Larsen should have explored "financial hardship" more thoroughly. In Ventura County, this excuse has a new significance because the county no longer pays prospective jurors unless they are sworn and begin hearing a case. As part of the jury pool, you are not paid for appearing at the jurors' orientation, for sitting in a courtroom during jury selection, or even for being examined by attorneys in the jury box--unless you are sworn and the case actually begins.
Because of this situation, asserting a financial hardship has become very easy. The result is that many residents can escape jury duty, impairing the right to trial by jury.
DAVID E. ROSS