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Hollywood’s Big Names Appearing in a Jury

Celebrities appearing in court is not an unusual occurrence in Hollywood but there are times that they are neither the accused nor the plaintiff. While it is not new for the public to find out about big names being dragged into a legal mess, celebrities serve their civic duties by taking part in a jury.

A member of a jury is responsible of deciding whether a person is guilty or not based on the facts presented during trial. Once a person is called for jury duty, he is obliged to show up, or a fine will be served. 

Trial by jury has been part of world history. The Greeks, Romans and English, among others have practiced this system for many years. The United States is still practicing the jury system and subjects their citizens for civic duty. The person selected from a jury pool is then required to be present in all trial hearings. Randomly selected jury is believed to cancel biases therefore judgments will be solely based on facts and evidences presented.

Here are some of Hollywood’s big names who were summoned for a jury duty:

Anna Kendrick

The Pitch Perfect star was called for jury duty in 2015 and even let the public in by hilariously tweeting her experience. In one of her tweets, she called the civic duty a date with justice. “Night 3 of calling in for jury duty… thought I was off the hook, but I’ve got a date with justice… and the b*tch wants an early morning tryst.” In another tweet, she shared “Lunch break. Haven’t been selected yet. Think my favorite thing so far is the overriding feeling that I’m about to get yelled at. #juryduty.” 

Brad Pitt

The A-list actor was not exempted when he was called for jury duty in 2014 in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, he was dismissed as a member of the jury because he was found to be too much of a distraction. LA lawyer William Lively said that it cannot be expected that the other jurors will ignore him and that they could be influenced by his opinions once the jury goes behind closed doors.

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift had to skip the 2016 VMAs to perform her civic duty in Nashville, Tennessee. It was a heavy case which involved domestic and sexual assaults and kidnapping.  She was dismissed as a potential juror in the end after reportedly telling the judge that she didn’t think she could be an impartial juror due to a pending case she has previously filed. Just a year before called for jury duty, Swift filed a sexual assault case against a DJ in Colorado. 

Donald Trump

Yes, even the current president of the United States served his civic duty. In 2015, he reported for jury duty in Manhattan. In a New York Times report, it was told that he called the jury service “an interesting process”. It was also reported that he failed to report to at least five previous jury requests, Trump’s lawyer defended him by saying that he never received the letters as they were sent to a wrong address.

Oprah Winfrey

The 75th Golden Globes Cecil B. DeMille awardee, billionaire, philanthropist, actress, producer, and talk show host has served as a member of the jury in a murder case back in 2004 in Chicago. According to reports, the juror, including Winfrey, deliberated for over two hours before convicting the accused of first- degree murder. The billionaire was paid $17.20 a day for the three- day trial, she also described her jury experience as one of the saddest she’s ever had.

Tom Hanks

Award-winning actor Tom Hanks sat as a jury member at a domestic violence court case in Los Angeles in 2013. But the civic gig did not last long for him due to allegations of jury tampering. The defense lawyer and the court were advised by the assigned prosecutor that Hanks was approached during a break by a female member of the LA City Attorney’s office and thanked him for his service. This incident broke the rule on lawyers talking to jurors outside the court room. After the incident, lawyers on both sides of the case came to an agreement and chose to settle.

The process of jury selection is well-portrayed in the television show Bull starring Michael Weatherly as Dr. Jason Bull, heading a successful trial consulting firm – Trial Analysis Corporation (TAC). Dr. Bull, a psychologist, uses his expertise to profile possible jurors to help TAC decide who they want to keep in the jury. Before coming up with the final jury for a trial, a bigger pool is presented to both parties where they ask questions that can help them identify the way that person thinks. 

Now on Season 2, Bull explores more cases and tries to win them all by carefully selecting the jury. Bull airs every Wednesday, 9:00PM, first and exclusive on Blue Ant Entertainment.

Blue Ant Entertainment is available on SKYcable channels 53 (SD) and 196 (HD), SKYdirect channel 35, Destiny Cable channel 53, and Cablelink channels 37 (SD) and 313 (HD).

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