By The Vanguard Staff
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The NBA Golden State Warriors have starred in and released several social media public service announcements promoting the City and County of San Francisco “Be The Jury” Pilot Program in San Francisco Superior Court, which will “compensate low-to moderate-income jurors in criminal trials $100 a day for their jury service.”
The PSAs promote the “importance of jury service and jury diversity,” and star Warriors’ Coach Steve Kerr and Kevon Looney, said the SF Public Defender Office. The spots are posted on Twitter and Instagram @DubsCommunity.
“This pilot (see bit.ly/BeTheJury) was created with the goal of establishing juries that are more reflective of San Francisco’s diverse communities and is a first-of-its-kind pilot program in San Francisco Superior Court,” said the PD Office.
The “Be The Jury” pilot program, according to the PD statement, will compensate jurors with low-to-moderate incomes—less than 80 percent of the Area Median Income ($74,600 for a single person; $106,550 for a household of four)—with $100 per day for jury service starting this week in criminal trials.
Jurors must also meet the following criteria: (1) their employer does not compensate for jury service; (2) their employer does not compensate for the estimated duration of jury service; (3) they are self-employed; or (4) they are unemployed.
“I am thrilled that the Warriors are engaging in community education about this first-of-its kind pilot program. It makes a big difference to have such highly regarded leaders like Coach Kerr and Kevon Looney speak about the importance of justice and equity in the courtroom. Our hope is that this program will enable more San Franciscans to participate in jury duty—one of our most powerful civic opportunities,” said San Francisco Public Defender Mano Raju.
“Thank you to the Warriors for making this issue a priority. No one should be priced out of jury service. Our juries should reflect San Francisco’s economic and racial diversity, but low juror compensation prevents too many people from participating in jury service. The launch of the Be The Jury pilot program brings us closer to a more accessible, diverse, and just legal system,” said San Francisco Treasurer José Cisneros.
“I am grateful to the Warriors for speaking up on this critical issue. Justice demands that our juries reflect the diverse backgrounds of the victims, witnesses, and accused persons whose lives are impacted by their decisions,” said SF District Attorney Chesa Boudin.
Boudin added, “We must continue to find ways to promote and enable jury service for all San Franciscans, so that our juries reflect our diverse communities and are able to administer justice for all San Franciscans.”
This program was authorized by Assembly Bill 1452, which was co-authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting and Senator Scott Wiener; and co-sponsored by PD Raju, Treasurer Cisneros and DA Boudin. Governor Newsom signed AB 1452 into law in October 2021.