AWOL jurors face day of reckoning

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AUBURN – A man who was called twice for jury duty stood before a judge Friday after he was summoned to explain why he failed to show up in court.

The man limped to the judge’s bench, hampered by arthritis, and told Androscoggin County Superior Court Justice Carl Bradford he couldn’t sit for long periods.

“I’m lucky I’m walkin’ around,” the man said.

He also said he hadn’t gotten the notices that he had been picked for jury pools in November and January.

Bradford told the man to come back in August, unless he had a doctor’s note excusing him.

He also offered the man a cushion.

Bradford could have slapped the man with a fine or locked him in jail for criminal contempt of court.

Maine law allows for penalties of up to $100 and/or three days in jail for each day a juror has an unexcused absence.

On Friday, Bradford called three men and two women to stand before him, one by one, and explain why they hadn’t appeared in court earlier for jury duty.

Two had moved out of Androscoggin County.

When Bradford dismissed a man who said he had lost the notice, he exclaimed, “Oh, Great!”

All of the AWOL jurors were contrite.

One man said he was so nervous, he had to read from a statement apologizing for his absence.


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