The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, January 16, 1997, Page 7, Image 7

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    Bill would keep college students
from missing class far jury duty
By Erin Schulte
Senior Reporter
Matt Dane didn’t want to give up
his chair in a classroom for one in a
jury box.
So when the UNL sophomore was
called up for duty in his home county
ofYork, more than an hour away, he
politely declined, saying he was a full
time student. The judge said OK.
But over the next two months,
Dane was called for jury duty seven
times, and the judge demanded more
evidence of his dedication to classes
every time. At first, he had to provide
a copy of his class schedule and regis
Then the courts asked him to come
for jury selection (requiring him to
skip a day of school) to plead his case
for exemption. • *
Later, the jury draft escalajed to
requiring letters from professors say
ing Dane couldn’t miss class.
His parents became concerned.
“Ifhe would get selected, how long
would it go (mi?” his mother, Joyce
Dane, said. “We even asked if they
could take one of our names instead.”
Eventually, Matt Dane said, his
time in the jury selection pool ran out,
and so did his troubles.
“Either that, or they ran out of
cases,” he said, laughing.
But his parents, who live in
Henderson, decided to take action any
way and went to their state senator,
Elaine Stuhr of Bradshaw.
The result is LB73, a bill that
would exempt full-time college stu
dents from jury duty.
“It’s a hardship,” Stuhr said. “Stu
dents from my district live far from
college, and there’s the cost of attend
ing college to consider, too.”
The bill would simply put off jury
duty for students until they finished
their classes, Stuhr said.
“Fm sure students would be glad
to do it when they’re not at the uni
versity,” she said.
Stuhr said passing the bill might
be easier if students would come to
committee hearings and testify about
their troubles getting out of jury duty.
Dane’s father said he planned to tes
tify before the committee.
If he would get
selected, how long
would it go on? We
even asked if they
could take one of
our names instead.”
Joyce Dane
bill advocate
“If students want to testify, they
should give my office a call,” Stuhr
Ifthe bill is passed, Matt Dane said
he had a definite lack of celebration
“I guess I just won’t have jury
’ ygurs 8 nightmare?
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