HALIFAX – A judge listened to explanations today from a group of potential jurors about why they didn’t show up for court last year
in Halifax to take part in jury selection for a murder trial. Judge Glen McDougall of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court accepted
the explanations provided by eight potential jurors who appeared before him and allowed them to leave without any sanctions. He fined one woman $50 after he didn’t accept her reasons for missing the jury selection process last September.
McDougall had asked sheriffs to track down the absentees after 110 of 280 people failed to show up. In Nova Scotia, those caught skipping jury selection face a $1,000 fine or possible jail time, Though the maximum penalties are rarely imposed. Wayne Corcoran, jury co-ordinator for the Halifax region, says it’s unusual for a judge to take this kind of action, but it has happened before. McDougall initially asked 15 people to appear in court today, but previously excused six of them.