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Knock knock. Who’s there? Summons. Summons who? Sucker!

12-angry-men.jpgJudge Harold Eaton Jr., a local judge in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, had a problem. He was presiding over a sex case involving allegations that a man got lewd and lascivious with a kid, and the case was prepping for trial. Folks had been called in for jury duty, as usual, and there was an initial pool of 34 potential jurors. However, the attorneys in the case eventually whittled that pool down to 20, and Judge Eaton was a bit concerned that this was too small a pool. So he became an activist judge.

Eaton sent some sheriff’s deputies out to the streets to gather some folks up. The county sheriff and three of his deputies hit the sidewalk outside of the post office and started asking folks if they were over 18 and lived in the county. If they got a “yes and yes” in response, the lucky street walker got a summons to go to court! The sheriff said that most of the folks were pretty good about the whole thing: “99.9 percent were just excellent. They were great. We certainly appreciate that.”

The defendant’s attorney of course objected to this process, and asked for a postponement of the trial. Eaton told him to get bent.