With roughly 1 million eligible people from which to choose in Fulton County, jury duty shouldn't be a problem.
But in Fulton County it is.
The reason: Too many people just don't show up.
Fulton County isn't alone, of course. A citizen skipping out on jury duty is a problem facing courts nationwide.
But in Fulton County, the rate of no-shows is roughly 50 percent.
The result, more frequent calls to attend jury duty — now every 18 months from every three years — to make up for the no-shows court officials have to factor into the mix. At that rate, court officials say they will have to decrease the grace period between jury duty summonses even more.
It explains Jury Summons Amnesty Month, a special program Fulton County Superior Court judges devised to give no-shows an opportunity to make good on their civic responsibility.
The month-long amnesty, which ends May 31, is part of the new Failure to Appear Initiative, which is designed to make citizens more responsive to juror summonses.
So any Fulton County resident who received a jury summons from the Superior Court of Fulton County but failed to respond can come to the Court and complete an Amnesty Affidavit to serve a future date.
The Amnesty Affidavit allows citizens to reschedule their service during May and is available via the:
Those who fail to reschedule and continue to ignore jury duty summonses risk fines of up to $500 and up to 20 days in jail.
East Atlanta Patch sat down recently with Superior Court Judge Kimberly M. Esmond Adams to talk about the program, the importance of responding to jury duty when called and the impact of no-shows on the justice system.
Please click on the video above to watch the Patch interview with Judge Esmond Adams.