Monday, May 21, 2007

PIGEONHOLED

Voir Dire is the process by which prospective jurors are questioned about their backgrounds and potential biases before being invited to sit on a jury.

Since I seem determined on eviscerating our legal system ( justice system?) I must expose the dirty business of jury selection. Jury selection is BIG business. Consultants, one half of whom are Psychologists, charge thousands of dollars per day to handpick the perfect juror for the lawyer. This is how Dr. Phil made a living before he sold his soul to Oprah.

On top of all their demographic information; age, sex, race, religion, political views, prospective jurors can be asked to answer 300 pertinent questions.
All of the information gleaned by the Consultant can be interpreted, carefully manipulated throughout the trial, and hopefully result in an almost guarantee how the prospective juror will vote at the end of the trial.

Some of these Consultants even have fake courtroom sets built replete with actors to play lawyers and judges to test their prospective jurors reactions to a mock trial.

It kills me that some Judges naively believe that jurors are capable of ignoring news articles about the case, or those 'OOPS' accidental sworn statements given by a totally rehearsed witness. Strike that from the record. Jurors are instructed to ignore those statements . Lawyers subdmit 'time bombs' all of the time that they know will set off their 'Manchurain Candidate' jurors.
A prime example of the success of this prepackaged jury system is how the Prosecutors either dropped the ball, or were incredibly naive, in their estimation of inate goodness of mankind during the OJ Simpson trial.

Remember the huge disparity between the reactions from 'white' America and 'black' America when OJ was found Not Guilty. The much maligned jury consisted of 8 black women who consultants observed correctly, would be suspicious and fearful of the LA Police Force, harbor empathy for OJ, and who would have hated Marcia_Clark .

Everything is always Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!

Does anyone here think that the verdict would have been the same if it was held in rural Texas with a jury made up of 8 Caucasians? We all dream that in a perfect world it shouldn't make any difference. Right is Right.
Verdicts arrive because lawyers manipulate the law and push the psychological buttons of every handpicked juror.
Of course the Civil Litigation trial of OJ in another County found in favour of his deceased wife's relatives and OJ was found Guilty. 'Nuff said.

As Al PAcino said And Justice For All, "I'm OUT OF ORDER, you're OUT OF ORDER, the whole system is OUT OF ORDER".
The system is being manipulated from start to finish. Money Talks.

What scares me the most is that every word that I have ever tapped out on my keyboard is recorded for all of time, somewhere, and you know and I know that governments, banks, corporations, medical professionals, mad scientists, and of course trial consultants, all collect and exchange this information.
The collective 'THEY' have a complete E-demographic ID of me and you.

Add that to the fact that now these Consultants could glean my blog to look for specific opinions that would be favorable or otherwise to their client's case.

I would get picked for cases involving Intolerant Religious Organizations & Leaders, Racial Hate Groups, Cruelty to Animals, Governmental Intrusion on Individuals, Psycopathic Murders, Serial Rapists, and Big Corporations ..all the stuff I like to rant about.
I should seriously consider being more flippant, inconsistent, and inexplicably wavering on 100% of the subjects that I discuss in order to avoid Jury Duty!

What about you?
Is your Blogging ideology and rhetoric consistent enough to get handpicked by a Consultant and snuck onto a jury to help win or thwart a case?

What types of trials would a Consultant:
A. specifically choose you for jury duty?
or
B. immediately scratch you from the jury list?

36 comments:

  1. Interesting about Dr Phil. As for me, I'm just your garden-variety left-wing social liberal. I'd get immediately pigeonholed as such and completely ignored.

    It could be worse.

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  2. Hmm, I think the only things I blog about repeatedly are bdsm and fertility issues. Perhaps I should take another look at my blog and see what information I'm giving "them" about me.

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  3. Well I don't know about juries but they'd call me in to police lineups to identify men by their bare arses.

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  4. I really don't care if I get chosen or not. I will continue writing whatever I feel like. They can go to the devil for all I care!

    PS: You are responsible for my vile mood.

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  5. Well I don't know about yours, but the legal system in England picks their jurors through random selection to make things 'fair'. Interestingly, however, one of my friends told me about a psychological theory which undermines even THIS method - you can turn down jury duty on certain grounds, for example my mum had to turn it down because she had five children to look after. Various commitments are considered enough reason to excuse you from duty, and it is fairly easy to wheedle your way out of it. The theory goes, then, that basically most people dont want to have to be on a jury 'cause it sucks, so all the intelligent people wangle their way out of it leaving the - erm - less on the ball portion of the population to judge the country's criminals. The theory also takes into account the rise in tabloid culture, where certain personalities want nothing more than to be dramatically involved in court proceedings, which means that the most intelligent members of a jury are likely to be the kind of people who like to create a scene. Damn.

