An Undesirable Juror by
(15 Stories)

Prompted By Jury Duty

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Having been in federal law enforcement for most of my adult life, I was involved in many court trials.  As the investigator, I was aware of most of the facts on both sides of the case, not just the prosecutions.  Watching jurors during trial I have always wondered what it would be like to sit on a jury; to see what a case looks like from their perspective because very often the facts, whether from witness testimony or the admission of physical evidence, can be incomplete, presented in a disjointed order or lacking context leaving jurors to rely on the attorneys’ closing argument to put the bits and pieces together.  Even then, jurors must contend with, and reconcile, diametrically opposed explanations of what the same set of facts mean.

I have been summoned many times but have never been able to serve.  Usually, I don’t even get in the pool of potential jurors sent into the courtroom for jury selection. And when I do, I don’t get selected to go into “the box” as a potential juror to face voir dire, the questioning of potential jurors by the judge and attorneys to determine their competency to sit in judgement of another.

The closest I ever got was a civil case in which the plaintiffs were suing another party and their insurance company over an accident wherein the plaintiff’s car was rearended by the defendants resulting in many cases of whiplash and related injuries.  The trial became necessary because the insurance company suspected it was a fraudulently staged accident.  I was sent to the courtroom and was in the first group to go into the box.  I’d been here before but had always been “Thanked and excused” by the judge once I described my background.  However, that day, there were no objections by the judge or either attorney.  Then the defense attorney began his voir dire of individual potential jurors.  When he asked me if I could be fair, and base my decision only on the evidence presented, I answered I could, but I added I supervised several people who investigated Medicare/Medical fraud cases.

The attorney apparently had not been paying attention during the judges’ interview because the smug look on his face changed to a questioning one as he asked me what I did for a living.  When I said I was an FBI Agent, he, with a quick twist of his chair and a cartoon-like snap of his neck toward the judge, loudly demanded, “You, Honor.  We have to get rid of him!”

The grinning judge agreed, saying “That didn’t take long”.  I was then “Thanked and excused” – again!

Profile photo of Mike Repucci Mike Repucci

Characterizations: funny, well written


  1. Thanx for your story Mike! I find it strange that law enforcers, lawyers, and even judges are called to jury service, and are understandably usually “thanked and excused” as you were!

    I’m sure you also have many FBI stories you can tell – if that’s allowed. In any case I hope you’ll write on for Retrospect!

  2. Betsy Pfau says:

    Like Dana, I’m sure you have some stories to share, even if they don’t involve jury duty! But I am not surprised that you never made it past voir dire. It is interesting how many of us in the Retro community have never served on a jury, for one reason or another.

  3. pattyv says:

    Hi Mike, I find your take on jury duty eye-opening. It never occurs to me that some folks are continuously banned from participating. Especially citizens who would gladly serve. Like Dana, I too question why you’re even called. And May I say a sincere thank you for all your years in law enforcement. I’m fascinated by the work and dedication of the FBI, and more so upon learning of its evolving expertise and the talented professionals who keep us safe.

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