Eau Claire Co. hits the streets in search of jurors

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU)-- Imagine going about your daily routine, you’re running errands, and perhaps running by the mall, but that's where you see Eau Claire County Sheriff Ron Cramer approaching you. He says he needs jurors, and you have to go with him, right then, right now.

Well, that's exactly what happened.

Eau Claire Co. Sherriff Ron Cramer had this topic come up at a meeting earlier this week. He never thought today would be the day.

"We did talk about cases like this where a number of people have to go out and get people summoned to the jury," says Sheriff Cramer.

Eau Claire County Circuit Court Judge Michael Schumacher needed jurors for a trial taking place Thursday afternoon when the list of potential jurors ran out.

The Wisconsin Statute on “Insufficient Jurors” then came into play.

Susan Schaffer, Eau Claire County Clerk of Courts, then reached out to Sheriff Cramer, so he had to hit the streets.

"It's something that doesn't happen very often. It just so happened that today was a day that we just needed more. The court can order the Sheriff to get people right off the street," says Schaffer.

Those approached, were asked three questions:
1. Are you an Eau Claire County resident?
2. Are you at least 18 years of age?
3. Do you have any history of a felony conviction?

Unless those that were approached wrote down their personal information and agreed to drive themselves to the courthouse, the Sheriff’s Department would physically bring them to the courthouse.

"I gave a couple of them rides home, and they thought that it was a very interesting process they've never heard of the before, but the judge did explain why they were taken off of the street so they could move on with the trial," says Sheriff Cramer.

In the end, the trial ended up getting pushed back to another date. Even after they had an appropriate number, the judge felt that the jury was still insufficient to handle the case properly, so those selected are off the hook.

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