The juror appearance rate exceeded the 2007-2010 level by at least four percent in the past two years while the Harris County District Clerk’s Office ran a major, multi-pronged public awareness campaign to encourage better turnout for jury service.
The juror appearance rate – the percentage of prospective jurors who appear for service after receiving notices – is 9 percent higher than a decade ago.
“My office has been steadfast and focused on trying to bring in more people to perform their civic, constitutional duty,” District Clerk Chris Daniel said. “We have relied on a positive public awareness campaign that has encouraged citizens to be civic-minded. We like the results so far.”
At a news conference, Daniel unveiled a billboard that is the latest effort of his office’s Honor the Call campaign. It is an example of 19 that Clear Channel Outdoors, which donated the space, will put up this month.
The billboard features the silhouette of a soldier against a U.S. flag and includes the message: “He serves. Will you? Please honor the call to jury service.”
A similar poster featuring a police officer, firefighter and soldier was displayed in 700 Metro buses. Public service announcements about the roles of firefighters, police officers and members of the armed forces ran on TV and radio.
“Firefighters head into burning buildings while everyone else heads out,” Daniel said. “Police officers put on protective vests each day at work. Members of the military are ready to head out anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice. What do they have in common? They honor the call to serve when asked. Everyday folks are called upon to occasionally perform a different role: jury service. We want them to honor the call.”