GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Officials are pleading with the public to “show up for jury duty” in Greenville County.
According to the Greenville County Solicitor’s Office, 150 jurors are summoned for two trials however only 46 to 50 jurors show up.
The issue comes when the state and the defense get to choose or slash a juror, leaving just enough jurors for one trial.
As a result, three major trials have been continued because there were not enough jurors to serve.
Greenville County Solicitor Walt Wilkins said the county is about 88% through a backlog of cases caused by the slowdown of COVID-19.
However, there are a few cases that are three years old.
“I can’t do my job. These guys can’t complete their job without the public’s help,” Solicitor Wilkins said. “They say serving as a juror is one of the most patriotic things you can do for your country in peacetime, and I agree with that.”
“Our criminal justice system is an adversarial system, and it cannot be completed without jurors,” Wilkins said. “They are the triers of fact. They determine what the facts are for our communities, for everybody, for you and me and without them we cannot do our job.”
Sheriff Hobart Lewis said if you do not show up for jury duty the circuit court judge has the authority for law enforcement to find you and bring you to court.
Once in court, you will stand before the judge and tell why you did not appear for jury duty.
Wilkins said you could be fined $100 for not appearing.
“Please come and serve for jury service so we can get justice for those who deserve it,” Solicitor Wilkins said.