I was called for jury duty at the West Palm Beach Courthouse recently and ran into a snafu. I spoke with my supervisor and they said that they would pay for up to 5 days of jury duty. I read the paper that was delivered to me and it stated that they pay $30/day (after the third day) and $15/day for the first 3 days. This led me to wonder…
The only people able to serve on jury duty for lengthy trials are these types:
1) People who work for companies that will accomodate. Does this exist?
2) Elderly or retired people. Are these your peers?
4) Crackheads who need $30 for their next fix.
I would say the majority of people would fall into the second or third categories. People who are wealthy or high profile would be able to get out of jury duty. Crackheads wouldn’t show up.
I had to check the box that says “not asking for compensation” because my job would pay me something. After the 5 days, my bills would start to suffer, and if the trial dragged on, and no one paid my bills, would I have to declare bankruptcy? Would it be automatic acceptance because I was forced? And why am I forced to serve on the jury? I am sure there are plenty of people who would volunteer. I would not want a juror who was already bitter or who just wanted to get it overwith because their job wouldn’t pay-someone worried about their bills.
I am sure there is another side to this. Maybe they don’t want people to drag a trial out to make money. If you have a job and are forced to be on a jury, they should pay you whatever your wages are at work for days spent there.
Luckily, through all this, I wasn’t even called back to be picked. So, this is not complaining for me, but for the other people in my situation.