COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A state senator wants to raise the age someone can get out of jury duty in South Carolina from 65 to 75.
Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey is sponsoring the bill because people are living longer and healthier lives.
“Jurors who are a little bit older but have a lot of life experience are very good jurors. Sixty-five seems too young for an automatic exemption, and I think we need those people to serve a little while longer,” Massey told The Post and Courier of Charleston.
Massey filed the bill in December before the 2020 session began this month. It has not received a hearing yet.
The Republican from Edgefield said he noticed the age cutoff in a few of his courtroom appearances as a lawyer, especially in smaller counties where they are smaller jury pools.
“You’re losing people who have a tremendous amount of life experience who are very good jurors,” Massey said. “They listen, they pay attention, they make good decisions.”
Among states that allow residents to get out of jury duty based solely on age, South Carolina’s current exemption age of 65 is the lowest in the country, tied with Mississippi.