Mr. T Pities the Fool Who Skips Out on Jury Duty

By Daniel Taylor, Esq. on August 19, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The jury summons was sent to a "Lawrence Tureaud." But many of those waiting outside a Chicago courthouse to report for jury duty last week recognized the man as Mr. T, star of television's "The A-Team" and the movie "Rocky III."

Tureaud, 62, wasn't wearing any of his trademark gold chains, reports the Daily Herald, but he was still in Mr. T form as he waited to see if he was selected as a juror. "I pity the criminals today," Tureaud said, adding: "I've got to set an example. I understand my responsibility."

Although Mr. T wasn't selected as a juror, why should you follow his example and show up for jury duty?

Penalties for Failing to Comply With Jury Summons

Although the possible punishments for skipping out on jury duty vary from state to state, generally failing to report for jury duty without showing cause can result in a fine, and in some cases, possible jail time.

In Illinois, failing to report for jury duty can result in being held in contempt of court, which is penalized with fines, jail time, or both.

Being Excused for Hardship

If you have a legitimate reason for not being able to serve on a jury, you may be able to be excused by claiming a hardship.

Every court has their own hardship requirements, but jury summons will often have instructions on how to claim a hardship. You may also show up and make your hardship claim before the judge, in which case you should bring documents needed to prove the veracity of your hardship.

Having a job will not necessarily suffice as a hardship, but if you are called to jury duty, your employer is required to give you time off for the duration of your service.

This is the second time in five years that Mr. T has responded to a jury summons in Cook County. Tureaud also reported for jury duty in 2009, but again, was not selected.

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