SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill that would have made California the first state in the nation to allow non-citizens who are in the country legally to serve on jury duty.
“Jury service, like voting, is quintessentially a prerogative and responsibility of citizenship,” Brown said in an announcement Monday accompanying his veto of AB1401. “This bill would permit lawful permanent residents who are not citizens to serve on a jury. I don’t think that’s right.”
The bill had passed the Legislature on a largely party-line vote, with Democrats supporting the idea to expand the pool of prospective jurors. Republicans said the lack of available jurors in California courts is due to a shortage of funding, not due to an insufficient pool of jurors.
The bill’s sponsor, Democratic Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski of Fremont, said in a statement that lawful immigrants are part of the fabric of communities and should be included in such civic obligations.
“They benefit from the protections of our laws, so it is fair and just that they be asked to share in the obligation to do jury duty, just as they serve in our courts, schools, police departments and armed forces,” he said.
Assemblyman Rocky Chavez, R-Oceanside, said the legislation was an effort to solve a problem that does not exist, because there is no shortage of people who can be called upon to serve on juries.
“The debate over this bill attempted to create a social wedge in our communities over our justice system,” Chavez said in a statement Monday. “The phrase `jury of your peers’ still means something in our criminal justice system.”
An estimated 10 million Californians are summoned for jury duty each year and about 4 million are eligible and available to serve, according to the Judicial Council, which administers the state’s court system. About 3.2 million complete the service, meaning they waited in a courthouse assembly room or were placed on call.
In 2010-2011, the most recent year available, only about 165,000 people were sworn in as jurors.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas