How many Americans have lied to get out of jury duty?

Jamie BallardData Journalist
August 01, 2018, 2:00 PM GMT+0

Men (10%) were more than twice as likely as women (4%) to say that they have lied to get out of jury duty

Jury duty might not be a particularly fun endeavor, but a majority (70%) of Americans agree that it’s an important civic duty, according to new data from YouGov Omnibus. A similar number of people (67%) think that it’s fair that all US citizens are expected to do jury duty, and 62% think that the jury system is effective.

Of course, not all Americans have had to do jury duty. About one-third (34%) have never been summoned for jury duty in the first place. Of the 61% who have been summoned, nearly nine-tenths of them (87%) responded to the summons. And of those who were summoned and responded, about 40% say they were selected to serve on a jury. Unsurprisingly, older generations were more likely to have been summoned and responded for jury duty: 84% of people 55 and older say they have been summoned, compared to only 33% of 18-34 year olds.

When asked if they had ever lied to get out of jury duty, 91% of Americans say they have not, while 7% say they have. Men (10%) were more than twice as likely as women (4%) to say that they have lied to get out of jury duty.

More than two-thirds (71%) of people say that they’re confident that they could come to the right decision if/when they’re a member of a jury. However, when it comes to evaluating juries in general, many seem skeptical: A majority (60%) of people agreed that most jurors “don’t really understand the laws they’re asked to apply.” Many people also think juries are biased; about four in ten (38%) disagreed with the statement “Most jurors are unbiased.” Only 28% agreed, while about one-third (31%) say they neither agreed nor disagreed with this statement.

However, despite many Americans thinking that juries don’t fully understand the laws, and are potentially biased, a considerable number (43%) of people say they would prefer to be tried by a jury, rather than a judge. Only one in five (20%) people say they’d prefer the judge, and 13% say they have no preference.

And while most people agree that jury duty is an important civic responsibility, they still want to be compensated for it. Over half (60%) say they “strongly agree” that jurors should be paid for their time, while another 23% say they “somewhat agree.” Only 5% of people say they “somewhat” or “strongly” disagree that jurors should be paid for their time.

See full results here.

Learn more about YouGov Omnibus.

Image: Getty

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