Dismal jury stats

The Herald reports:

People will find it harder to avoid jury service from today, and the Government is promising major changes to simplify the criminal justice system.

Under the new rules, if you get a jury summons and can’t make it, you will have to do jury service at a more convenient time within 12 months.

This seems very sensible. It removes the incentive to find an excuse not to do jury service, if it means a postponement only. But look at these dismal stats:

2008

* 358,865 summonsed.
* 221,032 excused.
* 81,372 failed to show.

So only around 15% of those summonsed make themselves available. Around 60% get excused and disgracefully over 2205 simply do not turn up.

I’m fairly rare – I’ve never been summonsed. But would never consider saying no, unless it really was at a time that was unmanageable.

Makes you wonder about the so called jury of your peers, when in fact it i the jury of 15% of your peers.

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