CHICAGO: Obama Reports For Jury Duty [VIDEO]

The Associated Press reports:

Former President Barack Obama, free of a job that forced him to move to Washington for eight years, showed up to a downtown Chicago courthouse for jury duty on Wednesday morning.

Whether he will be selected to sit on a jury, and presumably be selected jury foreman, was not known. But if he is like other would-be jurors, Obama will have to watch a decades-old video in which a much younger Lester Holt, who was a local news anchor before he became a national news anchor, explains the ins-and-outs of jury duty.

Obama is the highest-ranking former public official to be called to jury duty in Chicago, and almost certainly the only one who ever arrived with a Secret Service detail.

Bill Clinton and George W. Bush also both reported for jury duty in recent years. Both were not selected.

  • Todd20036

    Think Trump ever sat on a jury?

    • Treant

      No, but he’s sat in front of a few juries…

      • KarenAtFOH

        May it happen again, ASAP.

      • Tomcat

        Bought a few also.

      • Bambino

        The one time many would fight hard to serve their civic duty. I would camp out for days just to line for a wristband to be in a jury pool.

      • james1200
        • ChrisMorley

          Dream on.
          First the US would have to recognise the International Criminal Court.
          It joined an unholy alliance of complete opposition in 1998. With the US in opposing the ICC were China, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Qatar, and Yemen.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Criminal_Court#History

          • Edmund Allin

            Which reminds me. Civil war-torn Syria is signing up to the climate accords. Leaving the US as the only country outside.

    • MikeBx2

      His bone spurs prevent it.

    • bkmn

      No, but I would love to see a judge and/or jury declare him “GUILTY”

    • Dreaming Vertebrate

      Impossible! His body is riddled with metastatic bone spurs.
      The poor thing could not possibly sit with other jurists and deliberate due to the constant agony he (and they) would be in.

      • Jeffg166

        Then there’s his fat ass.

      • ChrisMorley

        Any defence attorney could tweak his nose by challenging his fitness to serve due to his mental incapacity to comprehend and empathise.

    • Bambino

      The fucking moron mysterious bone spurs always flare up at his convenience no medical science can explain.

    • liondon#iamnotatraitor

      A jury of his fears…so many.

  • MikeBx2

    Just once in my life I’d like to be in the right place at the right time to shake his hand.

    • skyweaver

      Me too. I was about a hundred yards from him at a rally when he first ran. Even at distance it felt really great. The guy has an incredible presence

      • AJayne

        He was in Vegas the day after Benghazi, a rally in a high school gym. I was in the bleachers about 40 feet from the stage – watched his speech in profile. Maybe 20-25 feet away as he entered and departed. Glorious.

      • JCF

        Same (give or take a few yards).

      • meh. i knew them before. “Before,” if you catch my drift. they are nice, civilized, intelligent people. of the two, i far prefer her. we worked together for a short time. she’s funny and a snap quick thinker; i think that she’s smarter than he is and i’d vote for her in a minute. she’s not like him at all.

        his students love him, i know that much. i rarely went to that side for class, but i met members of the Cult. however, i was C’s friend and i don’t forget when O fired him. C was a gay progressive with an Ivy PhD, black even. apparently he said the wrong thing about health care and was asked not to come back to the next planning meeting. all 6’+ of him cried that day, he was so sensitive. i don’t forgive “Barry” for that. among other things he later proved to (not) be.

        • skyweaver

          Ah so you saw close up the reality of the deification. I had the luxury of not knowing the full complexity of the man. For me, still the best president in my lifetime, but I like the reminder that all people are complex and maybe not what we envision in their moment to moment lives

    • Rob NYNY

      My brother was in utero when my mother shook JFK’s hand. I’ve always envied him that.

      • Lars Littlefield

        The only president I’ve shaken hands with was Nixon. And I tried to avoid it.

        • David Walker

          And you ran to the men’s immediately thereafter to wash your hands. Understood.

    • jerry

      I did in 2006…he was speaker at our JJ Dinner, couple years before he ran for President, couple years after his huge DNC Boston speech.

    • Danieruw

      The executive assistant in my dept at Macy’s Corp met him in Cincinnati right before I moved there. There was a chili parlor next door to us and she was in there when he arrived. They locked the doors with everyone inside and he went around and shook hands with everyone in the place. My boss showed me photos he took of the crowd outside the chili parlor trying to get a glimpse of the president.