    Maybe this is how a friend of mine, along with five other girls, failed to have their paedophile tormentor locked up - the jury couldnt see how such an upstanding Christian member of the community could be such a perve. HELLO??

    I'm not bitter at all...

    I think that would be my weakness...

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  6. Even though I always show up for jury duty I have always been dismissed because I have opinions on everything and voice them. Kind of like on here!

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  7. Oh, what a disappointment : I so desperatly want "rigth to be right". I know it isn't, but I tend to forget that over and over again untill there is another confrontation with the fact the right is not right.
    I am so naïve, I'm afraid they can always use me to believe in the good characteristics of a person, ok within certain limits, i am not that naïve neither.

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  8. I hate pigeons, it is true, LOL.

    I would be pcked for something to do with history lessons?? LOL

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  9. I've always wanted to try Jury Duty - I don't know why everyone wants out of it! I'm fascinated by the inner workings of the courts, and would love to be a part of it.

    Well, the part that isn't being tried.

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  10. I think I'm in the same pigeon hole as Andrea.Good thing, as I'd hate to be on a jury.(Wont happen cos I'm not an Aus. citizen.)

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  11. I'm on Jury Duty in two weeks' time. What does that say about me or the folks who've randomly selected me from a random bunch? Yes, fathorse is right, we can get out of it fairly easily in the UK.

    Maybe I'll try voicing a few opinions, but then, being a wishy washy liberal wussy pom, I don't have many.

    Thanks for the reminder about OJ. Always worth thinking about again.

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  12. I am a clerk at a law firm and I see an awful lot of subpoenaed email in exhibits lists - it's amazing (or not)what people include in email...very interesting point you raise about blogs...a blog-savvy lawyer could point to a few labels etc. and manipulate the context to suit their jury needs- even comments left by the blogger (and others) could be used. Serious food for thought...extends far beyond jury duty. Hmmmm...good grist.

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  13. They would HATE me......if the prosecutor was a moron to lazy to worry wether or not the defendent really did the deed, I would say so. If I thought the lawyer for the defense was not earning his pay, I would say so. The judge would have MY ass in a cell in no time flat.

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  14. Alas, no jury duty over here. They'd probably gloss over me anyway as too predictable.

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  15. Jury duty? they had better not ring me...cos I'd feel so sorry for just abt anyone (even a murderer) and set em free.

    Keshi.

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  16. If personal responcibility came into it, i would not be picked, as i believe in taking responcibility for your actions regardless of cause. That would knock me out for sure.

    Murder of a polition or treason (for the sympathy vote), i am sure i would be picked, or appearing as the defendant.

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  17. andrea,
    Oh oh what about a copyright infringement case where a GIANT Corporation steals a struggling artist's logo design! That would be awesome.

    anna,
    Discounting lurkers and pervs the government agencies are primarily interested in religious/political rhetoric but hey you never know? Pharmaceutical giants may be collecting all of your fertility information.

    mj,
    It's a gift isn't it?
    Could number 4 please step backward again ((sigh))

    gautami,
    How can you blame me for your vile mood? What did I do?
    I admire your intestinal fortitude.
    If confronted by 'the Man' I will scurry back underground and cower until the coast is clear and you come to the rescue.

    fathorse,
    Ouch! You hit the nail on the head. Peers what peers? The majority of people on jury duty are those who were too lazy to try to excape it or those who can't wait to exact their revenge on others.
    Most of us can't understand the legalese mumbo jumbo anyway.

    carmenzta,
    That is awesome! Love it Love it!
    I would like to be able to sit in the audience and listen to you answer the questions. Call me next time.

    hildegarde,
    We need people who believe that people are capable of being good.
    I would be terrible because I am so cynical and suspicious of the great unwashed.

