Jury duty absences cost West Virginia county

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (AP) – County officials in West Virginia have expressed concern over what they say is the persistent problem of ignored jury summons.

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel reports that Wood County Prosecutor Pat Lefebure says the phenomenon of shirking jury duty seems to have intensified over the past few years, with absences costing the county.

Lefebure says three people failed to show for a special grand jury session the county recently held, resulting in its cancellation. The county had to pay the jurors who showed, as well as overtime for 15 officers subpoenaed to testify.

He also says an average of five of the 35-40 people called for a felony jury trial do not appear.

Failure to appear can carry a civil penalty and fine of up to $1,000.

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