Jury Reform Ideas Beginning To Surface

With budget cutbacks and the threat of lawsuits over reduced justice access, you can guess that “court reform” is gathering steam as a key California issue. As part of that, you can add jury reform. Some ideas, and even proposed legislative action, are part of a Rosemary Jenkins column in CityWatch that very likely outlines the left-leaning view of future jury policy.

Jenkins, a regular CityWatch contributor who is also noted as chair of the Northeast Valley Green Coalition, spices up her policy observations with some first-person tales of jury duty. Her experience has the sound of truth, but it’s not exactly reassuring. She makes a case for non-citizens to serve on juries and calls for a new state law that will focus on “a jury of our peers” meaning more than just “those who did not evade jury duty.”

Of course, she is mostly dealing with criminal cases, not civil. But the jury pool overall is going to become an increasingly over-worked resource as more trials are held in centralized locations that require both seated and prospective jury members to travel longer distances. Read the ideas here.