Commissioners’ proclamation expresses gratitude for service
By Kathleen Brady Shea, Managing Editor, The Times
County residents who happened to have jury duty Monday got refreshments and a personal expression of gratitude, but county officials want to extend thanks to those called to service throughout the year – a number that exceeded 33,000 last year.
The occasion was Juror Appreciation Week, and the county commissioners issued a proclamation highlighting the “jury of one’s peers” as a “cornerstone of American jurisprudence and one of the principal means by which our citizens take part in the public life of this nation.”
During a brief ceremony attended by several members of the judiciary, Chester County President Judge James P. MacElree II read the statement to the citizens in this week’s jury pool on Monday morning at the Chester County Justice Center in West Chester.
“The jury system gives equal weight to diverse voices – the system works because everyone on the jury has an equal voice regardless of who thy are and what they do; and the success of our jury system depends on the participation of every citizen who is called to serve,” the proclamation said.
Roberta S. Webb, the county’s chief deputy court administrator, said of the 33,299 prospective jurors called for service last year, the majority received postponements or were excused, resulting in 5,538 who reported for duty. More than 4,000 went through the jury selection process, and 1,125 were sworn in as jurors in 52 criminal trials and 38 civil trials, Webb said.
Webb said the commissioners’ proclamation will be read to all of the jurors who report for duty this week. And for citizens who are asked to interrupt their busy schedules to serve as jurors later this year, the county wants you to know your efforts are appreciated.