Ignoring jury duty request

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
Digity
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Ignoring jury duty request

Post by Digity » Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:51 pm

Do you see anything morally wrong with being summoned for jury duty and just ignoring the summon even though that's technically not legal?

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Kim OHara
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Re: Ignoring jury duty request

Post by Kim OHara » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:26 am

Let's see ... aah, "Render unto Caesar..." :thinking:

Oops - wrong religion! :tongue: But I don't think the Buddha would have disagreed - he was consistently on the side of established authority.

More seriously, apart from the duty you owe to the State which builds your roads and staffs your hospitals, there's not much morally wrong with ignoring the call-up. On the other hand, I don't think it's the smartest way to avoid the duty. Here, at least, there's quite a long list of valid reasons for not being available. Finding one and using it saves everyone, including you, potential annoyances up to and including fines.

:coffee:
Kim

Caodemarte
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Re: Ignoring jury duty request

Post by Caodemarte » Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:23 pm

Ignoring a jury summons is illegal (although you may not be prosecuted) because it is immoral. It is a contemptuous shirking of the responsibilities you owe to your fellow citizens. If you have a good reason not to go, then simply report it and you will be honorably let off.

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aflatun
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Re: Ignoring jury duty request

Post by aflatun » Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:10 pm

Digity wrote:
Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:51 pm
Do you see anything morally wrong with being summoned for jury duty and just ignoring the summon even though that's technically not legal?
I wouldn't think of it in terms of morally wrong or not, but if you ignore it you might get into deeper waters that are more annoying.

If you don't want to do it, I would just show up, its easy to get dismissed. They'll ask questions about whether you feel comfortable sentencing someone on the basis of X, Y and Z kinds of evidence and that's where you speak up and take issue with the manner of evidence and the nature of incarceration. If you have any friends in law enforcement, law or forensic sciences/medicine be very vocal about that. Emphasize any of those angles and they'll toss you right out. People in certain professions get thrown out because of anticipated problems with these issues even if they say nothing.

Of course if you don't have any of the above issues with the process than you don't want to lie, so that's up to you and it becomes a moral issue IMO. Good luck!
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

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SDC
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Re: Ignoring jury duty request

Post by SDC » Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:01 am

A lot of good advice above...just answer the summons.

Aside from it being a civic duty and a legal obligation, you may need the court one day, so best keep yourself on good karmic terms with it.

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polarbear101
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Re: Ignoring jury duty request

Post by polarbear101 » Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:56 am

Just go. You'll likely sit around for a few hours, buy a mediocre sandwich, and then go home after sitting around for a couple more hours. It's not that bad. Of course, if you get selected for questioning or whatever then you'll probably want to find some way to honestly suggest to them that you are not a good candidate for the task.

Good luck!
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

dharmacorps
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Re: Ignoring jury duty request

Post by dharmacorps » Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:37 pm

I'd agree. Just go/reply. It is a unpleasant civic duty but one of the few obligations we have. If you need to make it entertaining, you can try to behave strangely so you won't get picked :)

davidbrainerd
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Re: Ignoring jury duty request

Post by davidbrainerd » Sat Sep 30, 2017 4:46 am

polarbear101 wrote:
Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:56 am
Of course, if you get selected for questioning or whatever then you'll probably want to find some way to honestly suggest to them that you are not a good candidate for the task.
Just say "I'm a Mainstream Buddhist and I believe taking a position on anything is a sin, so the jury will totally be hung." They won't pick you. I mean, if you can't say "there is a self" nor "there is no self" then how can you say this guy is guilty or is not guilty? Chronic indecision syndrome enshrined in dogma should eliminate you from the jury pool right quick.

