Bet­ter to be on a jury than in front of one

The Observer - - NEWS -

GLAD­STONE’S Court reg­is­trar Frank Daly said most peo­ple say their jury duty is a very pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence.

“I can’t re­call the last time some­one com­plained to me about be­ing on a jury,” he said.

The ques­tion Mr Daly is most of­ten asked is why some peo­ple ap­pear to be se­lected more than oth­ers.

“Of the 52,000 peo­ple on the Glad­stone elec­toral role, there are 26,500 avail­able for jury duty,” he said.

“They are se­lected at ran­dom from a com­puter in Bris­bane.

“I’ve had two no­tices this year my­self af­ter 20 years with­out a no­tice.”

There are about seven jury sit­tings a year in Glad­stone for two weeks each.

“To get a panel we send out 700 no­tices,” Mr Daly said.

“We usu­ally get about 10 per cent or 70 peo­ple from that.

“Out of the 70 we’ll get eight or 10 peo­ple ring in sick or can’t serve be­cause their cir­cum­stances might have changed.

“We are flex­i­ble about who we choose, some peo­ple have con­sci­en­tious ob­jec­tions or re­li­gious be­liefs.

“The dis­tance peo­ple have to travel is also taken into con­sid­er­a­tion.

“If they have good grounds we’ll give them an ex­cusal.”

Even though you’ve been se­lected for jury duty you don’t au­to­mat­i­cally get to serve on a jury.

“In the end it comes down to the pros­e­cu­tion and de­fence lawyers as to who gets cho­sen to serve on the jury,” Mr Daly said.

Photo: Mike Richards GLA101018CORT

WE THE JURY: Jurors’ seats in Court 3 at the Glad­stone Court­house.

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