Jury Slacker Ordered To Carry Sign: ‘I Failed To Appear For Jury Duty’

CROWN POINT, Ind. (CBS) — A prospective juror in a fatal drunken driving crash case who left during jury selection has been ordered to stand in front of the Lake County Courthouse the next two Mondays with a sign that says, “I failed to appear for jury duty.”

Court officials did not release the man’s name, but the 22-year-old told Judge Thomas Stefaniak Jr. he wasn’t thinking when he left after lunch during jury selection Dec. 5 for the trial of Jeffery Cleary of Valparaiso, the Post-Tribune reports.

“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.

“Help me understand what it is about my words, ‘You’ve got to come back,’ that you don’t understand?” Stefaniak said. ”I’m at a loss to understand why you did what you did.”

“I wasn’t really paying attention,” said the man, who is unemployed.

Stefaniak said the man was “the very person who should be on a jury. You’ve got nothing else to do.”

Stefaniak ordered the man’s name be put back into the juror pool, and told him to show up in court at 7:30 a.m. Monday and Feb. 6 with the sign and walk in front of the courthouse until the bailiffs release him.

Cleary was convicted Dec. 14 on lesser drunken driving charges but jurors deadlocked on the higher level felony counts in the 2010 death of Philip Amsden, 63. Prosecutors said he had a blood-alcohol level of more than 0.15 percent when he crashed into a truck, crushing Amsden, who was repairing a flat tire near the Ridge Road ramp to Interstate 65 in Hobart in 2010.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • Chivi

    Do you really want someone like this to be on a jury deciding someone’s fate?

    • InalienableWrights

      I would find it more fitting for the sexually confused tyrant in a black dress to carry a sign that says ” I support slavery”

      • InalienableWrights

        Is it a free society when a man can be locked in a rape cage for doing something that harms no one? Would you want someone that does not want to be on your jury their judging you?

        If I were forced onto a jury I did not want to be on. I might just vote not guilty for the heck of it! Do you think others might do the same?

      • InalienableWrights

        Watch the Red Beckman videos FIJA.org

    • Chicago's worst

      Jury of one’s peers, my friend. It his constitutional right. Not to mention, his drunkenness determined others ill fate.

    • Russ Hart

      just say Jury Nullification, they hate that. it dismisses you.

      • WRTolkas

        I got out of jury duty once by looking at the “defendant” and giving a mean Clint “I’m goin’ to hang you” Eastwood look. His lawyer made my day by dismissing me.

    • teaisstronger

      I would be glad to go in his place. I want to be on as many criminal drug case juries as possible. Where can I volunteer. I’ll do my duty and help put those drug dealers (code words again) in prison.

      • jury nullification

        funny i serve 2 times every year and I NULLIFY illegal laws every time.

        especially drug dealer (code word for Americans)

      • InalienableWrights

        Beautiful. About the only reason to sit on a jury these days.
        Any advice on surviving voit noir?


      • InalienableWrights

        Sorry for the spelling the bastarrd software here took out my markup. Gotta love the censors.

    • Joe Doakes

      Having done participated this in NYC. Not being selected. I’m amazed anyone does any time in this nation.

    • Bob C
    • Jimbo

      The last time I was called for Jury duty, the prosecuting attorney said it was the greatest duty of free men. My question is: If this is such a great duty, why are prospective jurors brought their under duress?

      • InalienableWrights

        Reminds me of the slavery of the draft. Strange how they have to use slavery to get people in a “free” society to do as they command us to do.

      • jqp

        Yes Jimbo made a mistake. I have too on more than one occasion. Whoop de doo Sam. Spelling and grammar have little to do with credibility.

        Pick up a copy of Trout’s “Power of Simplicity”. Trout clearly had your type in mind when he wrote the first couple of chapters.

      • Chi_Sam

        Their and there are distinctly different words and are not interchangeable. You have forfeited your credibility and ought not opine in an ostensibly adult forum…

      • Rumplestilskin

        Hey Chi Sam, take your dictionary and put it where the sun doesn’t shine. You self righteous moron.

  • huh

    This judge should be in Crook County. Maybe he would give the mouth-breathers the same treatment.

  • NWA

    Jury duty, what’s that?


    • Bob C

      You want jurors that KNOW they have the power to judge a bad law.

      Good jurors can NULLIFY a bad law.

      Check this out —– nhjury.com

  • Astralis

    The judge is a crook. There’s nothing in the Constitution that requires citizens to serve on juries.

    He should appeal the abuse of power all the way to the Supreme Court.

    Additionally, a person who leaves jury selection because they don’t want to serve shouldn’t be on a jury. This is a good thing!

    • Sam Hill

      You are correct, nothing in the Constitution requires jury duty. I guess the judge should brush up on the Constitution.

      Pretty soon we will be required to vote, or face fines or jail time.

