Complaints about jury duty and enforcement

Posted: Friday, September 07, 2007

This is regarding a man who was taken to jail for missing jury duty.

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First of all, having been a Juneau resident for several years, I can say that the call-in process to find out if you have jury duty is really dumb, for lack of a better word.

Every day you must call in after 4:30 p.m. and find out if you must appear the next day. Doesn't the court realize that people have lives? Having to remember to call in every evening is just not reasonable.

With everything else going on, the last thing people think about at 4:30 p.m. is calling the clerk's office and listen to a recording. Most people are thinking about getting home from work, taking their kids to whatever practice is that evening, what to cook for dinner, etc.

I'm sure there are other places around the country that have better ways of calling people for jury duty. Perhaps the courts in Juneau should take a tip from them.

Second, sending out the Alaska State Troopers to arrest someone for missing jury duty is even more ridiculous than the process of calling in. With all the other crimes in town, you'd think that efforts would be spent on finding violent criminals, drug dealers, thieves and arsonists.

Then again, I guess this would fall under the Juneau Police Department's jurisdiction, wouldn't it? So, if the troopers have so much time on their hands, why don't they help out the Juneau police in finding the real criminals and leave the people that make honest mistakes alone.

Leona Lear


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