For Immediate Release: Oct. 11, 2023
Contact: SF Public Defender’s Office | Valerie.Ibarra@sfgov.org | (628) 249-7946
Joint Statement Expressing Disappointment Regarding Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Veto of California Assembly Bill 881, the Be The Jury California Act
San Francisco – Co-sponsors of AB 881, Offices of the San Francisco Treasurer, District Attorney, Public Defender, and Bar Association issue the following statement in response to Governor Newsom’s veto of the Be the Jury California bill:
“We are disappointed that Gov. Gavin Newsom has vetoed Assembly Bill 881, the Be The Jury California Act. This bill would have expanded our successful Be The Jury San Francisco program to other counties.
Be The Jury San Francisco increases pay for low- to moderate-income jurors from $15 a day to $100 a day. We started this program to reduce financial barriers to serving on juries, create juries that are more economically and racially diverse, and ensure that everyone in our city can truly have a jury of their peers, which is the only right guaranteed in both the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights. Two consecutive evaluations showed that our San Francisco program achieved these goals.
While the governor’s veto means this important program will not be expanded to other counties at this time, our San Francisco program will continue, thanks to the financial support from the City and County of San Francisco and State of California funding. We are grateful for these investments, and for Assemblymember Phil Ting who authored Assembly Bill 881 and successfully obtained state funding for our local program.
The governor’s veto statement indicated that this policy reform needs to be considered through the budget process. We know that Be The Jury California is the cost-effective, impactful, smart justice reform we need right now in California. We look forward to working with the Governor’s Office during the upcoming budget process.”