For those of you who dread receiving that jury duty summons, some bad news: Jury duty is getting harder to avoid. From USA Today:
No one keeps national figures on jury duty no-shows, but the American Judicature Society considers the problem an epidemic in some communities, especially large urban areas such as Miami, Houston and Atlanta, where no-show rates routinely top 50%, says David McCord, a society spokesman.
As a result, “communities are emphasizing the consequences of skipping jury duty.” Jury duty dodgers can be fined or even sentenced to jail, USA Today reports.
In Washington, even “celebrities” — “famous-for-DC” folks, the types of people who regularly get Wonk’d — must also discharge their civic obliations. We wrote a short piece about jury duty and high-profile D.C. residents for the current issue of Washingtonian magazine (on newsstands now). Here’s an excerpt:
Karl Rove and Ralph Nader don’t agree on much—but both believe in the importance of jury service, and both got to practice what they preach, reporting for duty to DC Superior Court.
Rove—no stranger to grand-jury proceedings—was summoned for DC jury duty in July. He was greeted by several in the jury pool who recognized him, among them former secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Rove and Albright chatted amiably.
Like Rove, Nader has reported for DC jury duty more than once. “The pool is so small,” he says, “I get called every two or three years. I’m never selected, even though I want to be.” His consolation prize? Treating himself to lunch at the courthouse cafeteria, which he says has “pretty good food.”
You can read the rest of the piece — which includes an interesting anecdote about how George Stephanopoulos got out of jury duty, and some sassy words from Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton — by clicking here.
(Shameless Plug: We’ve done a number of freelance pieces for print publications. Editors, please drop us a line if you might be interested in giving us an assignment.)
Jury Duty Is Getting Harder To Shirk [USA Today via How Appealing]
Who’s on the Jury? Not Nader or Rove [Washingtonian Magazine]