Autistic adults exempt from jury duty

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Double Retired
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07 Jul 2021, 11:19 am

HeroOfHyrule wrote:
I think it's dependent on the individual.
Agreed!


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08 Jul 2021, 2:15 pm

I think it has to do with the terms and everything, the jury has to come to a decision which sometimes involves

I got exempted for another health reason by my neurologist but the psychologist told my mom he had drafted letters for people with Anxiety and Aspergers. The letter basically said this person doesnt understand the basic functions of a court room and may have issues dealing with a jury. In official terms



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09 Jul 2021, 12:05 am

If anything, I feel kinda the opposite, and for some of us, doing Jury Duty, it's more of an advantage. For some of us, we like to use situations or events, as learning experiences, and something like Jury Duty, could be beneficial for us.

I was given a jury summons, many, many, years ago. On the day, and morning I was scheduled, and told to arrive to the courthouse, I dressed presentable, and well put together, business like, (no graphic t shirt and jeans, although I do remember some people dressing overtly casual), and basically we had to wait in this holding room, until our name was called, or until court was dismissed and closed for the day.

If our name wasn't called, and court for the day was dismissed and ended, congratulations, Jury Duty is over for you. However, if you named was called, you then had to be assigned a court case, and go through Jury selection etc.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, (depending on your mood and how you look at it lol), my name was called right at the last hour or so court was open. So I saw who the defendant was, and what crime he was being charged with, and saw the prosecutor, and the defense attorney, and also the other thirty or so people that were there for Jury selection. However, during Jury selection, I was not called up for questioning, and even though they did dismiss a few people (including a couple guys that on purpose were trolling, and intentionally trying to get dismissed etc.), they already were satisfied with the twelve they picked out, so everyone else was told that they can go home now.

The situation wasn't that stressful, and also, it was kind of fun. Well no, I'm lying, Jury Duty is never fun, who the hell am I kidding? lol, But it wasn't that bad. I have no idea how the case went, or whether the guy was found guilty, and convicted, or not guilty, and acquitted. So yeah.

But I don't see how under normal circumstances, Jury Duty would be that big of a deal. However, I kinda understand if it's something people are not comfortable with, or feel they should be exempt. In any case, I don't know how legal this is, and this is for entertainment purposes only, lol, but you can just say you moved, or never got the summons, or just throw it away and not open it, and yeah. No Jury Duty lol.

Lastly, I feel in most cases, trial by jury, and Jury Duty, can be a touchy and sensitive thing. With the same case, a group of 12 jurors can unanimously decide a person to be not guilty, where a different group of 12, it will be a hung, or inconclusive vote, and a different group, it will be guilty vote etc. So yeah. I feel your education on the legal system can vary, and it mostly street or culture law, and also personal political and empathy, or lack thereof, that happens, as opposed to technical and literal law, and judging without prejudice or bias, which is supposed to be used in a trial by jury, but isn't always. All in all, it is a touchy subject. So yeah.

That's my opinion on this whole Jury Duty thing. Take it as you will. Thank you. :)



OkaySometimes
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09 Jul 2021, 10:00 am

The only time I was called up for the actual jury selection, the prosecutor asked me a question, and I thought about it for a moment, which somehow threw her. She asked me why I was thinking about it. I said, "Well, shouldn't I think about the question? Isn't that important, in this process?" She dismissed me.
They really don't want people who think on juries, that's what I learned that day.



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09 Jul 2021, 11:23 am

OkaySometimes wrote:
The only time I was called up for the actual jury selection, the prosecutor asked me a question, and I thought about it for a moment, which somehow threw her. She asked me why I was thinking about it. I said, "Well, shouldn't I think about the question? Isn't that important, in this process?" She dismissed me.
They really don't want people who think on juries, that's what I learned that day.

I found that very funny for some reason. My guess is that she was in a hurry (like most employees seem to be) and feared, perhaps rightly, that you might take a long time to process. Either that or you were showing you had a mind of your own and weren't prepared to pretend otherwise. Too many of that sort on a jury and they'd never reach a verdict, and arguing, however politely and sensibly it's done, seems to annoy authoritarians unless it's coming from somebody they see as being above them in the pecking order.



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09 Jul 2021, 4:38 pm

Summer_Twilight wrote:
Hi:
I have been finding that some autistic friends of mine and their parents think that all spectrumites need to be exempt from getting jury duty because they don't think they would be able to understand the technical terms. It makes me mad because many individuals often fight for social justice, acceptance and inclusion. Yet, they don't want to serve on a jury. They get mad at me for having a different opinion.

Why are the reasons autistic are being exempt from Jury Duty? I feel like the system seems to be designed for a one-sized fits all system. I feel we should be included because

1. I believe some of us are able to learn how and when to use technical terms
2. Autistics are able to understand when someone is fair or unfair


That is idiotic. We have a natural incredible understanding of right and wrong and fair and unfair which is much more developed than what average neurotypicals have. We also have an incredible ability to understand technical terms especially if we are interested in the subject. I did jury duty once and found it infuriating because the nts did not understand as much as I did. They also did not have the ability to have convictions without emotional attachment like I do. We are some of the very best people suited for jury duty if we are willing to tolerate it. I am no longer willing to tolerate it so I make sure that I am excused.


