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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have come since Indiana altered its jury pool list last year to include more than voter-registration records full of outdated addresses, but about 52 percent failed to show up on assigned days, court figures show.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. Major social engineering imposed by judicial order well in advance of democratic change, has been the story of the whole post ww2 period. Contraception, desegregation, abortion, gay marriage: all rammed down the throats of Americans who didn't vote to change existing laws on any such thing, by the unelected lifetime tenure Supreme court heirarchs. Maybe people came to accept those things once imposed upon them, but, that's accommodation not acceptance; and surely not democracy. So let's quit lying to the kids telling them this is a democracy. Some sort of oligarchy, but no democracy that's for sure, and it never was. A bourgeois republic from day one.

  2. JD Massur, yes, brings to mind a similar stand at a Texas Mission in 1836. Or Vladivostok in 1918. As you seemingly gloat, to the victors go the spoils ... let the looting begin, right?

  3. I always wondered why high fence deer hunting was frowned upon? I guess you need to keep the population steady. If you don't, no one can enjoy hunting! Thanks for the post! Fence

  4. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  5. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

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