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Mail Tribune 100, Dec. 27, 1921

The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago

Dec. 27, 1921


Women will be called as jurors at the February term of the circuit court, under the state law, approved by the voters at May 25, 1921, primary, and the County Clerk Chauncey Florey will draw the list the first week in January, which will contain the names of 250 women and 250 men. The list is for the year. The law as amended only requires that a juror be a voter, and not alone a taxpayer as heretofore.

The second story of the new county vault will be used as women’s quarters, though the deliberations of a jury will not be separate.

School teachers are alone exempt from service, but all other women may be excused upon request, as follows, as provided by the law:

“Any women desiring to be excused from jury service may claim exemption by signing a written or printed notice thereof and returning the same to the sheriff before the date for appearance, and if exemption is so claimed by reason of sex no appearance need be made in answer to said summons, provided that is shall be the duty of the person serving any summons for jury duty to inform every female person so served of this provision and to furnish her with a written or printed blank on which to make such claim for exemption.”

The requirements for a juror of both sexes is: a citizen of the United States; over 21 years of age; a legal voter of the country in which he or she resides and in possession of his natural faculties, and a sound mind.

The new jury law, effective January 1st, also provides that in all criminal actions where the complaining witness or the defendant is under 18 years of age, one-half of the jury shall be women.

The law also excuses members of the legislature when the august body is in session.

Oregon is the last of the Pacific coast states to have women jurors. Women served on the Roscoe (Fatty) Arbuckle trial in California, one being credited with hanging the jury. In Washington, a notable case in which women acted as jurors, was the murder trial of James E. Mahoney, charged with the murder of his aged wife.

Among the cases to be tried at the February term of course, with women as jurors, will be the remainder of the Bank of Jacksonville failure cases, and the probable retrial of John Goodwin and James (Shine) Edwards, taxi drivers charged with bootlegging.

— Alissa Corman; acorman@rosebudmedia.com