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Butler County Does Away With Jury Commissioner Positions

May 25, 2013

The Butler County commissioners voted this week to eliminate the positions of jury commissioners in the county.

A 2011 law that allowed Pennsylvania counties to abolish the posts was shot down by a state court which ruled that it violated a Constitutional stipulation that new legislation can not be tacked onto an unrelated bill, although 42 of the 56 Pennsylvania counties that had the positions had nearly immediately voted for their eliminations.  This spring, state lawmakers passed a stand-alone version of the original law, which was then signed by Governor Tom Corbett.

Butler County officials say they can save money by eliminating positions which can be replaced by computerized systems.  Opponents of the new law had argued that human input is still needed for the smooth operation of jury selection.  Some counties have made preparations to utilize part-time employees to do some portions of the job, or assign those portions to other county workers.

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