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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

There's No Incentive to Improve Jury System

August 30, 2003

I'm 82. My eyes and hearing aren't as good as they used to be. Both knees need replacing. So today I reported for jury duty at 7:45 a.m., along with 61 other unlucky citizens. The elevators were out of order, so there were what seemed like a million stairs to climb. We all sat in a nondescript room till noon. We returned at 1:30 the next day for the remainder of this exciting procedure. If we do not return tomorrow I will be paid a total of 30 cents travel expense. (Jurors don't get paid the first day; that is probably why they'll draft a new group tomorrow.)

I feel that if jurors were paid $100 each day, some judge would quickly figure out a more efficient way for this process to work. When the laws work for the convenience of those who make them there is probably a better way available, but there is no incentive to try to improve them.

Herbert L. Wallerstein

Beverly Hills

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