Texas jurors are surprised to learn that a year-old Texas law raised juror pay from $12.50 a day after the first day to $40 a day, says Houston Judge Mark Ellis, reports the Houston Chronicle. Written by state Sen. Rodney Ellis, who is not related to the judge, the law adds a $4 fee to each criminal case. The money goes to the state, which reimburses each county $34 of the $40 daily pay.
Jurors in the recent trial of a former universityh official were paid $846 each for their 22 days of service. Under the old law, they would have made $262. Clerk Charles Bacarisse credits the pay raise for part of the past two years’ 2 percent to 3 percent rise in average turnout for residents summoned to jury duty. In 2004, the turnout in Harris County was only about 17 percent.