When it comes to seating juries, desperate times call for desperate measures. Like arresting — and shackling — jury duty deadbeats, which is what’s done in D.C.
Out in Oregon, they conscript jurors from off the street:
A juror shortage forced a judge to look through a phone book before sending sheriff’s deputies out into the street to round up enough people for a trial.
Lane County Presiding Judge Mary Ann Bearden said an unusually large number of criminal trials combined with an equally unusual number of no-shows for jury duty forced her to invoke a little-used state law.
“I dealt with some angry people,” the judge said. “They didn’t think it was fair.”
Their anger is understandable. These folks were out for a nice morning stroll, on a sunny day in August. The next thing they knew, they were jurors on a sex abuse trial — for a man accused of
screwing the pooch aggravated animal abuse. And the defendant wasn’t even a federal judge.
Democracy: what a bitch.
Oregon judge tries dialing, rounding up jurors [AP via Seattle Times]