Do JW's do jury duty?
Please refer to April 1, 1997 QFR
Here is a snippit...
In balancing factors, Christians should consider whether they can submit to certain demands made by Caesar. Paul counseled: “Render to all [the superior authorities] their dues, to him who calls for the tax, the tax; to him who calls for the tribute, the tribute; to him who calls for fear, such fear.” (Romans 13:7) That is straightforward as to a monetary tax. (Matthew 22:17-21) If Caesar says that citizens must give of their time and efforts to clean roads or perform other work that is among Caesar’s functions, each Christian must decide whether to submit.—Matthew 5:41.
Some Christians have viewed jury service as rendering to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. (Luke 20:25) In jury duty the task is to hear evidence and offer an honest opinion on points of fact or law. For example, on a grand jury, the jurors decide whether the evidence warrants someone’s being brought to trial; they do not determine guilt. What of a common trial? In a civil case, the jury might award damages or compensation. In a criminal case, they are to determine whether the evidence supports a guilty verdict. Sometimes they recommend which sentence stipulated by law should be applied. Then the government uses its authority “to express wrath upon the one practicing what is bad,” or “to inflict punishment on evildoers.”—1 Peter 2:14.
What if a Christian does not feel that his conscience permits him to serve on a particular jury? The Bible does not mention jury duty, so he cannot say, ‘It is against my religion to serve on any jury.’ Depending on the case, he might state that serving on the jury for a particular case is against his personal conscience. That might be so if a case involves sexual immorality, abortion, manslaughter, or another issue on which his thinking is shaped by Bible knowledge, not by mere secular law. In reality, though, it is quite possible that the trial he is selected for does not involve such issues.
A mature Christian would also reflect on whether he would share any responsibility for the sentence rendered by judges. (Compare Genesis 39:17-20; 1 Timothy 5:22.) If a guilty verdict is in error and the death penalty is imposed, would a Christian on the jury share bloodguilt? (Exodus 22:2; Deuteronomy 21:8; 22:8; Jeremiah 2:34; Matthew 23:35; Acts 18:6) At Jesus’ trial Pilate wanted to be “innocent of the blood of this man.” The Jews readily said: “His blood come upon us and upon our children.”—Matthew 27:24, 25.
If a Christian reported for jury duty, as directed by the government, but because of his personal conscience declined to serve on a particular case despite the insistence of the judge, the Christian should be prepared to face the consequences—be that a fine or imprisonment.—1 Peter 2:19.
In the final analysis, each Christian faced with jury duty must determine what course to follow, based on his understanding of the Bible and his own conscience. Some Christians have reported for jury duty and have served on certain juries. Others have felt compelled to decline even in the face of punishment. Each Christian has to decide for himself what he will do, and others should not criticize his decision.—Galatians 6:5.
My understanding was always that they could as long as the death penalty wasn't an issue.
I've been out of work for four months. I would be thrilled to be on a jury. How come it's only people who don't want it that get it?
Crossposted, but at least Ynot has confirmed that I am always right.
I think I should call a few people here for "jury duty."
Most of the JW's I knew tried the conscience thing to get out but failed most of the time.
I never wanted to do it until the OJ trial. Then it was, I wanted my turn.
I was seated once, then they excused me because of a work conflict. Rats! I was looking forward to it.
During my 38 yrs as a witness I was called to jury duty three times. Each time I explained to the court that I felt in good conscience that I wouldn't make a good juror as I was a JW and to judge a person was not up to me but up to God. I would like the oppourtunity to try again though, but not on a murder charge. Civil suits or fraud etc.
Each time I was exempt from duty.
When I was at Bethel, Bethelites LOVED jury duty. They were paid $35 per day for jury duty. This was far more than the usual $3 per day.
It's amazing the system works at all considering how many people are trying to get out of it. I did not want to do this at all. My first trial, murder.
Just take a pillow with you and a coin to flip during deliberations. It's all good.