Magazine article State Legislatures

Who Wants to Be a Juror?

Magazine article State Legislatures

Who Wants to Be a Juror?

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Finding enough people to serve on a jury always has been a problem. Now the economy is making it even harder to fill a jury box. Only three states require employers to pay workers who are on jury duty. And no one ever got rich serving on a jury. The daily pay in most states is modest, ranging from $4 to $50. The average is just $21.

The result? More potential jurors are asking to be excused because it will cause them an economic hardship. Many workers also fear missing work might cost them their jobs and are ignoring their jury summons.

Some courts have had to increase the number of people they summon because the percentage of no-shows is growing. Without a sufficient pool, cases might have to be postponed or even dismissed. When criminal charges are involved, some judges are determined not to let that happen.

In two recent criminal cases in Colorado and Vermont, not enough summoned jurors reported for duty. …

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