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Tampa judge scolds jury skippers

By: MITCH STACY,Associated Press
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(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A Tampa judge got so angry at the number of people who skipped jury duty one day last month that he summoned them back to the courthouse and threatened jail time.

Nobody ended up behind bars after the hearing Friday morning, but the 246 people who sat together in the large courtroom got a stern lecture on responsibility and a civics lesson from Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Gregory Holder.

Holder called them back after they all were no-shows for jury duty Oct. 3. He reminded them that their participation is crucial for the system to work. He also said they all would be called back as prospective jurors for trials in January.

Asked how many people simply forgot about the jury summons, around half raised their hands.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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