Six people who had been called for jury selection for the trial of Anne Norris but didn’t show up had to explain themselves to the judge in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in St. John’s on Thursday.
Five of them were handed fines of $50 each, while one was granted an exemption.
Under the provincial Jury Act, every resident of Newfoundland and Labrador who is over the age of 18 and a Canadian citizen has the duty to serve on a jury if called.
Potential jurors can be pulled randomly from the voters’ list, Motor Vehicle Division lists or MCP, and a person can serve on a jury only once every three years.
Certain people are exempted from jury duty, including police officers, correctional officers, sheriff’s officers, court officials, lawyers, and members of the House of Assembly or Parliament of Canada and their spouses.
Others can apply for exemption once they’re summoned, on various grounds: hardship, illness, religion or being the sole caregiver for people who are children, elderly or ill.
The rest are whittled down to 12 through a court process before the trial begins.
Anyone who is called for jury duty and just doesn’t show up can be given a fine of up to $1,000, six months in jail, or both.
Four of the people fined Thursday paid their $50 right away. The fifth has until May 17 to pay up or face the judge a second time.
After a month-long trial, the jurors selected to hear the murder trial of 30-year-old Anne Norris found her not criminally responsible for killing 46-year-old Marcel Reardon due to her having a serious mental illness. Norris is being held indefinitely at the Waterford Hospital.