Convicted Felons May Serve Jury Duty
by Joe Shepard
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Albany, NY: Convicted felons may serve on a jury as a result of the New York State Senate bill passed Tuesday, May 7th. Senate Bill S221A relates to removing the lifetime ban on jury duty for convicted felons who have completed their sentencing. Under current law, ex-felons are only permitted to serve on a jury if they obtain formal permission from the state Department of Corrections.
The bill passed by the Democratic-led Senate with a vote of 36-25.
Among those voting was local Senator Patrick Gallivan who voted nay. Gallivan is Senator of the New York’s 59th District which includes Erie, Wyoming, Livingston, and Monroe counties. “As part of their punishment, those convicted of violent crimes forfeit certain rights and privileges afforded to law-abiding citizens. This is the latest attempt by the new Senate Majority to fundamentally change our criminal justice system,” said Gallivan in a statement on Twitter.
If the measure becomes law, New York would join only Colorado and Maine in allowing felons who have done time to serve on juries.