    • Willing to serve(as all should be)

      You are incorrect, Jury duty IS compulsory. Read up about requirements before you voice your less-than-knowledgable opinions. You MUST report for jury duty if called, and MAY be dismissed, or given a waiver to not report, but if it is denied you have to serve if picked.

      • whodat1

        “The stipend the court offers is such a pittance that it’s insulting.”

        In Houston, the stipend is $0.50 less than the cost of the parking garage attached to the courthouse.

      • Will

        I have served on numerous juries and on every jury are those who would “rather be anywhere else” and then we have the “Willing to serve(as all should be)”. The “rather be anywhere else” could care less about the outcome of a trial and the “Willing to serve” mindless morons believe every piece of evidence presented, especially by a crooked cop, even when the evidence clearly shows no crime committed. No wonder our prisons are overflowing.
        Here we have a judge who thinks too much of himself and thinks nothing of wasting valuable court time and taxpayer money.
        Judges should realize that forcing people to serve on juries is as pointless as attempting to humiliate them for failing to appear. This is the very reason we have alternate jurors standing by.

      • Al G. Funguy

        You’d think the “involuntary servitude” part of the Constitution should exempt people from serving on a jury when they don’t want to.

        But the US Supreme Court says you have to do it anyway

        Soviet-style monopoly court systems are corrupt??? Shocker!

      • ziegler

        Who wants their fate determiined by 12 people too stupid to get out of jury duty?

      • Kitty

        If you itch your armpits like a gorilla then maybe they wouldn’t have selected you?

      • Astralis

        Says who? To compel people to serve is unConstitutional.

        Show where the Constitutional compels citizens to serve on juries.


        See the official “Notice of Mismatch” letter from the FEDS here –

        Another 6 letter word for Felony…. BARACK!

      • NoSlavery

        The Thirteenth Amendment states that “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

        No one is allowed to compel another person to work if they don’t want to work. It is clear that this juror did not wish to provide free (or practically free) services to the judge. The judge should not be free to throw a temper tantrum and force this guy to again be subjected to involuntary servitude. This is tyranny, plain and simple.

      • DAvid

        Look at it this way. You get a free day off work for it. And you get there you go in tell them your a racist or whatever you need to to let them know hey Im not the droid your looking for and bam your excusaed and you got the rest of teh day off!

      • Rumplestilkskin

        There are ways of getting out of serving. When asked if there is anyone in the courtroom who has an objection to serving, you raise your hand and tell them straight out that you don’t agree with the the proceedings or why the person was brought to court. That judge cannot berate you for your beliefs, and will dismiss you. I’ve done it twice, when I did not agree with the proceeding.
        A person does not have to buy into serving on a jury when they truly do not believe it is in the best interest of humanity. Judging another does have its Karmic drawbacks, no matter what you may want to believe otherwise.

      • One Eyed Jacks

        There is no free day off work if you work in a sales job. The stipend the court offers is such a pittance that it’s insulting.

    • rich main

      if you live in connecticut you are!!!! I know I LIVE HERE

  • Ryan

    Do you want to be on a jury that couldn’t convict the drunk driver of felony counts for killing the guy changing his tire?

    Do you want to be on a jury that found Casey Anthony NOT GUILTY for murdering her baby?

    Too many idiots are already on jury duty.

    • james pog

      It doesn’t take an idiot to find Casey Anthony not guilty. It takes a jury of 12, that sees no actual evidence for her guilt, to find her not guilty. Get over yourself.

  • Rich Lehmann

    In the words of the judge, “the very person who should be on a jury. You’ve got nothing else to do.” Because JUSTICE is meant to hang on the decision of unemployed 22 year olds with nothing better to do.

  • Hoosier Clown Judgement

    We the unemployed people of Indiana…..

  • btruth

    Considering that LAW & ORDER are now an ILLUSION, why would anyone want to waste their time with a sham?

    • Locke


  • Voice

    Jury duty is so easy to get out of.All You have to do is tell the judge You can spot a guilty person just like that!

    • Locke

      They are likely to toss you in jail for contempt.
      Judges are above the law,it’s a disgrace.

  • One Eyed Jacks

    Is it illegal to show up for jury duty drunk?

    I once got dismissed from, what I think was, an armed robbery case because I told them my favorite part of the Constitution was the Second Ammemdment.

  • Wolf

    Nothing more arrogant than a sitting judge perpetuating the fraud that it is the legal system.

  • Ben Dover

    Judge made the mistake of refusing my request to be excused because i don’t hear good…No problem, i just voted “not guilty” all week….F ’em…

  • Twelve Hung Jury Men

    12×12= 144 Feet of hung jury men.

  • Sean

    The judge ought to read the 8th amendment of the Constitution, which specifically forbids punishment that is meant to cause humiliation.

