government take part of the salaries of some of Michelle Obama’s many highly-paid assistants, and part of the salaries of IRS, DEA, and BATF attorneys, to build a nice juror payment fund?

Iloilo Marguerite Jones
Executive Director
Fully Informed Jury Association


« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 10:20:33 am by feralfae »
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ZooT_aLLures

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Re: Jurors and Jury Pay
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2010, 01:57:44 pm »

Hell FF

Back in 1985 when I got pulled for jury duty, the pay was 1/10th of what I'd earn working my job for a day............
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Even some cowboy and indian outlaws in the 1800's eventually stopped sleeping under buffalo skins, and came to town to entertain paying customers. For some I imagine the bruising of their ego never healed.

We all have some scar tissue that never lets us completely forget the intent of the adventure.

MamaLiberty

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Re: Jurors and Jury Pay
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2010, 02:57:04 pm »

Make jury service pay what it is worth, as the last refuge of justice.  Couldn’t government take part of the salaries of some of Michelle Obama’s many highly-paid assistants, and part of the salaries of IRS, DEA, and BATF attorneys, to build a nice juror payment fund?

Well, first... the jury and their service are actually priceless, and higher pay for the mere presence of the juror wouldn't do anything to guarantee competence or justice - any more than it does for the judge or any of the others in the courtroom. It would certainly be nicer for the folks called, but I'm afraid it wouldn't serve any other real purpose.

Government monopoly on force, and the vested interest of their power are, naturally, the major obstacle to justice and the reason for the crappy treatment of jurors - not the money.  In any case, lots of luck getting the judge, etc. to cut their pay to give more to jurors. Not going to happen.

The last time I was called to the jury room (in California - no trials have been held here so far), I refused to answer the invasive and irrelevant questions (French for jury tampering) and so was dismissed. That was in 1993. I suppose they use thumb screws and electric wires to your private parts these days.

I have a recurring dream. In it I'm standing in front of a judge and he has just fined me for "contempt of court." (No idea why...  :ph34r:) and I have just told him that "there are no words to express my contempt for this court." Fade out... end of dream.

But I wake up smiling.
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Bill St. Clair

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Re: Jurors and Jury Pay
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2010, 03:01:08 pm »

I have similar daydreams. "If this court weren't so contemptible, I wouldn't hold it in contempt."
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somedude

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Re: Jurors and Jury Pay
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2010, 04:11:18 pm »

The pay is $6 a day in the district in which I reside. I don't even bother cashing the check.

In talking to other residents of my area, it seems the average time between jury summons is around 3 years. I've been ordered to appear for jury "service" next Monday (which will be not quite 3 years since my last impressment).

What's worse is I can't even play dumb and infiltrate a jury. I had a sexual relationship with the district judges daughter when I was a teenager, and he knows I'm an anarchist. What's more he knows I'm an intelligent anarchist who can defend my position while demolishing that of the State's. So I can't even turn my participation in the proceedings into anarchist agit prop. He'll ask if anyone has any moral objections to the proceedings I'll say "yes, I do," and instead of asking me what they are he will dismiss me on the spot, rather than giving me the chance to infect others with good ideas (the alternative would be not to speak up and be charged with perjury).

So basically I have to get up at 7 in the morning to go watch a nauseating collectivist propaganda film on the glory of the State and the Benthamite "greater good," which is shown to the jury pool before the proceedings begin, only to be dismissed on "moral grounds" and left feeling like a victim of some sort of psychological rape. The $6 check I'll receive a couple of weeks later will be like an additional kick in the teeth.

(FF, if FIJA would like a donation in the paltry sum of $6 I'll be more than happy to sign my check over and mail it to them upon receipt. In fact, encouraging others to do the same might be a good fundraising idea / propaganda campaign for FIJA.)
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ZooT_aLLures

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Re: Jurors and Jury Pay
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2010, 04:52:13 pm »

Quote
(FF, if FIJA would like a donation in the paltry sum of $6 I'll be more than happy to sign my check over and mail it to them upon receipt. In fact, encouraging others to do the same might be a good fundraising idea / propaganda campaign for FIJA.)

Yeah.................they'd make nice trophies
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Even some cowboy and indian outlaws in the 1800's eventually stopped sleeping under buffalo skins, and came to town to entertain paying customers. For some I imagine the bruising of their ego never healed.

We all have some scar tissue that never lets us completely forget the intent of the adventure.

MamaLiberty

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Re: Jurors and Jury Pay
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2010, 05:10:53 pm »

The $6 check I'll receive a couple of weeks later will be like an additional kick in the teeth.

I don't know how it works here, but in California you don't get paid a dime for the first day. You only get paid when you are seated as a juror. That first day is your freebie unless your employer pays you for jury duty. I never had one that did.

And yes, I'm sure FIJA could use the check. Every little bit helps. :)
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