    I believe that 80% of people are 80%good/20%naughty and that is why we as a species inch forward. The 20% of the population that are 80%evil and 20%good really screws up the entire thing.

    cazzie,
    That's right..and they had better get their facts straight! I like the way that you think..
    Fact A happened and then B, C, D and E resulted. It seems pretty hard to screw up but history gets rewritten everyday.

    shelley,
    I would love to watch you on an emotionally charged case...
    ORDER, ORDER! Bailiff kindly extract the hands of juror #7 from around the defendent's throat and escort her back to the box.

    dinahmow,
    C'mon it would be a treat to hear you defend your decision to vote NOT GUILY to the other 11 jurors. You could bamboozle them and sway them like a cat toying with a mouse.

    spentrails,
    I would order the most expensive meals at every break. Hopefully you will be dealing with some technical non personal charge that is all about money or la di da 'rights' as opposed to an emotionally charged trial dealing with children or puppies!
    I would be lethal and unforgiving in such an instance. Just give me a hood and an axe!

    allan,
    Of course I was only kidding right..I mean why would anybody use what you have written in cyberspace to bolster their argument
    (Come on, COME ON.. delete post #135, #27, #75, OMG #44, #91..)

    THE michael,
    Wouldn't that be a pleasure? Oh Joy Oh Rapture! Imagine tearing into some wild lameass conjecture by some slick little twerp who thinks that you are some dolt off of the street...is it hot in here or is it just me?
    I would be in the next cell!

    menchie,
    What do you mean no jury? DO you have that tribunal of judges thingamabob? Really? Like in the 3rd Century...I would be absolutely terrified of the corruption and graft.

    keshiroo,
    Well we had better start toughening you up then! I bet that you could get in touch with your inner hangman if puppies or children were involved? Atleast your inner incarcerator!

    aidan,
    Will the defendant rise!? Do you have any last words in your defense that do not involve a three hour scientific explanantion.
    Aidan:
    "If it please the court M'Lord,
    the First Law of Thermodynamics, Conservation, states that energy is always conserved, it cannot be created or destroyed. In essence, energy can be converted from one form into another and THAT is exactly how I happened to ride into the Prime Minister's Motorcade.
    It was quite foggy that morning and I distinctly remember, actually fog is an interesting phenomenon..."

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  18. it's a little like selecting blogs for your links list, ain't it. . .

    ;-)

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  19. I never ever want to stand in judgement during a jury trial... I usually claim stuff like, "my former brother-in-law was a cop... my sister is a lawyer... my brother considered the priesthood..." If none of that works... "I am against the death penalty... I thinks drugs should be legal..." and finally... drooling, loud obnoxius yawning and laughing at inappropriate moments...

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  20. i'd be happy to go. they keep not selecting me, though.
    anything i've put out there on line i stand behind. fuck'em all.

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  21. Anything to do with children or puppies I will refuse to stand judgement on. Not fair. I am hoping for some technical and financially complex fraud case that gets thrown out of court.

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  22. What was that movie called that was about this very topic? Wasn't John Cusak or however you spell his name in it? I can't remeber what it was called, but it was a good one.

    You ask tough questions, and I'm not sure what the answer is. I guess people who read my blog might be better able to answer that question than I...?

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  23. Wasn't it runaway jury? Or am I just making that up...?

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  24. yup, for us it's just the judge. so the legal/justice system is easy to influence with money.

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  25. You read the court transcript i was trying to keep it a secret, that and "the president's head was missing when i got here."

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  26. This post reminded me poignantly of To Kill A Mockingbird. Read it? If not, read it.

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  27. I just cant seem to find my inner hangWOMAN. no ways! :)

    Keshi.

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  28. I'm with Shelley, I would love to be on a jury. Crimes of passion would be a particular favourite of mine. Come to think of it, can they really subpoena your emails and posts because if that's the case I could be a prime suspect in an upcoming homicide. Crikey, I think I have some serious deleting to do....See ya....

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  29. if they ever choose me, I want murder cases, rape and cruelty. I will like wear a t-shirt saying 'hang him' during the trial. :D

    Most probably theyll scratch me off crimes of passion sort of stuff, im a softie.

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  30. I think that in England jury selection is unfair!
    One of our chefs got picked for two weeks' duty and I had to fill in for him in a hot kitchen at least a couple of evenings!

    Absolument NOT fair!

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  31. I forgot to ask you before. Is that comment "Everything is always Marcia, Marcia, Marcia" a direct quote from the Brady Bunch because when I read it I was getting flashbacks to Jan Brady having a hissy fit over her jealousy of Marcia.

