SPARTANBURG, S.C (WSPA) – A South Carolina senator wants to raise the age that someone can get out of going to jury duty.
In the state of South Carolina the exemption age is 65 or older, but Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey wants to increase the age to 75 or older.
“I want to make sure that there are enough people serving but all people with different various backgrounds. We need to have some diversity, you need to have good life experiences, and you’re going to get better jurors overall. ” said Massey.
If the bill passes, this would mean anybody under the age of 75 cannot request exemption solely based on their age.
But according to Spartanburg County Clerk of Court Amy Cox people with medical conditions or anything that may from attending can still request exemption. In fact, there’s a long list of exemptions but it’s up to the discretion of the Judge to decide whether to grant or deny.
“You can bring a doctor’s excuse and show it to the court and that’s in the judge’s discretion as to whether or not you have to serve at that point” said Cox.
While juror pools have seen low numbers of people 65 and older it is more about the need for knowledge, those who have really experienced life.
According to Massey, this bill would benefit rural counties with low populations of non-exempt younger people, and high amounts of age exempt elderly residents.
Senator Massey pre-filed this bill in December 2019 and it is currently awaiting a hearing.
For more information on this bill and to follow it’s progress, please visit the State House website.