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April 18, 2018

Four-year-old summoned for jury duty in Pennsylvania

Odd News Jury Duty
Jury Duty stock @Kamilindoto/Twenty20/

Jury duty summons.

America has John Oliver to thank for providing a simulation of the nightmare that would ensue if toddlers were placed in charge of the criminal justice system.

If you haven't seen that episode of HBO's "Last Week Tonight," here's "TOT Bench."

While 49 other states took note of this reminder and reaffirmed the nation's 18-and-up policy for jury duty, Pennsylvania apparently has high hopes for an experiment in children's justice.

A four-year-old Swoyersville boy named Damien Shrader was recently summoned to appear for jury duty at the Luzerne County Courthouse in northeastern Pennsylvania, according to WNEP in Wilkes Barre.

The letter arrived at the Shraders' home earlier this week, only the second Damien has ever received after another correspondence from Santa Claus.

"He's always been a very serious child, but I didn't think he was quite ready for that kind of a thing, there,” said Damien's mom, Desiree.

A jury duty pool, known as the venire, is primarily comprised of a random selection from among a given community. Lists are compiled from voter registrations and driver's license renewals.

These are obviously not activities that apply to young Damien.

When Damien's parents went to the Luzerne County Courthouse for an explanation, they were told their son's name likely surfaced from tax documents his great-grandmother filed after buying him stocks, according to WNEP.

The courthouse formally excused Damien from jury duty on account of having to attend preschool on the scheduled date.