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  32. i like the view,
    Selecting links eh? I find that some people link as a strategic move while others do it to be good neighbours. I have yet to find any consistent logic in the methodology.

    kindness,
    Just act really crazy and pretend that you are a huge supporter of the President and say (out loud and in front of others) that you would vote for him again if you could!

    first nations,
    I believe you. I know that you would say anything that you have ever written without blinking an eye.
    You are amazing and for that reason I flatly refused to accept any reward from a certain J. Ashcroft at the White House who may or may not have offered me a lifetime free subscription to Good Housekeeping for falsifying evidence that would link you to a subversive organisation from outer space..and I don't mean the one that Tom Cruise belongs to either.

    spentrails,
    Oh to be so lucky. You should be on the Conrad Black jury! Sweet!

    defendantblogger,
    Just answer the question please? Your Honor please direct the witness to abstain from making personal remarks about my client. Enough speculation and conjecture Mr Blogger...have you ever seen Runaway Jury?

    fathorse,
    Objection your honor, I wanted to answered that question.

    menchie,
    That is brutal. Of course those people who are in power are NOT going to want to change the system.
    Absolute power corrupts absofrickinlutely.

    aidan,
    Yes the transcript is already on the internet and available @ HE DID IT! for $19.95

    stace,
    Who could ever forget Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch? Yes Mockingbirds only sing their hearts out, not quite as dramatic as the Australian Thorn Birds impaling themselves!

    O course if the Mockingbird sang the following horribly annoying song I am sure that Atticus would have let Scout and Jem shoot every last damn one of 'em!

    Mock (yeah) ing (yeah)
    bird (yeah) Yeah (yeah)
    Mockingbird

    Now, everybody have you heard?
    He's gonna buy me a mockingbird
    And if that mockingbird don't sing
    He's gonna buy me a diamond ring
    And if that diamond ring won't shine
    He's gonna surely break this heart of mine
    And that's why I keep on tellin' everybody
    Say yeah, yeah whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, oh AAARRRGGGHHH!!!!

    keshi,
    Well isn't that special! What if it was somebody that you knew (heaven forbid) oh yeah then you couldn't be on the jury. Hmmm.
    OK well then I guess you will only be allowed to sit on a jury during littering and loitering cases.

    angel without wings,
    Absolutely everything that you have ever sent is now in the public domain of the etherworld..forget the notion that personal messages can exist out here...just isn't possible.
    Don't ever say or send anything that you wouldn't be willing to see on the front page of your local newspaper.

    Thank you so much for acknowledging my Brady Bunch moment!I would have loved to have heard Johnny Cochrane say "Judge Ito, Why is everything is always Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!


    ghosty,
    I will be sitting beside you dressed as the Grim Reaper holding on to a Giant Scythe.

    cream,
    You would think that essential services would be excused? How ghastly!












    Bird-King

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  33. i thought people got called up for jury duty once in a lifetime and were asked a coupla questions and were taken or rejected that way.
    i had no idea this was big business! so do any of the jurors make a career out of it- like, specialise in trials for short white blue collar criminals who have a deep dislike of their wive's seven cats?
    as for li'l ol' moi... i dunno, i never watch the news and only really read the news24 emails i receive- and not even all of those. does the fact that i rely on a blogger called "homo escapeons" for information on whats going on around make me ideal or a reject?
    do i wanna be ideal or a reject...?

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  34. Well I hope I never get called up, but that's an interesting point you raise. I don't think a consultant would pick me because I'd be contrary ... I don't like to be pigeon holed, although I'm sure that's vanity and a specialist would be able to see right through me! Hmmm...

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  35. nah I just am not available for jury duty :)

    Keshi.

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  36. angel,
    You are in BIG TROUBLE! They will love you because you haven't been tainted by all of the damning information about the accused that the Prosecutor purposely leaked to the Media to speed up the trial. HE DID IT!

    Now the Defense team has to find 12 people without cable TV or access to Newspapers and a telephone.
    BINGO! I suppose the fact that you are blogging may be a problem...but then again we don't really discuss reality issues too often do we?


    Hi bibi,
    If you stick to your guns and sound like the local crazy cat lady shut in hoarder with 5 sofas in your living room ((gasp)) then they will be forced to put you on the reserve list and continue looking for someone who isn't so busy.

    Those fancy schmancy lawyers will trip you up on your own lies about being engaged to John John or having a Sasquatch (roadkill) tibia and skull in your basement freezer.

    keshi,
    Now you had better check your attitude young lady. If Australia NEEDS you then doggonit you will be more than happy to give your all for the good of the country!
    Besides you could get a whole new wardrobe for the trial and soon the sketch artists will be covering you instead of the boring trial..then you'll be famous!
    You could be the Paris of Downunda!
    You'll need a chihuahua.

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