Indiana residents no longer can avoid jury duty by not registering to vote, says state Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall Shepard. Shepard, speaking to a joint session of the Indiana General Assembly, said the high court is expanding the pool from which potential jurors are drawn, the Indianapolis Star reports. Calling it “a terrible fact” that some people refrain from voting to get out of jury service, Shepard said the Supreme Court is requiring counties to choose jurors from more than just voter rolls, including records from the the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and the Indiana Department of Revenue.
The court also ended the longtime practice of judges admonishing jurors not to speak about a case among themselves during recesses and other breaks. Judges also must tell jurors that they have a right to ask questions of witnesses who have been screened by the judge. They’ve long had that right, Shepard said — “they just didn’t know it.”