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polarbear101
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Re: Ignoring jury duty request

Post by polarbear101 » Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:12 am

davidbrainerd wrote:
Sat Sep 30, 2017 4:46 am
polarbear101 wrote:
Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:56 am
Of course, if you get selected for questioning or whatever then you'll probably want to find some way to honestly suggest to them that you are not a good candidate for the task.
Just say "I'm a Mainstream Buddhist and I believe taking a position on anything is a sin, so the jury will totally be hung." They won't pick you. I mean, if you can't say "there is a self" nor "there is no self" then how can you say this guy is guilty or is not guilty? Chronic indecision syndrome enshrined in dogma should eliminate you from the jury pool right quick.
I like how you can make any post, even ones about jury duty, part of your endless quest to argue about atta/anatta :thumbsup:

:focus:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

ieee23
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Re: Ignoring jury duty request

Post by ieee23 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:12 pm

Digity wrote:
Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:51 pm
Do you see anything morally wrong with being summoned for jury duty and just ignoring the summon even though that's technically not legal?
Yes, making yourself available for jury duty is one of your responsibilities as a US citizen. The justice system protects people and it needs jurors to function.
Whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. - MN 19

JohnK
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Re: Ignoring jury duty request

Post by JohnK » Sun Oct 01, 2017 5:24 pm

Digity wrote:
Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:51 pm
Do you see anything morally wrong with being summoned for jury duty and just ignoring the summon even though that's technically not legal?
Apart from morality, it might be useful to consider with some depth the source of the impulse to avoid it. Not that you need to post it here, but just as a personal exploration of cause and effect.
Aside: If discernment is developed on the path, that quality (and other path-related qualities) might serve well on jury -duty - a chance to put such qualities to use -- also, serving strikes me as a type of generosity if taken on with that intention (knowing avoidance is not very hard and in many cases socially approved), a wholesome action/kamma -- who knows what might manifest?
"...the practice is essentially a practice, and not a theory to be idly discussed...right view leaves unanswered many questions about the cosmos and the self, and directs your attention to what needs to be done to escape from the ravages of suffering." Thanissaro Bhikkhu, On The Path.

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binocular
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Re: Ignoring jury duty request

Post by binocular » Sun Oct 01, 2017 5:38 pm

Digity wrote:
Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:51 pm
Do you see anything morally wrong with being summoned for jury duty and just ignoring the summon even though that's technically not legal?
Depends on why one would be ignoring it.

Some trials last very long, and people have lost jobs, homes, marriages while they were doing their jury duty. That is more than enough reason to not want to be on jury duty, but at the same time, might not be a sufficient reason for the authorities.

Digity
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Re: Ignoring jury duty request

Post by Digity » Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:01 am

I decided to send the jury duty letter and not ignore it/ throw it away.

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Kim OHara
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Re: Ignoring jury duty request

Post by Kim OHara » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:54 am

Digity wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:01 am
I decided to send the jury duty letter and not ignore it/ throw it away.
:thumbsup:

JiWe2
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Re: Ignoring jury duty request

Post by JiWe2 » Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:19 am

Yeah, living according to the laws/rules/regulations of one's surrounding community is usually good for one's peace of mind. And a peaceful mind is often beneficial in one's buddhist practice.

This thread reminded me of Plato's Crito (tr. by G.M.A. Grube):
SOCRATES: “Reflect now, Socrates,” the laws might say, “that if what we say is true, you are not treating us rightly by planning to do what you are planning. We have given you birth, nurtured you, educated you; we have given you and all other citizens a share of all the good things we could. Even so, by giving every Athenian the opportunity, once arrived at voting age and having observed the affairs of the city and us the laws, we proclaim that if we do not please him, he can take his possessions and go wherever he pleases. Not one of our laws raises any obstacle or forbids him, if he is not satisfied with us or the city, if one of you wants to go and live in a colony or wants to go anywhere else, and keep his property."

"We say, however, that whoever of you remains, when he sees how we conduct our trials and manage the city in other ways, has in fact come to an agreement with us to obey our instructions. We say that the one who disobeys does wrong in three ways, first because in us he disobeys his parents, also those who brought him up, and because, in spite of his agreement, he neither obeys us nor, if we do something wrong, does he try to persuade us to do better. Yet we only propose things, we do not issue savage commands to do whatever we order; we give two alternatives, either to persuade us or to do what we say. He does neither."