    • DaddyRay

      The first year I moved to San Francisco I went to the DMV. I didn’t know about the “make an appointment” process so I stood in line. While in line Robin Williams walks in and everyone went nuts. He stood in line and was putting on a show. He really did enjoy all of the attention. He was picking on this older woman who didn’t seem to know who he was and was really intimidated by him. Best hour at a DMV ever, wish I had a cell phone that took pictures back then – it was 1994.

  • Tomcat

    There is NO way he will be allowed to sit on a jury due to peoples attitudes for and against him.

    • Tomcat

      However thank you for your service Obama.

    • skyweaver

      I’d sure like to be there for the jury selection, though. Holy cow would that be fun to watch

    • David

      And also because he’s a lawyer. My husband is a lawyer and would love to sit on a jury to see the process from that side, but they usually strike the lawyers first.”

      • iambu

        That makes sense, I’d never thought of that.

      • Bob Conti

        I’m a lawyer and I’ve sat on two panels, one criminal and one civil. It’s really instructive, and a bit scary, to see what actually makes an impact on the panel. A lot of times, it’s not what the lawyers think are the issues. And sometimes, it’s about a little chain bracelet dangling from wrist of one of the lawyers. It did teach me as well that I need to really argue in close the instructions, as in put them up on the screen, and say why, based on the evidence, we win. Edit: It also taught me, just sitting in the box listening to testimony, that if lawyers can’t get out of their witnesses what’s needed within, oh say, :20 on direct, they’ve lost the panel. Get to the point and then get out.

        • Edmund Allin

          You mean it’s not like on TV? Disappointed. πŸ™

          • Bob Conti

            Sadly no. It’s more akin to sausage being made.

          • BigGuy

            Grand juries are worse. Not only can prosecutors indict a ham sandwich, they can easily indict all the ingredients of a ham sandwich separately and altogether. I served on a federal grand jury meeting once a week for 13 weeks. We gave the prosecutor a true bill every time, even when indicting the suspect would directly aid the local congressman’s reelection. The prosecutor asked us in the last week of October to indict someone they had been holding in jail since April. Indicting that individual directly supported what the Congressman had been saying for months. I argued to my fellow grand jurors that if the prosecutor could wait six months before seeking an indictment at precisely the time that it would benefit the Congressman’s campaign, then the prosecutor could wait another two weeks until after the election. My fellow grand jurors said the prosecutor wouldn’t possibly be doing things that way, it was just a coincidence, and we should vote for a true bill that day.

          • Bob Conti

            I believe it. In some ways its really the worst since there’s no counter to the prosecution. Star Chamber meet Kangaroo Court.

      • CJAS

        Not in New Jeresy. I’ve served twice. What I learned is that the less educated jury, the less likely justice will be done.

  • bkmn
    • Jean-Marc in Canada

      A Real President doing what Real Presidents do…

      https://twitter.com/sirlthr69/status/928335903428358148

      • vorpal 😼

        You could hardly blame Trump for not being able to serve as a member of a jury, what with those extremely debilitating heel spurs.

        • Jean-Marc in Canada

          Tragique, non?

          • Guy z

            Jean-Marc. I can’t with you. lol. You have no chill whatsoever. Consistently reading #45… Love it!!

          • Jean-Marc in Canada

            When it comes to #45, I’m not just reading, I’m bleeding

          • Mary

            Google is paying 97$ per hour,with weekly payouts.You can also avail this.
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          • (((GC)))
        • lymis

          I think that they’ve spread. He now has brain spurs.

        • Grumpy Old Man

          Don’t forget his tiny hands – he can play ‘GC’s violin but that doesn’t make up for the time his finger went too deep and gave himself a lobotomy https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2bae79900f2d61f0e7402381e0b095a4609c47e6368ed332e376839456e1549a.gif

      • The New Paige Turnerβ„’

        ….And that boys and girls is called “presence”.

        I would now like my President back please.

  • Michael R
    • TampaDink

      Hair furor needs new instructions, I suppose.

    • Treant

      Two men will enter.

      Two men will flee for Moscow on the Russian plane…

      • Michael R

        house arrest NOW !

      • Mike Rasor

        It’s kind of you to think of Trump as a man rather than are Cheeto dusted version of Jaba the Hutt

      • Karl Dubhe

        That might be for the best, were it to happen.

        Pray Bob (Lord of Wormholes), make it happen.

      • doninkansas

        We can only hope, but I bet Putin would back away. He would be too great a liability for him and is no longer of use.

