Share “Oklahoma City residents excused from jury...”

Oklahoma City residents excused from jury duty for many reasons

About 400 Oklahoma County residents file into the courthouse on 21 Mondays a year to begin the jury selection process. In the latest session, District Judge Bryan Dixon did not refuse any juror asking to be excused from jury duty or rescheduling requests.
by Matt Dinger Modified: November 3, 2013 at 10:00 pm •  Published: November 3, 2013
Advertisement

Morris Triggs, Kevin Dodd and the Rev. Sandy Waltman won't be serving on Oklahoma County juries this week.

The Friday before a jury trial week, the courthouse's chief district judge for the month hears excuses from potential jurors.

In the latest session, District Judge Bryan Dixon did not refuse any juror asking to be excused from jury duty or rescheduling requests.

“I was able to be very lenient today because I had the luxury of knowing that there's not a tremendous need for jurors next week,” Dixon said Friday. “You've just got to use common sense down there.

“What we'll be left with are some good people who come down on Monday and do a great job.”

Triggs, 68, of Oklahoma City, is scheduled to have stents placed in his heart Monday. It's not the kind of surgery he wants to postpone.

“Before I got this letter, I was already scheduled,” Triggs said.

“I wasn't looking forward to it. I haven't served before, but I would if I had to, I would.”

Triggs was excused, as was Dodd, 19, who will be attending classes at the K-12 Charter School in the Choctaw-Nicoma Park district.

“I wasn't going to be able to do it because of schooling,” Dodd said. “It was pretty simple, but it took forever.”

But Waltman, of Edmond, will return in February in order to fulfill her jury service.

“I'm a pastor of a church, and I'm going out of town,” she said.

Waltman, who heads the Lion's Den Ministries, said the upcoming holidays are a busy time for her at work.

“I asked to be rescheduled because I don't mind serving,” Waltman said.

Potential jurors are selected from driver's license records gleaned from the Department of Public Safety. For the past 17 years, an automated system creates a list of those to be summoned in what's called the jury wheel.

That process allows for potential jurors to be given individual bar codes, which expedites the process of taking roll and seating jurors to hear cases.

About 400 Oklahoma County residents file into the courthouse 21 Mondays a year to begin the jury selection process.

Jury trials are not held in July or August.

But of the more than 120,000 charges brought forth each year in Oklahoma County, less than 1 percent of them go to trial, Court Clerk Tim Rhodes said.

“It's an exception for a case to go to a jury,” he said.

People are excused from jury service for many reasons, including nonrefundable travel tickets, care of elderly dependents and new jobs.

“In a bad economy, you've got a lot of people who have just gotten work and you don't want to take them from their new job,” Dixon said.

Continue reading this story on the...

by Matt Dinger
Court Reporter
Matt Dinger was born and raised in Oklahoma City. He has worked in OPUBCO's News and Information Center since 2006, and has been assigned to the breaking news desk since its formation in fall 2008. He specializes in crime and police reporting.
+ show more


Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Baylor promotes Kendal Briles to offensive coordinator
  2. 2
    Risks in Using Social Media to Spot Signs of Mental Distress
  3. 3
    Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
  4. 4
    OU football: Defensive tackle Matt Romar injured at practice
  5. 5
    Police: Cartel claims they have kidnapped Border Patrol agent
+ show more