New rule will spread jury service among more Utahns

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  • CougarBlue Heber City, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 4:15 p.m.

    Summon to appear 4 times in California, but never served. It was a fiasco and kept me laughing all the times I was summoned and what went on while the lawyers questioned possible jurors and Judges asking questions. Laughable most of the time. Once when I was called as a witness it was beyond belief how the courts were clueless and were not even aware I was called and then postponed several times and finally called back to court for the courts to discover the accused had plead guilty before the first trial even took place, 6 months before. Another time the judge would not allow the lawyers to question jurors. He had 12 of us sit in the jurors box, then asked the first person the questions. If any of us in the box or courtroom would answer differently than that person we had to tell him why. The lawyers were allowed to accept or reject. I was excused from all 4 juries.

  • rvalens2 Burley, ID
    Dec. 29, 2013 3:59 p.m.

    "But *why* were some people never being called? - srw

    It's called the luck of the draw. It's similar to how some people have managed to win the lottery multiple times, but others never win.

    "How does this legislation make it possible to call those people now?" - srv

    Because of this new law, those people who have complied with their summons will have their names removed from the list for a period of two years. That, in turn, reduces the number of people in the pool, increasing the odds that those who have not been called upon to serve in the past, now will be.

  • Orem Parent Orem, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 3:09 p.m.

    I just got my first ever letter for jury duty. I've lived here for over 24 years now.

  • owlmaster2 Kaysville, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 3:02 p.m.

    I'm a senior citizen, lived in Utah all of my life and have never, not once had or been called for jury duty.

  • Shamal Happy Valley, UT
    Dec. 29, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    Totally agree. Before you were given a 6 month window during which they could summon you as many times as needed as long as they canceled the night before. Each one comes with a gentle reminder that they can haul you in before the judge if you don't show.

    I cut a family vacation short and canceled plane tickets to comply with a summons for a trial that was canceled the night before. I later got a summons for the same trial rescheduled during my next planned vacation.
    I called the clerk to say that I was happy to serve on an earlier or later court date, but that I had complied with the first summons and the date of the second would not work.
    I was told that we all have conflicts and reminded the legal implications of not showing.
    All 25 jurors showed up for their 2nd summons at 8am for a trial that started at 1pm needing only 4 jurors and rested at 11pm. The verdict took 20 minutes.
    These Judges have a critical job to do, but occasionally need to be reminded who they work for. Intimidation is unacceptable.

  • srw Riverton, UT
    Dec. 28, 2013 10:26 p.m.

    "The effect of this bill will likely be that jury duty will be spread out for multiple people," Hall said. "I've heard stories of people getting called over and over again and some people never being called for jury duty. (With this) more will be given the opportunity."

    I am happy about this change. But *why* were some people never being called? How does this legislation make it possible to call those people now?