Americans have been coming up with clever ways to get out of jury duty for decades. However, a Vermont man could set off a new trend with how he avoided selection this week. James Lowe of Barnet showed up to court wearing a prisoner costume on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported.
A judge took one look at Lowe, who was wearing a black-and-white-striped jumpsuit with a matching beanie, and dismissed him before the start of the jury selection process, according to a local media report. Lowe said the judge warned him that he could have been found in contempt of court, which in most cases involves a fine or a brief sentence in jail.
Lowe argued that the juror instructions that he received in the mail didn't say anything about a dress code. He said he chose the outfit because of his work schedule and family obligations, the AP reported.
â€” CBS News (@CBSNews) June 11, 2015
Experts say that having a law school degree or criminal law-related job is the quickest and almost fail proof way of getting out of jury duty. But potential jurors who lack that background can do research on the selection process and learn what questions that lawyers on both sides might ask. Generally, giving the right answers depends on the type of case the jury has been called for.
Any behavior that a judge can interpret as disrespectful of the jury process is risky. "I should add that I don't necessarily advocate avoiding jury duty," wrote David Cheng, a graduate of Columbia Law School. "It's not a bad experience at all, and for many people, probably more interesting and easier than their everyday jobs."