How COVID-19 could affect the jury selection process

Originally published at: How COVID-19 could affect the jury selection process | Boing Boing


I toss the jury summons in the trash, after a once time experience with a capitol crime trial which I was never selected but put on the alternate list, I got the never agains.


I was just thinking about this as I just received a summons for jury duty and my first thought was “no way in hell I’m sitting in a room with a bunch of maskless unvaccinated yahoos.”

Down ‘round these parts, nobody gets vaccinated and nobody wears a mask anymore. Except me. So no way are the courts requiring vaccinations, so people with sense enough to get vaccinated (like moi) are not going to want to hang out for hours and hours with 11 spreaders, ergo: no one with any sense will ever be on a jury again.

Another win for the idiots


Dunno how they are doing it where you’re at, but here in Oregon, I got selected. And I did sit in the room with a bunch of masked people. The only check was a temperature check at the courthouse door as we were coming in as part of the security line.

They offered us one deferral. The judge made it clear that because of the timelines involved, and that COVID had already hecked up the judicial process signifiicantly, that only one deferral at most was allowed per juror , and that he was giving anyone who ignored the summons twice a free 2 week stay in jail for contempt. (Medical exemptions as necessary)

So… they’re serious around here. Constitutional duty, and all that.

But, then we sat downstairs and watched a movie, and the cases upstairs all waived jury trials and we went home.


FWIW, long before covid (the baby involved is now mid-20’s) I got a jury summons while at home with a couple-month-old baby, so I contacted the jury administrator to ask what my options were (solely breast-fed at that point, and too small to go more than a few hours without eating) and was told that new parents were given an automatic 1-year deferral.

Chicago’s not usually known for supporting basic needs of the general public, but they got that one right.


My wife and I had our first kid last June, three months into this pandemic life. By September, she had received a jury summons from the state.

Can you serve on a jury if you can’t do anything but babble yet?


I don’t know, if I got a summons I’d call my cardiologist and ask for a note.

If that failed I’d show up in two masks, a face shield and seriously consider a full blown resperator mask. But, jail scares me so I have no idea what I’d do if threatened with contempt.

Maybe an Al Pacino grade outburst. You’re out of order…

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What was the movie? I’d hope it was “12 Angry Men”.


Masks are the requirement in my area of PA, too. Most anti-vaxx/anti-mask folks wouldn’t make it past the courthouse door. That would make me less worried than places like the supermarket, which doesn’t require masks for vaccinated people, but relies on the honor system.


The Astronaut Farmer. It had to be a “family friendly” movie. Personally I was hoping for My Cousin Vinny.


My mother loved police procedural and courtroom drama TV, and since childhood I’ve wanted to serve on a jury. I’ve only been called once, for our county, and was sent home because it was the day before Christmas and there were no cases pending. I still retained hope for being picked for jury duty again.

This summer, I got a summons for Federal jury duty. “Hooray!” I thought, “maybe I can help convict the insurrectionists!”
They demanded I fill out a survey about everything I’ve ever did, and I basically copy/pasted my resume and CV, and any info I knew about the husband’s past work, and sent it in. The next day, I received an email telling me thanks but no thanks. The husband says I was too educated to be chosen!
My hope for jury duty has been crushed.

eta: I still would serve, in a minute, if selected for jury duty.


I was lead juror once, in Illinois. It was an eye-opening experience…especially when I realized many of the other jurors were willing to phone it in. I managed to help save an immigrant from being wrongly held at fault for a vehicular accident that the plaintiff clearly caused.

Do It Reaction GIF by The Lonely Island


Arizona reduced peremptory strikes from 4 to 2 per side due to Covid, to reduce the size of the jury pool to be called for each trial. I guess since the sky didn’t fall they decided to get rid of the other two:


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