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Jury Pools Could Be Expanded

Jury Pools Could Be Expanded

It’s a civic duty, but it’s one that many of us try to get out of.

We’re talking about jury duty. Some are trying to make the pool of prospective jurors larger. And if the experiment works, we might see an attempt to do it in Texas, too.

The idea is to allow legal immigrants who are not US citizens the right to sit on a jury. Immigration attorney Gordon Quan has his reservations.

“I want to make sure we have jurors who understand the case being presented to them,” Quan told KTRH. “If they don’t have language ability then it’s going to make it hard for lawyers to explain the case.”

But KTRH Legal Analyst Chris Tritico thinks it is an idea worth exploring.

“I don’t think someone who is a permanent resident, who isn’t planning on going anywhere, should be excluded from jury service because of their national origin,” Tritico explained to KTRH.

The idea is being tried in California, where a bill passed about one month ago. But will it happen here in Texas? Tritico says supporters of this idea shouldn’t hold their breath.

“In Texas, with the political makeup the way it is, it is highly unlikely a bill like this would even get a committee hearing,” Tritico said.

But Quan says that doesn’t mean some lawmaker would test the waters with it.

“I wouldn’t doubt that would be introduced in Texas if it proves successful in California.

 

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