Unexcused Absence

Published September 21, 2012

A Milwaukee woman had to pay a little bit extra for her Cancún vacation.

The woman was called to serve on a jury in a criminal felony trial. She was present during the trial itself but didn’t show up for most of the jury’s deliberations. “She called the clerk from O’Hare to say she was about to board a flight to Cancún,” the defendant’s attorney said. “But she said it was OK because she’d done her three days and left her vote with the foreman.”

The jury deliberated without the missing juror and found the defendant, Spartacus Outlaw (we’re not making this up), guilty of being a felon in possession of a gun, but they couldn’t reach a verdict on a second charge, first-degree reckless injury with a dangerous weapon.

The judge called the woman back to court after she returned from her trip and fined her $300 for skipping out. “I don’t know if this was worth it,” she said after court, “but I did have a good time in Cancún.”

Source: Kevin Underhill, “How to Avoid Jury Duty, #9: Leave Your Vote With the Foreman and Go to Cancún [Updated],” lowering the bar, August 28, 2012