The Pierce County Council has designated the week of May 19-23 as “Juror Appreciation Week.”
Resolution 2014-55, unanimously approved on Tuesday, May 13, points to the right to trial by a jury of one’s peers as an important and unique part of the American system of justice and a cornerstone of government. Furthermore, it recognizes the vital role played by citizens who take time away from their families and jobs to serve as jurors.
“Ninety-five percent of all the jury trials in the world happen in the United States because the jury system is embedded in our culture,” said Superior Court Presiding Judge Ronald Culpepper, who spoke at today’s council meeting. “The system wouldn’t work without the tens of thousands of people each year who serve for ten dollars a day.”
The council encouraged county residents to fulfill their fundamental civic responsibility by responding positively when summoned for jury duty. Council members have also been invited to speak to potential jurors during next week’s proceedings.
Councilmember Connie Ladenburg, who represents the 4th Council District, read the resolution aloud and shared a personal story about her experience.
“Six months after my husband was elected prosecutor I received a jury summons in the mail. I was excited about it but didn’t expect to be chosen. In fact, the presiding judge saw me walk into the jury box and before I could even sit down he jokingly told me I was excused,” Ladenburg said. “But I was eventually picked to serve on a jury, and it was truly a valuable experience. I highly recommend that anyone who receives the blue slip in the mail fulfill their civic duty and participate.”
In honor of Juror Appreciation Week, Jury Coordinator Connie Janiga says staff will be provide cake, cookies and even nachos for jurors throughout the week.