The Declaration Needs Your Help with An Ongoing Investigation

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Have you recently received a summons for jury duty in Philadelphia? Are you disqualified from jury service in the city? If you meet either description, the Declaration would like to hear from you.

We are currently working on a story about whether or not the Philadelphia jury selection system wrongfully disqualifies certain individuals who are qualified to serve under state law.

Jury selection is a crucial part of the ongoing debate about the U.S. justice system. Just last week, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Foster v. Chatman, in which the defendant obtained evidence that the prosecution purposefully excluded African Americans from the jury which sentenced him to death.

If certain portions of the population are illegally removed from jury service, their voices are excluded from this important decision-making process.

We previously requested copies of summons forms and other data from the Jury Commission of the Philadelphia courts, but court officials have stalled on this request without providing any explanation for the long delay.

In order to write investigate this potential story despite government stonewalling, we need help from Philadelphia residents who still have their jury summons and from those who have recently been disqualified from jury service. If you want to share a copy of your summons, you don’t need to be disqualified. No information you share with us will be published unless you consent.

If you want to assist in this important story, please reach out by email to austin@spiritnews.org.

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