Jury Duty

I don’t mind the idea of jury duty. I’ve served whenever I’m in the US and I get summoned. Still it was a bummer to be summoned on my birthday and to have to go all the way out to Maywood. I didn’t even know Maywood was in Cook County. If you asked me where Maywood was before yesterday, I would have tentatively said, “South? South and a bit west?”

Now I know. It was a long drive and the courthouse is quite dilapidated compared to the others. I didn’t get called and would have done my best if I were, but I am happy that I don’t have to get myself down there for a long trial.

I will say it’s high time Cook County raised the money they give jurors. Since at least the 1980s it’s been $17.20. If you adjust for inflation, that $17.20 should now be $55.28. If you’re employed, the money isn’t an issue as most companies continue your pay. If you’re not employed, The amount most likely, doesn’t cover your transportation and lunch unless you live close to the courthouse or can use public transportation. This fee should be increased. In 2015 all the other counties in Illinois increased jury pay to $25 for the first day and $50 for each day thereafter. It’s not exactly what it should be, but I’d take it. Cook County has the most crime and perhaps the most civil cases. Still why should jurors be the only people who’s rate of compensation hasn’t changed at all? Other counties have worse transportation, i.e. no trains and fewer buses so jurors probably spend more on transportation. Still the fee should increase over the years.

Today they didn’t need any new jurors so after three hours at the courthouse, we all got to leave. I hope next time I’m called, I can go to the courthouse that’s just 20 minutes from me. I wonder if anyone who lives near Maywood was sent there today.

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