A readers opinion on how Jury Pay could be improved:
“I recently read your article about the lack of pay for jury duty and how that has the potential (I’d say certainty) of making it so poor and working class people are at a serious disadvantage – both when it comes to serving the community and the justice system as well as for defendants who rely on being judged by a jury of their peers. I was recently on jury duty myself and so thankful that my employer compensated me for my time.”
“That however has not always been the case and I know in past jobs and many of my friends current employment, jury duty is a major economic hit. I was recently thinking about the very question of how to do equitable pay (since wages are all over the place in terms of jurors) and I realized that there could be an elegant solution (at least for those in some states): unemployment eligibility. For many states, the wage rate of individuals is already baked into the rate unemployment will pay and (at least in some states) there is a waiting period prior to eligibility of a week. This would mean that unless a person was already on or had accessed unemployment that the first week of jury duty would be unpaid. For longer trials, there would be compensation and for those who were already at the very low end of income (i.e. had already been on unemployment during that year), they would be immediately eligible.”
“Anyway, I’ve been rolling around this idea for a week or so and then read your article. So I wanted to reach out to find out if you have heard of any states doing this or any citizens trying to get something like this on the ballot. I live in Oregon by the way so that is where I would be looking to try and get a change like this enacted.”
“Let me know your thoughts if you the time – appreciate it!”
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