    • james1200

      What’s the big deal if they meet? They’re just gonna play some cards.

      https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/lxvinxgmasyhxvpp5ctt.gif

      • BearEyes

        Or Battleship or Stratego or …

        • Grumpy Old Man

          I think I could find his flag every time.

      • greenmanTN

        Please. Go Fish is about the most sophisticated card game Trump knows.

      • CJAS

        Yep, a Manchurian candidate.

      • Danieruw

        Where were you when I played solitaire?

  • Lars Littlefield

    If selected for jury duty, do you think the other jurors will vote him as jury chair?

    • Bambino

      I think he is humble enough to allow someone else to take the lead.

      • Bob Conti

        Agreed.

  • james1200

    It’s gonna be difficult for the judge to keep order in that courtroom with Obama there.

    https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/tnv4wnichlqambzicztm.gif

    • Grumpy Old Man

      Everybody would be looking to him for hints on what he thought.

  • Publius

    What a kickass memory for those other jurors. I think Cook County can probably count on a bigger jury duty reporting turnout in the future.

    • Bambino

      I think the potential jurors will lie to get on the case just to have a chance to spend sometime with Obama. They will tell the judge they need more time to deliberate. LOL!

      • sfbob

        I will be supremely surprised if he isn’t dismissed immediately. Would be wonderful to serve on a jury with President Obama but i can’t see him getting the chance.

        • Bambino

          I don’t even know why they bother to even call him in. Beside the fucking moron, a POTUS presents would have too much unintended influence on the regular jurors just like an A-List celebrity.

        • Danieruw

          Too distracting. All the witnesses would stop at the jury box for a selfie while heading for the stand.

          • too distracting, as in, “what do you think we should vote, mr. president?” if i’m a lawyer i’m telling the judge there’s no way this man can sit with a regular jury. sorry, presidents. you’d just be too (unintentionally or not) influential for real justice to happen.

        • Steve Teeter

          I did jury duty once and they had one of the court judges come in to give us a pep talk. He told us that even he got called for jury duty and it was a bore, because NO lawyer, prosecution or defense, wants a judge on their jury. He had to just wait out his time in the jury room until he was dismissed. I’m sure it will be the same for ex-presidents.

  • David Walker

    I was called once and they never chose me. The excuse was that I was in the communications business…classical music announcer on a public radio station. The fuck? But I did get some reading done that week. Frankly, I’m surprised I haven’t been called now that I’m retired. I remember a sea of white and blue hair in the jury room.

    • doninkansas

      Callled many times, never chosen. Once I was called for the preliminary questioning, it was a child sexual abuse case. When I told them I had been abused as a teen, they quickly sent me home.

    • You were a classical music announcer? that is so cool. It is like a dream job! Did you get to choose the music your station was playing or just announce a play list?

      • David Walker

        I was allowed to do that for the final hour of my 3-hour shift. The other two were programmed by the Music Director, partly because we had a program guide and he wanted to list as much music as he could, partly because the third hour had a couple of elements whose times varied from day to day, and partly because I was hired for my voice, not my knowledge, and I’m good with that. It’s kind of like a woman having great boobs, but I’m willing to bet that she’s proud of her boobs and I was quite proud of my voice. If that’s what gets you hired, all right.

    • Friday

      Probably it’s the assumption you’re close to journalists or journalism, so they don’t want to tempt anyone. πŸ™‚

  • DreadPikathulhu

    I was on jury duty this week – the case ended up not going to trial and we were excused after one day – and searched in vain for someone famous in the jury pool room and saw nobody. This would have been so cool.

    • Lars Littlefield

      I served on a grand jury, four days a week for six weeks. It was an art theft and extortion thingy. Lots of famous celebs who had been ripped off testified. The saddest celeb was one who everyone is six degrees of separation from. He was broken up because the guy who ripped him off had been a long time friend. We were all threatened short of a Spanish execution squad never to discuss the case with anyone, anytime, ever! There were lots of celebrities — a few of them were really famous. πŸ˜‰

      • Friday

        Well, that’s the case with all grand juries. I keep promises like that, so no stories. πŸ™‚

  • PickyPecker

    I’ve been called twice in two years. Judge in the cases(s) – same one. Cancelled the day of on each. Still got paid. Now…..I don’t want to be called again for years!!!!

