The New Year Opens with Opportunities for Ex-felons to Serve on California Juries

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The New Year Opens with Opportunities for Ex-felons to Serve on California Juries

Voices from both prosecutor and public defender offices are supporting the repeal (effective January 1) of the traditional exclusion of ex-felons from jury service.  District Attorney Chesa Boudin says the new law is a “significant step” toward ending racial disparities in the criminal justice system.

Georgia Attorney Creates Mock Jury Trial Courtroom in His Office

The Augusta Chronicle features a story about how veteran trial attorney Leland Malchow has built a mock jury trial courtroom in his law office. The piece contains a photo showing the “courtroom” walls even contain the state seals of Georgia and South Carolina.

Jury Selection in Harvey Weinstein Case Set to Begin on Monday, January 6

Jury selection in the high-profile case will likely last about two weeks.  Gabriella Borters at Reuters opines, “Selecting impartial jurors to decide the fate of a celebrity whose alleged abuse fueled the #MeToo movement presents unique challenges, experts said, as potential jurors may try to mask their bias to advance a larger cause.”

Is It Proper to Allow Jurors to Visit a Passenger Train Murder Scene?

In a pretrial conference, prosecutors in Portland, Oregon sought a judge’s permission for jurors to visit the train car where a fatal stabbing occurred.   Defense counsel argued that photos, video tapes, and witness testimony are sufficient evidence and added that "having jurors on the train car does invite reactions and emotions."   Multnomah Circuit Judge Cheryl Albrecht is expected to rule on the matter before the January 21 trial date.

Want to Be a Civil Grand Juror? San Bernardino County Is Soliciting Applicants

The Sun newspaper reports that the county wants to seat a new civil grand jury in 2020 to investigate complaints of government employee malfeasance.  Applicants must be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen, and a county resident for at least one year. Elected officials are not eligible.  Grand jurors work an average of three to five full working days per week, at $60 per day, with mileage.