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Letting non-citizens serve on juries: How can you oppose it?

April 26, 2013|By Robin Abcarian

Having served on my share of juries, including a six-week  legal malpractice trial over a Malibu real estate deal gone south that gives me a headache just to think about, I think the push to allow non-citizens to serve on California juries is kind of a genius move.

Is anyone excited to get a jury summons?

No, of course not. Like paying taxes and voting for the mayor of Los Angeles, it’s one of the drudgeries that make our system great.

So why not make those want to partake of our country’s way of life suffer like the rest of us. Let’s make them endure the tedious obligation that is jury duty in most California counties. Misery loves company.

This week, the California Assembly became the first legislative body in the nation to approve a bill allowing non-citizens who are legal residents to join the jury pool. Like any citizen called for duty, they would have to be language proficient, 18 or older and residents of the county in which they are called. As The Times' Christopher Megerian reported, the bill "has two goals ... helping immigrants integrate into American society and ensuring there are enough eligible people to serve on juries."

The bill, introduced by Democratic Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski of Fremont, passed 45-25 and now heads to the California Senate.

Who in their right mind could oppose this bill?

Email: robin.abcarian@latimes.com

Twitter: @robinabcarian

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