    • sfbob

      After being called in (or just on-call without having to show up at court) year after year, I was actually selected last year and sat on the jury. A shoplifting case made a bit more complicated because the defendant gave someone else’s name when he was arrested. The case went to trial only because the idiot public defender wanted a chance to show off her misdirection skills, which were pathetic. There was plenty of video evidence showing the guy was carrying stolen property but every momentary gap in the video coverage was cited as a reason to cast doubt. It was pretty ridiculous. Apart from jury process it took us perhaps ten minutes to find the defendant guilty; it was actually sad and to make it worse I found myself convicting a kid who almost certainly is gay and probably had not been treated well as a child or a teen.

      Eighteen months later and still no new jury summons. I think they may give people who actually serve a bit of time off, especially if the trial results in a conviction. The funny thing is that for the first ten years I lived in SF I never received a jury duty summons but once they started the arrived every year.

      By the way, every attorney who’d been impaneled was dismissed. That’s surely what will happen in Obama’s case. Nobody defense attorney’s going to want another lawyer on the jury, ESPECIALLY one who’s well-known. and who’s more well-known that our 44th president? I’m not sure even the prosecution would want Obama on the jury. The court will probably dismiss him the moment he walks into the courtroom, if not sooner.

      • Mike__in_Houston

        I’ve probably been called for jury duty ten times, and only picked once. It was a sad case where a little girl had walked out between two parked cars, got hit and was seriously injured.

        I don’t think either of the attorneys even bothered to prepare for the trial; either that or they got their law licenses from Sears. From where I was sitting, the attorneys and their witnesses were doing an excellent job arguing the other side’s case.

        It was a very short trial. We found for the defendant, despite how much as we felt sorry for the little girl because, despite the messed-up presentation of the case, it looked like it was impossible for the driver to have seen the girl in time to avoid hitting her. I was back at my office by mid-afternoon.

  • People4Humanity
    • Jamie_Johnson

      After breathing a sigh of relief last night (thanks to Northam’s win), I really wish that Brazile would go away and stop stiring the shit.

    • Jean-Marc in Canada

      Funny, Hillary lost, went for a walk, wrote a book and moved on…Brazile on the other hand…

      • Lars Littlefield

        Makes ya think.

      • Treant

        …has no real future at this point and can only chew on old losses in an attempt to give herself some significance.

    • Lars Littlefield

      If she considers the Clintons a cult, what does she call her romping naked under a sheet during a full moon out in the woods with her Daughters of Bilitis?

    • I think many of these people are dumping on the Hillary campaign out of frustration (understandable), and for better or worst, to postion themselves for 2020. I do not expect Hillary to run again (she has said as much), and my guess is Bernie probably will- Jane said as much. Being a bonafide “anti-Clinton campaign person and authentic voice of progressive Democrats” is a good way to get a job and influence in 2020, or in the case of Elizabeth Warren, postion yourself for a run in 2020. Now, there is one problem with all this — what about all the people who still like Hillary and do not enjoy being referred to as “cult members”, “easily bought tools”, “old-time stupid dupes of the whore”, RINOs who are holding progressives back, or what is even more galling, people who Ms. Brazile has just told to “go to hell?”. Gee, its not like we are all going to be DEAD in three years is it? They may wish as much but it ain’t gonna happen!

      • Lazycrockett

        The haters have been waiting since the early 90’s to unload on the Clintons and now they they have exited the arena its a free for all.

    • Moebym of the Returners

      LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

      And Bernie’s wasn’t? Trump’s wasn’t? Oh, please…spare me.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    Because I can and will continue to do so….

    https://twitter.com/sirlthr69/status/928334152579022848

  • David

    Obama: “Ok, we must now consider the evidence.”
    Me: “First, what are you and Mrs. Obama and the girls doing for Christmas?”
    O: “This is our civic duty, please concentrate.”
    Me: “I know, but real quick, how are Bo and Sunny? Do they like the new house?”
    O: “David, this is important.”
    Me: “It is, I know. Let’s take a selfie before we begin.”

    • Guy z

      …and this is why he won’t make it past the first run through. #excused

      • ChrisMorley

        Sad, but true.

  • I one managed to get kicked out of Jury Duty selection almost immediately by arguing with the defense lawyer in front of a judge in a DUI case. The $15 a day they offered to pay would not even cover the cost of parking in downtown West Palm Beach. My story is here. http://www.eddihaskell.com/2009/05/how-to-get-out-of-jury-duty.html

    • Treant

      I have a tendency to be extremely literal, which I might just…exaggerate…a little bit in some cases where I don’t wish to be where I’m doing. It’s more or less a slightly malignant version of taking you exactly at your word.

