Jurors are a bedrock of the American justice system. Without them, criminal defendants and civil parties would not be granted their constitutional right to a trial by a jury of their peers.
It is with that that Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser joins Clerk of Circuit Court Rebecca Matoska-Mentink and the county’s judges in celebrating Juror Appreciation Month throughout September.
“To all of those who have taken the time to serve on a jury, whether it was this month or decades ago, thank you,” Kreuser said. “Being a juror isn’t a glamorous job and it’s not known for its high pay, but it is among the most important roles we can play as U.S. citizens.”
In Kenosha County, 6,350 residents were summoned as jurors in 2016, and a total of 53 jury trials were held. In order to be a juror, one must be 18 years of age or older, a U.S. citizen, able to understand English and be a resident of the county where a trial is to be held. People are selected for jury service at random from a source list using the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s database of people with driver’s licenses or state identification cards.
Kenosha County jury service is typically a one-week commitment and the average length of a trial is three days, though some trials may last longer than the one-week scheduled period. The vast majority of trials in Kenosha County are scheduled on Monday mornings to minimize the callback of jurors later in the week.
“Jurors are an indispensable part of our democracy,” said Jason Rossell, Branch 2 Kenosha County Circuit Court judge and chief judge of the state’s Second Judicial Administrative District. “Their participation in determining cases protects all of our rights. It is right to recognize the sacrifices jurors make in their lives to fulfill this important duty.”
The State of Wisconsin first declared September as Juror Appreciation Month in 2008. Jurors past and present continue to be honored across the state each year.
“I hope every person reporting for jury service knows that all members of our justice system appreciate their time and commitment,” Matoska-Mentink said. Making critical decisions affecting lives of others is difficult. These efforts are important, and we thank you.”
More information about jury service in Wisconsin is available online at https://www.wicourts.gov/services/juror/faqs.htm.