"We do say that you too, Socrates, are open to those charges if you do what you have in mind; you would be among, not the least, but the most guilty of the Athenians.” And if I should say “Why so?” they might well be right to upbraid me and say that I am among the Athenians who most definitely came to that agreement with them. They might well say: “Socrates, we have convincing proofs that we and the city were congenial to you. You would not have dwelt here most consistently of all the Athenians if the city had not been exceedingly pleasing to you. You have never left the city, even to see a festival, nor for any other reason except military service; you have never gone to stay in any other city, as people do; you have had no desire to know another city or other laws; we and our city satisfied you."

“So decisively did you choose us and agree to be a citizen under us. Also, you have had children in this city, thus showing that it was congenial to you. Then at your trial you could have assessed your penalty at exile if you wished, and you are now attempting to do against the city’s wishes what you could then have done with her consent. Then you prided yourself that you did not resent death, but you chose, as you said, death in preference to exile. Now, however, those words do not make you ashamed, and you pay no heed to us, the laws, as you plan to destroy us, and you act like the meanest type of slave by trying to run away, contrary to your commitments and your agreement to live as a citizen under us. First then, answer us on this very point, whether we speak the truth when we say that you agreed, not only in words but by your deeds, to live in accordance with us.”

What are we to say to that, Crito? Must we not agree?

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altar
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Re: Ignoring jury duty request

Post by altar » Sat Nov 04, 2017 7:24 pm

I just received a summons. I postponed my duty for a year. Personally I think I will basically follow davidbrainerds suggestion even if he was making fun. I wouldn't mind showing up at court for a day but I recoil at the thought of pronouncing someone guilty. Especially because the punishment will be out of my hands.

ieee23
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Re: Ignoring jury duty request

Post by ieee23 » Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:49 pm

If you don't do it other citizens will have to. The justice system protects people and it needs jurors to function. Why should other citizens who no more and no less equal than you are have to do that whereas you will not because you simply do not like it? It would be shoving your responsibilities off onto others. No disrespect.
Whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. - MN 19

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DNS
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Re: Ignoring jury duty request

Post by DNS » Sun Nov 05, 2017 2:41 am

Perhaps only slightly off-topic, but how about abolishing the jury system? Let's face it, it is mostly only those who don't find an excuse to get off of jury duty who serve. Do we really want our justice system decided by those who couldn't get out of it? I know, there are some very conscientious people who serve and perform their civic duty, but I'm talking about the majority of cases.

And if you have any kind of background in law, law enforcement, criminal justice, corrections, they dismiss you. It is like they want a jury of people who know nothing about the law. Why not hire full-time jurors who serve in that capacity on a full-time basis and know the law? They could be pulled from a variety of backgrounds to make sure it is diverse and would be paid a full-time salary. Or alternatively a panel of judges, of about 3 to 5 deciding the cases.

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altar
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Re: Ignoring jury duty request

Post by altar » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:47 pm

just wrote a letter asking to be excused

mal4mac
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Re: Ignoring jury duty request

Post by mal4mac » Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:09 pm

polarbear101 wrote:
Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:56 am
Just go. You'll likely sit around for a few hours, buy a mediocre sandwich, and then go home after sitting around for a couple more hours. It's not that bad. Of course, if you get selected for questioning or whatever then you'll probably want to find some way to honestly suggest to them that you are not a good candidate for the task.

Good luck!
That may be the case in CA! In the UK they grab you for at least two weeks, maybe many months if it's a big murder case (or the like). They choose 12 people out of 16, so you are likely to be chosen. If you aren't chosen you are still on call for other cases for two weeks. I had a long bus journey (2 hours) to the court, with a long walk in the early winter morning as well. I ended up with vomiting sickness at the end of the two weeks due to the strain, and bad food; at least I got out of the last day due to this! If I'd had to do that journey, followed by the difficulties in court, and eat that food, for several months, I'd have been a total wreck.
- Mal

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