Increase in Juror Pay Raise
Oct. 31, 2022
Chief Justice Robert M. Brutinel of the Arizona Supreme Court talks about the increase in juror pay that went into effect September 24th, 2022.
The new bipartisan budget that was passed in 2022 legislative session included 1.62 million to pay jurors who was summoned and selected to serve on a jury. Jurors will be eligible for reimbursement of lost wages for amounts between $40 and $300 per day.
Previously, jurors were paid $12 per day unless the trial exceeded five days, activating additional pay from the Lengthy Trial Fund. The payment of $12 per day has been in effect for roughly 50 years.
What caused a change in juror pay?
“Originally we started taking a look from a racial justice viewpoint to try to figure out whether or not we were actually getting a fair section of jurors. What we discovered is that the primary barrier for people being able to serve on jurors was social economic factors,” said Brutinel.
“A lot of people working for big corporations in the state of Arizona, those corporations are civic minded, they’ll reimburse people for serving on the jury, but for a lot of other people that’s not the case,” he further explained.
He further mentioned that there was a committee involved that suggested something be done to make jury service better for its citizens, and one of the many things they suggested was addressing the pay and equity.
How do we get people to want to serve on a jury?
“This is one big way to change it, to make it affordable to serve, and if you’re retired you’ll get the $40 a day now, if you’re not employed you can still get that $40,” Brutinel said.
He also mentioned that there are changes being made in which the chances of you being called to serve and actually serve will be more likely, to avoid having people come in to wait all day and then be told they can leave.
Overall, these changes will help make serving on the jury more efficient and a better experience.
“Voting and service on the jury is the two context that most people are ever going to have with their government, so I think it’s tremendously important for people to get to exercise that constitutional right,” Brutinel said.