    • Stubenville

      My Mom was a civilian state police employee; it’s a “get out of jail free” card for jury duty.

    • BigGuy

      In 1994, in Manhattan I was in a Jury panel of 150 and was chosen for 10 different jury pools of 50. 150 people in a big room, and if you’re one of the 50, you to go a jury room, where you may be called to go from the 50 to be one of the 14 on the jury — 12 jurors and 2 alternates. Every time I was chosen to go from the pool to the box for voir dire, I went to the judge and told the judge that I recognized the defendant from riding the A train late at night. I was not kidding. I did recognize the defendant. This was disconcerting.

      I cannot attest directly to witnessing crimes in Washington Heights 25 years ago. I can attest there were men riding the A train at night who I saw in court who were indicted criminal defendants.

      The funniest case was a young man who was being charged with holding marijuana with intent to distribute. This was a thin White man in his early 20’s who used to stand at the Southeast sidewalk of 2nd Avenue and 8th Street saying, “Smoke, smoke, smoke.” Of the 50 people in the pool in the jury room, every single person in 3 different groups of 15, of all ages and races and religions, told the judge that he or she recognized the defendant. NO ONE proceeded to the box for the voir dire. When we went back to the courtroom the following day, the judge told us the defendant pleaded to a lesser charge.

  • Ish
    • alc2018

      why just ask any troll asking a question like that online and there’s your answer!

      • Ish

        So I guess you don’t mind that Obama had American citizens like the one pictured killed? That he significantly expanded US military interventions and the state security apparatus before passing them along to Trump?

        • alc2018

          and wow your screen name Ish rhymes with another word I’m thinking of with a bull in front of it…hmmm….

          • Ish

            Flinging insults. Guess that’s easier than confronting the reality behind the Obama myth.

    • Taylor Bixler

      Kissinger was summoned for NY jury duty, so yes.

  • Lars Littlefield

    Helpful hint: If you want to get out of jury duty, it’s really quite simple IF you’re a male senior citizen or just look like one. Tell them you have no reason not to serve on a jury as long as you are allowed to go pee every 30-40 minutes. I had brachytherapy a few years ago to stop prostate cancer. I had to keep close to a bathroom or somewhere I could just whip it out at a moments notice. It was only a short term thing while my bladder and urethra healed. But they didn’t know that. I was immediately excused.

    • Johnny Wyeknot

      Avoiding a civic duty under false pretenses is nothing to brag about. Actually sounds pretty republican.

      • Lars Littlefield

        I’ve served on jury duty so many times over the last forty years I doubt it matters. No one can make me feel guilty about it. Besides, I had undergone brachytherapy a few weeks before.

    • Reality.Bites

      A woman I know tried that excuse.

      Next thing she knew she was kidnapped and working as an escort in Moscow hotels.

  • The_Wretched

    Neither my wife or myself has been called for jury duty. Ever.

    • Johnny Wyeknot

      Too bad.

  • Puck

    Come on who would not like a former president to be on the jury in their trial? Good or bad! Lol

  • DaveMiller135

    I don’t know how they do it in Chicago, but here in NYC, the foreperson is whoever is still sitting in position one, after the initial lottery, and the voir dire.

  • Stubenville

    If anyone can make serving on a jury cool, it’s President Obama. I hope he gets selected for a trial.

  • fuzzybits
  • Taylor Bixler
    • Friday

      No surprise there, …I’m sure he’d do a great job but he’s waaay too high profile and there’s Secret Service and the possibility in a trial they’d end up playing to his politics, which are well-known, and hoping he’d influence the jury, etc. πŸ™‚

  • If you know anyone who doesn’t register to vote cuz they don’t want to be called for jury duty, let them know that DMV/MVA records are also used to select potential jurors (at least that’s how it works where I am). If they have a driver’s license or a state ID, they still might get a letter, so they might as well register and vote.

    Unless they’re conservatives. If they’re conservatives, tell them they’re guaranteed to be called for jury duty if they register to vote… probably the very same day. So they should avoid doing that.

  • Johnny Wyeknot

    Good for him for not trying to get out of this civic duty. I wonder what Trump’s record is (any of them)?

  • Reality.Bites

    DonaldJTrump: Weak Obama only called to regular jury. Trump will go to Grand Jury. Sad!