Man Learns Jury Duty Lesson the Hard Way
An Indiana man called in for jury duty in a fatal drunken driving crash case has learned what can happen to people who ignore the judge's instructions to NOT leave the courthouse.
The judge ordered him to stand in front of the courthouse for two days holding a sign that reads “I failed to appear for jury duty.”
This happened in the town of Crown Point, Indiana. The 22-year-old man told the judge he wasn’t thinking when he left the courthouse after lunch and went home, while jury selection was still in progress.
“Help me understand what it is about my words, ‘You’ve got to come back,’ that you don’t understand?” the judge said. ”I’m at a loss to understand why you did what you did.”
“I’ve never been in trouble before,” said the man, who acknowledged he didn’t follow the judge’s instructions during the jury selection process. “I wasn’t really paying attention,” said the man, who is unemployed.
The judge told him he was “the very person who should be on a jury. You’ve got nothing else to do.”
The judge ordered the man’s name to be put back into the juror pool, and told him to show up in court on the next two Mondays with the sign and walk in front of the courthouse until the bailiffs release him.
This story reminds us of the famously creative sentences former Houston Judge Ted Poe handed down. Poe, who is now a Congressman, made news nationally with some of the things he came up with.
He was especially tough on those found guilty of child abuse, sex crimes, domestic abuse and vehicular homicide. He would require them to adorn their prison cells with pictures of their victims.
Those who weren't sent to prison would have to stand in front of the courthouse with a sign proclaiming their guilt and their remorse. His community service sentences were equally demanding, but his recidivism rate was very low. Nobody wanted to come back to his court.