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Marion County still battling juror no-shows

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Half of jurors called to serve in Marion County are failing to appear.

Local judges are talking about it and changing policy to give no-show jurors a second chance to show up if they've ignored one summons, and from there implementing potential penalties ranging from fees to community service.

Improvements have come since Indiana altered its jury pool list last year to include more than voter-registration records full of outdated addresses, but about 52 percent failed to show up on assigned days, court figures show.

To help aid in curbing this low turnout, a separate fundraising campaign is under way to increase public awareness about jury duty and boost the turnout.

Law firms and bar associations are contributing money - about $21,500 so far, according to Beverly Phillips, a consultant for the court heading the initiative. Letters were sent in May to about 20 major law firms asking for support, including Barnes & Thornburg, Krieg DeVault, and Bingham McHale.

Those letters note that firms and businesses are being asked to donate $5,000 to help underwrite the public education effort, which will include billboards and outreach to the minority community to help dispel myths associated with jury duty such as citizens can be fired by employers for missing work to respond to a jury summons.

Marion Superior Court officials are also considering whether to ask the Indiana Supreme Court for grant money to aid in the effort. The court's four-judge Executive Committee discussed the idea this morning, but did not make any decisions. More discussion is planned this month.
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  1. Hello currently just withdrew from laporte county drug court and now I have lost the woman I love which also was in drugcourt and was put in jail without a,lawyer presentfor her own safety according to the judge and they told her she could have a hearing in two weeks and now going on 30days and still in jail no court date and her public defender talks like he,s bout to just sell her up the river.

  2. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  3. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  4. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  5. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

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