JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – On Wednesday the House Special Committee on Aging heard and unanimously passed out of committee, HB 317, which would allow seniors over the age of 70 to simply check a box to be excused from jury duty.
Rep. Jerome Barnes (D-District 28) filed the bill and he believes that seniors have done their civic duty.
“I think we can all appreciate that seniors have lived long and full lives, and have performed their civic duty by serving on juries a number of times,” said Barnes. “Seniors should not need to prove something nor have a reason to be excused from jury duty.”
Transportation or health issues can be challenging for seniors, especially, if they are seated for a long trial. Under the current requirements they have to provide a doctor’s note or documentation and then have the burden of presenting that information to the court to be excused.
“Many seniors want to serve on juries. For some, it could be a highlight in their year. I’m not trying to stop them from serving,” said Barnes. “Aging is not easy for some, and we need to respect that.”