A judge in Eau Claire County, Wisconsin ran out of potential candidates for jury duty, so he sent the sheriff to randomly pick up people off the street and force them into jury duty. And under Wisconsin law, it’s perfectly legal.
According to WBBH (Fort Myers), Eau Claire County Circuit Court Judge Michael Schumacher was presiding over a case – the specifics of what kind of case have not been made clear, as of this post – when the jury pool ran dry. He then had his clerk, Susan Schaffer, contact Sheriff Ron Cramer, to randomly pull people off the streets and impress them into jury duty.
Raw Story explains that sheriff’s deputies approached adults who appeared to be over 18 randomly on the streets, and asked them if they had any prior felony convictions. They were then told to write down some information, and drive themselves to the courthouse. Those who failed would be met with a deputy at their door to forcibly bring them to the courthouse.
Schaffer explains that forced jury roundups are rare, but necessary . . .
Although being randomly forced into jury duty sounds horrifying, it’s perfectly legal in Wisconsin. Under Wisconsin’s “Insufficient Jurors” statute – which is rarely invoked – judges have the right to dispatch the police to randomly impress people into jury duty. (Read more about what the Wisconsin judge did HERE)