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Chief Justice Proclaims Juror Appreciation Week May 3-7

Posted: Thursday, April 29, 2010

Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Eric J. Magnuson has proclaimed May 3-7 Juror Appreciation Week. The Judicial Branch will use this occasion to express appreciation for those Minnesotans who have answered the call to jury service.

"It is important for the judiciary to acknowledge the dedication of citizens who report for jury service and to recognize employers who support employee leave for jury service," said Chief Justice Magnuson.  "Minnesotans respond to jury summons at a consistently high rate and should be proud of their willingness to serve."

During the week, Hennepin County District Court in Minneapolis is planning to decorate the jury assembly room.  "Staff will also provide games pertaining to jury service and the courts, "I Served" pencils, and a special "fun fact" sheet for jurors," said Lynn Ladd, jury supervisor. "Jury staff will wear "Jurors Make It Work" buttons and the district administrator, the chief judge, or a representative from the bench will welcome all prospective jurors."

The right to a trial by jury is one of the core protections of individual freedom in American society. The Constitutions of the United States and the State of Minnesota guarantee defendants in criminal cases and litigants in civil cases the right to a trial by jury. As a prospective juror, participants have an opportunity to participate directly in a critical component of our democracy.

Each year, the Minnesota Judicial Branch obtains names from driver's license, state ID card, and voter registration lists and compiles that information into a composite source list.  From that list, individuals are then randomly selected by computer and mailed a summons to appear for jury duty.

A prospective juror must be a United States citizen, a resident of the county in which they are summoned, at least 18 years old, able to communicate in English, physically and mentally capable of serving, a person who has had their civil rights restored if they have been convicted of a felony, and a person who has not served as a state or federal juror in the past four years.