    • ryan trevino

      For Christ sake, no it does not. Perhaps YOU should read it. It says” Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” Didn’t see humiliation in there anywhere. Isn’t all punishment humiliating? It may be a little unusual, but perhaps better than spending the night in jail for disobeying judge, which I am sure was his alternative.

      • Locke

        Where is a law written a punishment for leaving slave duty is public humiliation?
        The judge is making up punishment for his jollies. He’s a criminal tyrant of the lowest order.
        It’s based on ‘contempt of court’ where he judge can issue any punishment he wants, even jaling you for ever without recourse. It stems from when the judge was a representative of the king, we don’t have kings any longer and ‘contempt of court’ should be abolished.

  • Answer For One Eyed Jacks

    It may not be illegal to show up to court drunk, just ask the Judge, I am sure he had a few before this all started.

  • Dre

    ATTENTION: YOU WANT TO SERVE ON A JURY. It’s the last place where your voice counts and YOU can change the LAW. You will be told by the judge that you have to vote based on the LAW, but that’s not true. You can vote based on your conscience, and you can vote NO if you so choose. Jury Nullification is an important way to overturn laws and keep the system in balance. In fact, if it wasn’t for jury nullification, we’d still have Alcohol prohibition in this country.

    • Dan

      Thank you that is absolutely correct!

  • Sean Stockemer

    and not a single f*ck was given.


    http://www.liveshot.cc willingly carries sign: “I SERVED IN VIETNAM”

  • Fedup

    Jury duty is a farce.. just a tool of the neo-nazi police state called the USA used to let the people think they still have control.

  • HeyHey

    Jury full of incompetent fools is not justice

  • Semajoes

    “I wasn’t really paying attention,” said the man, who is unemployed.

    Now we know why he is unemployed…

  • sojibby

    Pretty sure you meant 0.15 and not 0.15 percent which is 0.0015 well under the usual 0.08 legal limit

    • Al G. Funguy

      The article said BAC 0.15 which means 0.15 percent of your blood is alcohol.
      This is very drunk. Twice that would almost surely resutl iin unconciousness or worse (coma or death)

  • sage49

    You are absolutely correct. Another fact is that if there is an immediate need for a juror, people may be literally brought in from the street to serve.

    • sage49

      Oops….this comment was in reply to Willing to serve (as all should be).

  • BigBoa

    There are plenty of ways to get out of jury duty if that is really what you want to do.

    Of course there is the classic “if he wasn’t guilty, why did the cops arrest him?” tactic.

    If you don’t have a problem being labeled a “racist”, there are numerous statements you can make, but be careful. In front of an activist judge, it may cause more trouble than it’s worth….. He may try to “discipline” you. Not saying it’s legal or right, but it can be pretty tough trying to battle a judge.

    You have to be careful because judges love to make an example of people. But just a little smarts can go a long way. If, for example, it’s a case that has been in the news, try pointing out how happy you are to get on the jury because you’ve been following the case closely, VERY closely, and already know how you’re voting. That is almost guaranteed to get you tossed. And they can hardly fault you for being an informed citizen…..

  • Chrissy

    Bahahaha I think this is the funniest thing yet. Here is the hypocrisy of the situation…. People think it’s ok if a parent is at their wits end with an unruly child to make him or her hold a sign that says “I don’t listen or I am a thief” and people don’t complain about that. Here an individual thinks it’s ok to walk out on Jury Duty, which is a duty required to all citizens to do, and you guys think the punishment is just horrible. I think the punishment fits the crime. Kudos to this Judge for making this moron responsible for his actions. One don’t leave work at lunch and not come back. Oh and this is far from bulling.

    • Locke

      Judges intepret law not make it. Where is the law that says the punishment for leaving slave duty is public humiliation?

      • InalienableWrights

        Yes John Locke I agree – omnipotent gender confused men in black dresses are the bane of our society.

      • Locke

        Chrissy, you are commanded (literally )to appear under threat of imprisonment for an undetermined amount of time(slavery by another name) at the whim of a crazed lawyer in a black robe with god-like powers.
        Then when you do go he/she will ask you inane questions with zero relevance to the case, to “get to know you better” and if you act in any way other than delighted to be questioned like a two year-old you will get contempt and off to jail for as long as the crazy lawyer in a black robe wishes to torture you. It isn’t their business what I do for a hobby, job, what I had for lunch last Tuesday, what car I drive or other questions like that. The only questions relevant are do I know any of the people involved, including lawyers, if I was tried or convicted of a similar crime, and if I have a bias of any type.
        It is criminal. If there were limits to a judge’s power I might, MIGHT feel differently because judges CAN throw around contempt charges like a farmer tosses seeds in a freshly plowed field, with impunity.

      • Chrissy

        Yes, judges interpret the law; however, where do you get that this is slave duty? Slavery was abolished. Get your head out of the clouds.

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