Students Avoid Jury Duty in Centre County
A debate as to whether Penn State students should have to serve jury duty has surfaced in the months following the Presidential Election. Efforts by the Obama campaign led to the registration of thousands of student voters in Centre County during the months preceding the election.
Ruth Luse (County Jury Commissioner) and her office pull juror candidates from a list of licensed drivers as well as registered voters. According to Luse, students that are registered voters in the county often claim that they are not residents of Centre County when they are called for jury duty.
According to Constitutional law, a defendant must be tried by a jury of their peers. If students don’t serve jury duty, the concern is that a student defendant may not have a fair trial. Students that dodge jury duty often check a box on their summons form that says they are not a resident of Centre County.
Jon Eich explains that because students have the right to vote in Centre County, they must also assume responsibility for jury duty. Eich, who serves as the county’s chairman of the Board of Commissioners goes on to say that court administration should not permit registered student voters to skip out on jury duty.
What do you think? Should students registered to vote in Centre County have to serve jury duty?