Will the Zimmerman verdict inspire prospective jurors?

A USA Today article takes up that question today. One excerpt:

“When we are called (for jury duty), we must answer,” Malia Cohen, who represents southeast San Francisco on the Board of Supervisors, said during a rally outside San Francisco City Hall on Tuesday evening.

The fun fact here is that, well, yes, one must answer the summons. By law. That a member of the Board of Supervisors feels inspired to serve is good, but the legal obligation merits note.

A reporter for a California paper called me yesterday and noted that fewer than 50% of the people called in his county were answering their summons. To him, that sounded low. From what I have read, it’s not a bad yield to get 40% of your summoned jurors to respond. If the Zimmerman verdict boosts that figure, all the better for the representativeness of the jury pool. Given that jury service inspires greater civic participation afterward, that boost in response may yield a civic bump, as well.

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About jgastil

John Gastil is Head and Professor in the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences at The Pennsylvania State University, where he specializes in political deliberation and group decision making.
This entry was posted in Public/media views of juries, Social/political impact of juries, Summoning juries. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Will the Zimmerman verdict inspire prospective jurors?

  1. Pingback: Gastil on the Effect of the Zimmerman Verdict on Future Jurors | Legal Informatics Blog

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