A 21-year-old who overslept and missed jury duty was given 10 days in jail

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/10/04/a-21-year-old-who-overslept-an.html


I’d like statistics on how many other people have spent time in jail for missing jury duty, by this judge and the whole district. The biggest mistake this guy made was not calling the bailiff when he realized he was late.


Not to mention JWB - “Juroring While Black”


It looks like he was a ‘caregiver’ for his grandparents, and in Florida that’s a valid excuse for getting off jury duty. They should have cut him some slack!!!


Or, um… not.



This is why courts have jury pools. That’s what they’re for!

Instructive, not punitive. Spot on.

At the most, make the community service match 45 minutes for the number of people in the courtroom, which I assume would add up to much less than 150 hours.


I missed a jury pool once.

I got a sternly worded letter on honest-to-god Court Clerk letterhead with instructions to call during business hours.

The very polite person on the other end of the line told me: “Oh, don’t worry, it happens all the time. We don’t take actual legal action until someone misses twice in a row. But be very sure to be there for the makeup session.”


Fuck our fucking bullshit justice system.

At least he wasn’t shot. Glass half-full, I guess?


Reading just the headline and thinking

… I certainly hope the number further increases.


If you don’t mind my asking, in what state did this occur?


The jury pool was for Oklahoma County court.

Their usual procedure is to call in a gigantic swath (about 500 people) who all sit around bored out of their skulls for a day and are then dismissed with a thank- you-for-your-service speech Very rarely you’re required to come back the next day and do it again

During the course of the day, bailiffs will come from the various courtrooms and get a jury pool of two-dozen or so potential jurors who are then voire dired and maybe actually impaneled. Those not impaneled are instructed to return to the pool room.

I’ve been called to that jury pool three times (not counting the one I missed). I was impaneled on one of those occasions. On the other two occasions, I was dismissed after one day.


Well, that sounds like a real good use of resources.


The en masse gatherings here in California (at least for L.A. area) ended long ago. What happens now is you get a ‘heads-up’ letter. You then sign onto the county court website and every day check to see if you MUST come in the next day. (For those w/o access to PCs, you just phone in.) I got one of those letters several months ago. Very convenient, but the process adds some suspense and drama to the mere task of clicking on that one ‘button’ on the website that seals your fate. A touch of stress as your finger hovers over the pad or mouse.


In San Mateo County, there’s the phone/online check the night before duty, then several hundred people in a room, then blocks moving off to courtrooms or going home “empty-handed” at the end of the day to come back later. The article said that the young man was selected to a jury. It’s a lot more serious to miss a day of jury selection or opening testimony than the mass pool. But jail-worthy? I guess it technically is, but the judge has discretion to hear out the story and decide a reasonable penalty.


Yeah, after the second day I forgot to check for the rest of the week. Really, it completely slipped my mind until I saw the jury duty notice I had pinned next to the calendar the following week. By that time, my pool had rolled off the website (since it’s only a week long thing anyway), so I just hoped my number wasn’t called. Here it is months later and no word back, so I guess so.


Somewhere out there is a clock. It’s ticking away in grainy B&W film noir shadows.

Sleep well!! :smiling_imp:


Ah, the sad and useless irony of enforcing a punishment to instill respect for the justice process that undermines respect for the justice process with harsh sentencing for perfectly human mistakes.


In case anyone missed it: it was the second day of a trial he had been seated on, NOT a general call to jury duty. While I think the punishment is still far too high and should have been a civil charge with fine and public service, not jail time, he was no longer just going to the potential pool.


Which makes more sense why he overslept, I would think. A day at jury selection, go home and take care of grandad, get to bed late.

That poor young man, just trying to do right.


I have questions.
Was this his first scheduled appearance?
Was he assigned a trial and missed the start of the trial?