I got a Jury Duty summons and I have to go on Monday.
How do Atheists handle the swearing in?
Can you ask for a secular swearing?
And what about the "so help me god" part?
Anyone know anything about this?
Anyone serve on a jury and have some advise.
Well - I got another Jury Duty summons .....
I was chosen for this Jury service and I served and found a verdict with the other 12.
I swear by the Constitution of the USA. Is what I would say??? I swear by no fancies!!!
Well I hope I get that too.
Steph & Melinda. There is NO requirement that when taking an oath, or being sworn in as witness or juror, that anyone has to swear to god. You can request an affirmation. The whole point of taking an oath is to impress upon the person the severity of consequences should they lie.
I once was sworn in to testify in front of a tribunal of the Illinois Supreme Court. The Clerk asked if I swore to god, which I promptly answered "No." Dead silence in the room. I then told the Clerk I won't swear to any gods, but would solemnly affirm to tell the truth. In fact, based on my first answer, I just did.
The "so help me god" during the swearing in process is pro forma -- it is like "bless you" after a sneeze. When I have jury duty, I just go along with the crowd. I would be more than amazed to find out that someone's oath was nullified because they were an atheist. If you have a moral qualm about the "appearance" of belief, then you can go find the bailiff or clerk and tell them you need a civil oath instead of the "religious" one.
Steph, thanks for bringing up this question. I have not had Jury duty but Pat's response seems reasoned. I imagine you could just solemnly affirm.
Not too helpful on this, but here is a blog about why it's beneficial for atheists to be on jury duty.
Thank you Sentient - I am going to that link.
Thanks for the site; I'm reposting.
I'm sure it varies from state to state and even municipality to municipality, but the three or four times I've served on jury duty here in Chicago, Illinois, I never once had to swear an oath to god. I wasn't even asked to, as it seems it's not a part of our normal process. The last time I had jury duty about two years ago, after the jury was selected but before opening statements were made, I recall the judge asking all twelve of us if we felt confident whether we could individually listen to all the facts of the case and come to a personal decision about a resolution based on the merits of the arguments. (Paraphrased, but something like that.) No swearing in, no oath. Just an understanding of agreement. Believe me, from what I've personally seen take place in the deliberation room, people take the role of juror very seriously. It has given me confidence in our legal system......for the most part.
HERE IN CA., WE HAVE TO SWEAR OR AFFIRM
WHILE TRUE ABOUT MOST ON A JURY TAKING IT SERIOUSLY, ONE JURY I WAS ON HAD A WOMEN WHO SAID: "OH HE CAN NOT BE GUILTY AS HE IS TOO NICE LOOKING"
SO I ASKED HER IF SHE KNEW WHO TED BUNDY WAS, AFTER OUR EDUCATING HER, WE FOUND THE GUY GUILTY,