Posted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 11:13 am Post subject: Jury Trials to Be Halted in One State Feeling Pinch
Is this the best way to cut down on the budget?
BOSTON — The Superior Court system in New Hampshire will take the unusual step of halting jury trials for a month early next year because of a widening state budget crisis.
John Broderick, the state’s chief justice, said suspending trials was essential to avoid layoffs in the judicial system, which has already cut $2.7 million from its budget.
The measure will save about $73,000, the monthly amount spent on stipends for jurors. But the head of an association representing civil trial lawyers said it could have a harsh impact on plaintiffs, many of whom have already waited years for a judgment in their case.
“What are they going to rely on in the interim?” said Ellen Shemitz, executive director of the New Hampshire Association for Justice. “Some of these people have been harmed by the wrongdoing of others, are out of work as a result and are looking to the courts to protect their rights and provide some kind of financial remuneration.”...
It's a horribly bad way to save money, IMO. I'm sure they could find ways to trim the fat without potentially violating the rights of citizens to a quick trial, or to be judged by a jury of their peers.
This wouldn't even save that much money here, where jury trials are much less frequent.
There is an absolutely huge number of self sufficiency driven families, libertarians and off grid types that have congregated in that state hoping to truly change the electorate enough to change the fundamental governance of this little state. It was also picked because it already had a fairly "free" way of life. This project has had a lot of encouragement from the general public and a lot of resistance from TPTB.
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Jury Trials to Be Halted in One State Feeling Pinch