Mecklenburg County, N.C., is trying to make jury duty less of a chore, reports the Charlotte Observer. The juror assembly room in the downtown Charlotte courthouse has free wireless Internet, a business center, a day care center and even a place where mothers can pump breast milk. There’s a 90-minute lunch break and two movies are offered. The courthouse provides free popcorn. Court officials recognize most people don’t look forward to jury duty, so the amenities and services aim to make performing the public obligation more pleasant, officials said.
Of course, there’s another incentive to performing your civic duty: Those who don’t show up may have to explain their absence to a judge. The efforts seem to make a difference. The benchmark-setting National Center for State Courts says fewer than 5 percent of jurors should be no-shows. In Mecklenburg County, 4 percent of those called from motor vehicle and voter registration records never show up.