Fred Clark

Jury Duty for the unemployed

Andrew Sullivan

Jury duty is a hassle. Most people I know avoid it like cancer, dreaming up all sorts of excuses. It may be better if we could get the unemployed, particularly white collar workers currently unemployed to do jury duty for us.

It is not a silly idea you know, Fred Clark thinks giving the unemployed preference for jury duty has some merit.

First, it reduces the frequency of jury duty for those with employment. They’d still be called to serve, but less often, thus reducing the total level of inconvenience and hassle due to missing days at work. And it would channel more of those tiny, inadequate stipends to unemployed people who could use even such trivial sums.

His vision doesn’t end there:

I want to repurpose all that mostly wasted time prospective jurors now spend sitting around and waiting and put it to use trying to find jobs for jurors. The idea is to turn jury duty into an ongoing job fair, to turn the waiting room for prospective jurors into an employment office. Job-seekers called for jury duty wouldn’t just bring a good book to read, they’d bring their résumés. The time now mostly squandered sitting around would instead be used to try to connect the unemployed with potential employers.

Now that is some thinking going on there. Discuss.