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Slideshow: US Senator Ted Cruz Reports For Jury Service In Houston

Cruz could have gotten an exemption but says he wanted to report.

 

 

A well-known Harris County resident was one of the dozens of people filing into the courthouse today for jury service.

U.S. Senator and possible presidential contender Ted Cruz had to pull off his cowboy boots as he passed through security along with his fellow citizens.

Congressmen and senators can be exempted from jury service, but Cruz says he was happy to report. The Harvard Law graduate says it’s the first time he’s ever been called.

“It’s important for all of us to do our civic duty,” says Cruz. “We are blessed in America to have a civil justice system, a criminal justice system, where it is a system of the people. Where you have 12 of your peers who will decide your fate in a criminal case or who will adjudicate a civil matter.”

Cruz says he hopes his fellow citizens will do the same.

“I would certainly encourage everyone else when you get a jury summons come down and participate,” says Cruz. “It’s like voting. It’s part of the responsibilities of a citizen and I’m certainly glad to try to play my small part.”

District Clerk Chris Daniel says it’s crucial for Harris County residents to report when they get a jury summons. He says in a diverse area like Harris County, juries need to reflect the population.

Daniel says the overall participation rate for jury service in Harris County is about 55%. That includes people who call in with an exemption. About 35% of the people called actually come to the courthouse. He says it’s common to see local officials report but it’s rare for a member of Congress.

 

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Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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