A unusually high number of trials has Nashville court officials worried that they might run out of jurors this week, reports The Tennessean. Jurors are being asked to sit on one trial and come back again as soon as the case ends so they may be put on another jury for a second trial. Usually, court officials have so many jurors they have to turn some away. Jury duty normally lasts between one to three days, said Larry Stephenson, trial court administrator. He said that if there aren’t enough jurors to support the remaining trials this week, a judge can postpone the trial or order sheriff’s deputies to round up potential jurors off the streets. The shortage has delayed at least one trial.
On Monday, 149 people were supposed to report for jury duty. Of those, 128 showed up. A total of 11 trials are expected to run this week, which would mean a need for 330 jurors. Contrary to popular belief, many jurors are professional people. “There was a stereotype for a while that everybody was poor or retired,” said one official. Lawyers, doctors, police officers and other professionals often serve on juries.