No-show Gladstone jurors face jail term

SEVENTEEN Gladstone residents called for jury duty are now facing the law themselves after failing to show up at Gladstone District Court sittings.

Judge Paul Smith on Monday ordered the absent jurors to explain themselves before the court on Thursday, or risk penalties of two months imprisonment or a sizable fine.

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When 14 potential jurors were absent on Friday, it significantly disrupted court proceedings because as an empanelled juror declared he was unable to be impartial, meaning the remaining 11 jurors were dismissed.

That put back proceedings at Gladstone District Court by at least one day. On Monday, three more failed to show.

While the Queensland Attorney-General's department said it was unable to reach a figure for losses incurred as a result, it was expected to have cost the state thousands of dollars in lost revenue.

It follows a week of similar complacency in Rockhampton District Court earlier this month, where five summonsed jurors were fined $100 after their failure to appear.

JURY SELECTION:

  • A computer selects people aged between 18-70 at random from the electoral roll.

In Queensland you may be excused from jury duty if you can prove that you:

  • Cannot get the time off work, college or university;
  • Are too ill or injured to attend;
  • Have personal or carer commitments which cannot be re-arranged;
  • Have financial problems.


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