It’s a familiar story for Michigan residents: Get called for jury duty, sit around for hours in an uncomfortable courthouse, then get sent home. If the outgoing chief justice of Michigan’s Supreme Court, Robert Young Jr., has his way, a decades-old practice might finally change. reports the Detroit Free Press. Young, who has pushed for technological innovation during his record six-year term as chief justice, said Michigan’s jury process is “extraordinarily stupid.” He wants prospective jurors to have appointments with the court and to be notified on their smart phones about when they are and are not needed.
Young’s term as the court’s chief justice, which has lasted six years, is set to end in early January. A Republican nominee on a court where GOP nominees hold a 5-2 majority, Young cited management of the juror-selection process as one example of how use of technology can be expanded to make the courts more efficient and user-friendly. Young stressed that his personal experience is not the reason he’s calling for change, but said he experienced the frustration of being called as a juror a few years ago. Young was summoned in Detroit, sat for about four hours and then was dismissed without being called. “It was an extraordinarily stupid process,” and a “bad use of volunteer time,” he said.