Wisconsin deputies snatch residents off streets for jury duty after judge invokes obscure law
Sheriff’s deputies in Wisconsin plucked random residents off the streets last week after a judge ran out of potential jurors.
Eau Claire County Circuit Court Judge Michael Schumacher ordered more jurors under the state’s “insufficient jurors” law Thursday after he was unable to seat a jury for a trial, reported WEAU-TV.
The clerk of courts contacted Sheriff Ron Cramer, who dispatched his deputies to approach random passers-by to ask if they were a resident of the county who was at least 18 years old and did not have a prior felony conviction.
Anyone who was approached was asked to write down their personal information and drive themselves to the courthouse.
If they did not comply, deputies were ordered to bring them to the courthouse.
Susan Schaffer, the clerk of courts, said the statute is rarely invoked.
Cramer, the sheriff, said the statute coincidentally came up earlier in the week during a meeting, but he didn’t expect to enforce it.
“We did talk about cases like this where a number of people have to go out and get people summoned to the jury,” he said.
The judge ended up delaying the trial after he determined that the jury pool, even after residents were summoned by deputies, were insufficient.
Watch this video report posted online by WEAU-TV: