The criminal trial of R. Allen Stanford is the hotest court case in the federal building in Houston.
It has captured the attention of the country and news media.
The case has also resulted in the recruitment of 80 people from our area to serve on the jury.
Federal Judge David Hittner will oversee the process of picking a 14 member panel to decide Stanford’s guilt or innocence.
Stanford is accused of 14 different crimes related to a ponzi scheme that allegedly defrauded thousands of investors of out of $7.2 billion. But back to those jurors.
The ecclectic mix of people the federal system has come up with varies from a landscaper to lawyer.
All are temporarily putting their professional careers on hold to potentially serve on the panel that will decide Stanford’s fate.
So, how is the government thanking them for the sacrifice and civic duty? Court officials say jurors will be paid $40 a day plus parking and lounging if needed.
That means during the course of this highly publicized six week trial jurors will walk away with $1200 each.
If things go as court workers hope the jurors will also continue to be paid by their employers.
Ellen Alexander, Judge Hittner’s court clerk, says sometimes the judge has to call employers to encourage them to continue to pay jurors while they do their civic duty.
So, if you consider a regular salary plus your jury pay then $1200 for six weeks of work of just listening may not be that bad. Or is it?