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January 16, 2008 > Would-be jurors rounded up on sidewalk

Would-be jurors rounded up on sidewalk

ST. JOHNSBURY, Vermont (AP), Jan 11 _ Faced with a shrunken jury pool, a US judge resorted to some sidewalk justice in hopes of filling it out. It worked.

Judge Harold Eaton Jr., discouraged when a 34-person pool of potential jurors for a sex case was reduced to 20 people, sent sheriff's deputies into the street Wednesday to summon people to join them.

Caledonia County Sheriff Michael Bergeron and three uniformed deputies stopped people on a sidewalk in front of the St Johnsbury post office, asking if they lived in the county. Those who did and were 18 or older were given a summons to report to the courthouse.

According to Bergeron, ``99.9 percent were just excellent'' about being summoned.

``They were great. We certainly appreciate that,'' he said. ``We hope it won't happen again.''

Defense attorney David Sleigh objected to the impromptu jury pool, telling Eaton he should postpone the draw and start with a new pool. Eaton denied the request.

The 12 jurors selected will hear the case of a man charged with two felony counts of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child.

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