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09 Jul 2021, 6:07 pm

I think we are getting into "Every Autistic is different" territory.

Whether a specific Autistic was or was not suitable for serving on a jury should--I think--be determined on a case-by-case basis. Some would make excellent jurors.


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09 Jul 2021, 6:10 pm

Double Retired wrote:
I think we are getting into "Every Autistic is different" territory.

Whether a specific Autistic was or was not suitable for serving on a jury should--I think--be determined on a case-by-case basis. Some would make excellent jurors.
Yes!! 100% YES!!


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09 Jul 2021, 6:11 pm

I also know some NTs who couldn't be jurors to save their lives.


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09 Jul 2021, 6:24 pm

Quote:
Double Retired wrote:
I think we are getting into "Every Autistic is different" territory.

Whether a specific Autistic was or was not suitable for serving on a jury should--I think--be determined on a case-by-case basis. Some would make excellent jurors.

Some would but since it's hard to concretely measure, the declaration of autism when first reporting for jury duty is probably enough to disqualify you in many jurisdictions irrespective of your individual capacity and circumstance. You could theoretically be jeopardising the outcome of the trial, especially if they are found guilty and his/her lawyer digs into your life for purposes of appeal should the case be significant enough.
Interesting point. Possibly valid.

It might be slightly more difficult to use that argument with me as a candidate for jury duty. I retired at 56...not for medical reasons but because i could afford to and wanted to. And the years before that look good on paper. I think I am credible.

I've only been called for jury duty once, long before I was diagnosed. I was not accepted for the jury because of my family. One aspect of the case was the defendant's word against that of a police officer. My record is clean; some of my relatives can't say that; and at least two relatives bumped into "bad" police officers. For those reasons the lawyers on both sides agreed to not use me.

I'm sort of glad I wasn't selected for that jury. Parking at that courthouse was terrible!


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09 Jul 2021, 7:09 pm

Quote:
Double Retired wrote:
I think we are getting into "Every Autistic is different" territory.

Whether a specific Autistic was or was not suitable for serving on a jury should--I think--be determined on a case-by-case basis. Some would make excellent jurors.

Some would but since it's hard to concretely measure, the declaration of autism when first reporting for jury duty is probably enough to disqualify you in many jurisdictions irrespective of your individual capacity and circumstance. You could theoretically be jeopardising the outcome of the trial, especially if they are found guilty and his/her lawyer digs into your life for purposes of appeal should the case be significant enough.
How could you being Autistic jeopardize the outcome of the trial?


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09 Jul 2021, 9:39 pm

I'm not Elon Musk.darn I am not a billionaire.double darn But would a jury decision be questioned because he was on the jury and he has Asperger's Syndrome?

https://www.newsweek.com/elon-musk-revealed-he-has-autism-its-milestone-people-like-me-opinion-1590072


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09 Jul 2021, 11:48 pm

Double Retired wrote:
Whether a specific Autistic was or was not suitable for serving on a jury should--I think--be determined on a case-by-case basis. Some would make excellent jurors.

I have a nasty feeling that excellent jurors is the last thing they'd want - suppose all they want is people who obey the judge's commands to disregard certain parts of the evidence and to just get the job done quickly without too much attention to quality? Though if there are any Aspies who are influential enough to drive up the standards regardless of downward pressure, that might be a fine thing, at least for the particular case they were involved in. I'm sure most of us would want to do a first class job, if we wanted to do the job at all, and given enough time and co-operation, many of us could.



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10 Jul 2021, 1:18 am

So I can opt out on the basis of my autism...cool, I hate court s**t so I'd be glad to have a reason not to go.


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10 Jul 2021, 4:46 am

I would love to be exempt from Jury Duty, though perhaps not for the reason that I "wouldn't understand the terms." I have a hard time making decisions in day-to-day life, so I think I would have an even harder time making such an important decision as to whether someone is guilty of a crime.



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10 Jul 2021, 10:22 am

vividgroovy wrote:
I would love to be exempt from Jury Duty, though perhaps not for the reason that I "wouldn't understand the terms." I have a hard time making decisions in day-to-day life, so I think I would have an even harder time making such an important decision as to whether someone is guilty of a crime.

You might be OK if you lived in Scotland. I gather they allow "not proven," which I've always thought was a good idea, because there must be cases where the evidence is inconclusive one way or the other, and to force a guilty or not guilty response is to fudge the truth. Must say I'd be reluctant to take such a decision if it was a serious crime, because although I'm capable of arrogance, I'd balk at being arrogant enough to trust my fallible judgement when it comes to wielding great power over other people's lives, and I'm usually very critical of anybody who does. I guess it would be a comfort to know that the weight of responsibility was shared by 11 other people. With this modern 10:2 majority thing, at least no one person has to feel fully to blame if the decision ever turned out to be wrong.

I wonder how often a jury session turns out to be a case of "the bureaucrats and the bored" where a small number of jurors grab most of the air time and power, while the rest just sit there, mostly excluded? That's what usually happens in decision-making groups in my experience, except with some alternative, more Utopian organisations. But I wouldn't expect much of that ideology from the mainstream public.