Before I retired from a PD in Wyandotte County, KS, they always allowed any
person with any police/sheriff/jailer/firefighter/clerk job to be excused from all jury duty,
even civil cases that had nothing to do with broken laws. Later they changed
it because the realized that every excused cop equaled a free "strike" for
the defense. As you know, others might not, each lawyer is allowed to strike
a certain number of jury candidates to form a jury that is more favorable to the
specific lawyer involved. If cops are excused before the "striking"
begins, that is seen as giving extra advantage to defense attorneys. Actually
cops often see details in the defense case as well, so if the person on trial
is not a repeat offender the cop in a big city may not know them anyway.
Once my wife (KB0DUK, SK) was called. She was a KU cop. Another county
deputy was called and a KCK city cop. They were all going in together to get
excused when my wife began talking about how we had discussed the imbalance
caused by excusing cops and firefighters. All three decided to sit it out, in uniform,
and the defense counsel began howling. The judge noted that they were free to
strike all three but he was not going to do it.
Back to the radio......