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SF Examiner: Did a $100-Per-Day Pay Raise Help Diversify San Francisco's Jury Pool?

Source: San Francisco Examiner

The City’s effort to diversify its jury pool is working, according to new analysis.

A San Francisco Treasurer and Tax Collector study published on Tuesday revealed their pilot program, aiming to boost jury participation among low-income residents and people of color, did just that over its first year.

The program, called “Be The Jury,” launched in March 2022 and increased juror compensation in criminal trials from $15 to $100 per day for San Franciscans who qualify as low-to-moderate-income.

... AB 1452 requires the program to end by Dec. 31, 2023. San Francisco Assemblymember Phil Ting, that bill’s author, has penned another piece of legislation that would allow Be The Jury to continue in San Francisco and expand to Alameda, Kern, Los Angeles and Monterey counties. The AB 881 programs would run until the end of 2025.

“When juries are more reflective of the communities they serve, they spend more time in deliberations and are less likely to presume guilt,” Ting said in a statement. “Multiple perspectives weighing in helps defendants get a fair trial.”