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LAist: A Juror Gets Paid Just $15 A Day For Serving. A State Bill Would Up That Amount

Source: LAist

Let's face it, $15 doesn't go far in a city as pricey as Los Angeles.

Currently, that's the daily stipend a juror in California is paid for serving in a trial. And critics say, low jury pay is having a negative impact on the criminal justice system.

"We had been hearing from all of our justice partners that juries were trending towards being full of people of means and white people predominantly," says Anne Stuhldreher, who runs The Financial Justice Project at the city and county of San Francisco.

Stuhldreher also oversees a pilot program called "Be The Jury," which started in the Bay Area in 2022.

"We really wanted to test out if by providing $100 a day instead of $15 a day — would that move the needle so that our juries were more economically and racially diverse, and therefore better able to administer justice in a very diverse city like San Francisco," she says.

The program is serving as a model for a bill currently going through the state Legislature. AB 881, sponsored by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco). If it passes, similar pilot programs will be established in five counties, including Los Angeles County.