LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Born and raised in America, you may take it for granted. Jury duty can be a real inconvenience to your everyday life and even a blow to your paycheck.
“The biggest issue is they wish the pay could be a little more than what it is,” said one Louisville resident Bruce Mayberry.
But if look through the eyes of someone who just became an American, the attitude is a bit different.
“I think it's a huge privilege for Americans to be able to serve,” said Merle Dennis.
Dennis became an American citizen in January. Coming from a third world country, Malaysia, she says it's an honor and one you can only get here in the United States.
“It gives me goose bumps to just think about it,” she explained.
The Louisville Bar Foundation is now launching a Juror Awareness Campaign to get other Kentuckians thinking just like Merle.
“If you want individuals to have a fair trial, or you want to exercise your civic responsibilities by reporting, this is what jury service looks like,” said Judge Denise Clayton.
From bus ads to tutorial videos online, the campaign explains why jury duty is a privilege, not a burden.
“We need representation of the whole community to serve as jurors and when we don't have that representation then there are people who believe the juries don't fairly represent the voice of the community,” said Defense Attorney Thomas Clay.
People who are trying to get out of jury duty might feed that problem of imbalance. Judge Clayton says this Monday, for example, roughly 24% of jurors who were summoned never showed up. Then, there was another 16% who couldn't be located by mail.
“Out of the summons that were sent out, that number was 1,182, we had roughly on Monday afternoon 234 jurors who reported,” Clayton explained.
The hope is to get more Kentuckians to stop dodging jury duty.
“That's why I chose to become a citizen here, because of your rights and your privileges,” said Dennis.
For more information about jury duty, click here: http://courts.ky.gov/juryservicestartswithyou/Pages/default.aspx