Chief Justice Proclaims Juror Appreciation Week May 4-8
Posted: Friday, May 1, 2009
Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Eric J. Magnuson has proclaimed May 4-8 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 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 have a different refreshment focus each day provided courtesy of court staff, games pertaining to jury service and the courts, a special "fun fact" sheet for jurors, and balloons decorating the jury assembly room," said Lynn Ladd, jury supervisor. "Jury staff will wear JURORS MAKE IT WORK buttons and we will ask all courtroom staff and judges with juries to make a special point of thanking their jurors for their service."
Ramsey County District Court will encourage jurors to read the Juror Week proclamation that will be hung in the juror assembly room beginning Monday. "We also will have a constitutional word search and constitutional word Sudoku puzzles for jurors to entertain themselves throughout the week," said Betsy Noel, Second Judicial District jury manager.
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.
More details about jury service in Minnesota