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February 12, 2014 | By Michael Muskal
Jurors on Wednesday received the murder case of Michael Dunn, the Florida man accused of shooting an unarmed black teenager during a dispute over loudly played music. The sequestered jury began its work by choosing a foreperson before beginning to consider the case. In the prosecution's closing argument Wednesday, Assistant State Atty. Erin Wolfson told jurors that Jordan Davis, 17, was unarmed when Dunn, 47, fired 10 shots at an SUV in which Davis was sitting. Wolfson said no witnesses saw any of the four teenagers in the vehicle with a weapon and that police searches turned up none.
January 22, 2013 | By Corina Knoll, Los Angeles Times
A lingering venom spilled out on questionnaires given to potential jurors for the trial of six former Bell city leaders charged with raiding the treasury in the small, working-class town. "My mind is made up, I can't be impartial. I'm disgusted by the behavior," wrote one juror, who was excused Tuesday by a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge. Another potential juror described being "riveted and repulsed by the greed and audacity" and had a "negative description of the case from news reporting.
January 31, 2012 | Staff and wire reports
Prosecutors in the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse case asked Tuesday to have jurors brought in from another Pennsylvania county, a day after disclosing in court records they would tell the former Penn State assistant coach the names of his 10 alleged victims. The attorney general's office argued in a court motion that pretrial publicity and Penn State's prominent role in its local community mean Sandusky's criminal trial warrant the use of jurors from outside the State College area.
February 10, 1991
There is a fundamental reason why jurors are poorly treated (Times, Feb. 3): They are inexpensive! Jurors get paid just $5 per day. The main problem with such low pay is that it devalues jurors' time and dignity. It encourages the court to treat jurors shabbily, like a low-value commodity. A lawyer makes more in an hour than a jury of 12 people makes in a day. Years ago, when jurors were paid $10 a day (probably equivalent to $25 today), the entire system seemed to move faster.
June 22, 2012 | By Michael Muskal
Jurors in the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse trial resumed their deliberations  on Friday after listening to testimony from one of the prosecution's star witnesses -- and a defense witness who told of slightly different details. The jury of seven women and five men entered the courtroom in Bellefonte, Pa., just before 9 a.m.  local time to start their second day of deliberations in the case against Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant football coach. Jurors worked more than eight hours on Thursday.
May 2, 2013 | By Ted Rall
Legislation approved by the Assembly would make California the first state to allow noncitizens to serve on juries. Naturally, the courts would have to make certain adjustments. ALSO: The power of jury duty Photo gallery: Ted Rall cartoons Kenny Smith schools Chris Broussard on inclusiveness Follow Ted Rall on Twitter @TedRall
November 4, 2011 | By Harriet Ryan and Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times
It was the promise of a big celebrity trial with its alluring mix of Hollywood and death that ringed a downtown courthouse with camera crews. Citizens rose before dark for seats in the packed courtroom, where they heard intimate details of Michael Jackson's death, even viewing a photo of his body, laid out on a gurney in a hospital hallway. When the prosecutor and a defense attorney rose for their closing arguments Thursday, they dealt with that celebrity in starkly different ways.
December 20, 1986
On Dec. 11 I received a jury summons to appear for jury duty on Dec. 22. I cannot understand why prospective jurors are being contacted only 10 days before they are required to serve. The policy is totally uncalled for and disrespectful of others' personal lives. It is an even greater violation when that notice arrives just before the holidays. It places an added burden on employers who have staffs at bare minimum to allow for vacations. I think it is a reflection of poor planning/management that the need for jurors cannot be anticipated more in advance so that prospective jurors and their employers could be given a month to two months notice.
July 17, 2013 | By Matt Pearce
How do you guarantee a fair jury for one of the most talked-about criminal trials in the country? You lock 'em up, of course. The six female jurors chosen to decide whether George Zimmerman would go free or head to prison spent 22 nights in plush detention as they weighed his case -- squirreled away from the public and sequestered in a hotel by deputies so they wouldn't be tainted by media coverage and loose talk of the case. And according to new details released by the Seminole County Sheriff's Office, that bit of judicial precaution didn't come cheap: It cost $33,000 to feed, house and entertain the six jurors when they weren't in the county courthouse.
December 8, 1998
On Dec. 2, I received a jury summons to the Santa Monica court-house for today. I will go and sit in the courthouse, waiting for the unlikely chance that I will be called. I will not be going because of the widely advertised fines; I will not be going because of the legal threats that the court can impose; the $5-per-day compensation will not affect my decision. I will be going because I respect the principle of trial by jury. Why then, can't the court offer more respect to me as a juror?
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