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JUSTICES: Citizens need to step up to jury duty

Letter by Suzi Loya, Gig Harbor on July 16, 2012 at 9:45 am with 6 Comments »
July 18, 2012 11:27 am

I was thrilled to receive the little blue postcard calling me to jury duty. In the 35 years I have lived in Pierce County, this was my first summons.

A recent tour of the County-City Building revealed calls to jury duty receive less than a 10 percent positive response. How can a democratic court system function without the support of its citizens?

Justice may be blind, but more Pierce County residents must open their eyes and say yes to this vital civic obligation and privilege.

Leave a comment Comments → 6
  1. Look at ideas that have worked other places.

    It is difficult for hourly workers to lose their pay for a week. Cut the time down. One day is plenty. In Houston, participation skyrocketed when service was one-half day. If you aren’t put on a jury, you go home.

    If the time of service isn’t cut dramatically, then look at paying minimum wage to jurists who have to stay longer or be on trials if their work does not continue to pay a salary. Managers, teachers, and other salaried workers would not need such pay, but if you want working clas people and not just retirees, then changes have to be made.

    Otherwise, we ned to realize that retirees, unemployed, managers and other white collar workers will be on the juries.

  2. cclngthr says:

    tuddo,

    Otherwise, we ned to realize that retirees, unemployed, managers and other white collar workers will be on the juries.

    Which some people would have a problem with, where they may be sympathetic to defendents and despite the law, people might get off easier.

  3. ccingthr, are you saying that blue collar workers can’t render fair judgments or that some people think they won’t and thus stack the jury system against them being on it?

  4. Ortingmom says:

    I just received a summons for Jury duty in the last few weeks. This is something I would love to do, however due to the fact that I can not afford to lose 1-2 weeks of pay, I will be unable to do what I feel is an important civic duty.

  5. fanciladi says:

    I used to serve on the jury whenever I got my summons. I enjoyed it! I wasn’t working and was able to serve. It was interesting and you got to meet new people and hear other ideas about things. I actually looked forward to receiving the summons! I will say that Civil cases can be a bit nasty…meaning some people can get in other’s faces…lol…but it works out! :)

    Sometimes life changes into a completely different situation. This is my case so I’ve had to stop serving in the jury. I was very disappointed but we have to play the cards we’re dealt. Perhaps things will change again and if they do, I would be very happy to serve again.

  6. gowenray says:

    I remember getting a jury summons shortly after my 21st birthday, and now (let’s just say a very long time afterwards) I’ve gotten another. In that period of time the allowance for travel has gone up but, I find the basic fee for service to still be $10 a day.
    I know it’s a civic duty and shouldn’t be about pay, but can you think of any other cost or compensation that has remained constant over several decades?

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