Monday, October 06, 2008

An "Interesting" Observation On My Jury Selection: Do Naturalized Americans Care More About Jury Service?

I am trying a Burglary case in Queens Supreme Court in Kew Gardens NY. The trial is moving along well. We have 11 jurors after one day of jury selection. Interesting thing is that I have been picking juries in Queens County NY for about 15 years and every time, I get more and more naturalized Americans on the jury venre. This time, out of about 40 jurors, I had nearly 80% that were born somewhere other than the US.

Another oddity is that usually in Queens, in the beginning of a case, the Judge will ask if there is a reason someone cannot serve on the jury, and about half of the room will stand up and say that they cannot serve because of some injury, personal trip or for not speaking English. That again didn't happen. Only four people asked to leave and I think all but 1 request was really legitimate. I was surprised that a physician didn't try to get off of the trial(although the prosecutor threw him off). Maybe Naturalized Americans respect the duties and responsibilities of a Democracy more than those that get it as a birthright?
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