Wieckowski Bill Allowing Non-Citizens To Serve On Juries Awaits Passage

Fremont Asm. Bob Wieckowski

ASSEMBLY 25 | Americans rarely enjoy jury duty, but a bill by Assemblymemeber Bob Wieckowski may test whether non-citizens will show much more enthusiasm passing judgment on their peers.

Wieckowski’s bill, which originated in the Assembly Judiciary Committee of which he chairs, would allow non-citizens in the state to serve as jurors. The bill passed the Assembly Thursday and awaits Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature. The Fremont legislator, who is a candidate for the State Senate next year, says the bill will fill a shortage of jurors and allows a taste of citizenship for lawful permanent residents.

“Immigrants are our friends. Immigrants are our neighbors. Immigrants are our co-workers and immigrants are our family members,” said Wieckowski on the Assembly floor. “They are part of the fabric of our community and they benefit from the protection of our laws.”

However, before any opposition could be raised, the vote was called showing the bill’s clear passage, but was halted. Nevertheless, Oceanside Assemblymember Rocky Chavez, a Republican, questioned whether there is a shortage of available citizens able to serve as jurors. He claims just 165,000 Californians served on juries last year out of 9 million summoned.

“I think there is something called a jury of your peers who understand the nuances of living in America,” said Chavez, who added not every country abides by the notion of innocent until proven guilty or taught to question government authority.

Wieckowski’s 25th Assembly District ranges from Fremont down to portions of San Jose. It also contains one of the highest concentrations of minority groups, specifically South Asians, in the entire country.

The boundaries of the 10th State Senate District currently held by Sen. Ellen Corbett, who is termed out next year, stretch even further north to include Hayward, which offers the largest bloc of Latino voters in the Bay Area. Together, Asians and Latinos in the 10th District hold a slim majority of the electorate.

Earlier this month, a bill allowing non-citizens to serve as poll workers, authored by Oakland Assemblymember Rob Bonta, was passed by the Legislature and also awaits the governor’s consideration.

102 thoughts on “Wieckowski Bill Allowing Non-Citizens To Serve On Juries Awaits Passage

  1. Bob Wieckowski is admired and respected by most of us in his District. I think Brown will sign the Bill as well as others along the same line. We'll know soon. Till then let's all calm down.


  2. You are the only troll, and it seems one of the few that hate Bob. To bad you are only good at calling people names.


  3. You can call him whatever name you want, but he will still be Senator Bob because the rest of us like what he's doing.


  4. You can call him whatever name you want, but he will still be Senator Bob because the rest of us like what he's doing.


  5. You don't even read, kid.

    Whether Wiecowski or HO-yashi, they're both the same and the people are screwed.



  6. I call it intelligent. I guess it's only stupid if he doesn't do what you want him to do. How arrogant on your part.


  7. Brown will sign it because he is wiser and more mature than you. You seem to be a minority army one one.


  8. From one Pander Bear to another.

    This is why the state is rot with ruin.

    Please don't impose your Berkeley-sque ultra liberalism on me or anyone else who disagrees with the Pander Bear.


  9. 2:07 Don't count on Brown signing it.

    He's more mature and wise than most of the legislators and he doesn't need to appeal to the left margin of his party in order to win re-election.

    However if he simply doesn't sign it but doesn't veto it, then it becomes law.
    A wimpy way out but he may do it.


  10. Once again he's doing what a huge majority of his District wants. It will be legal after Brown signs it and please don't try to impose your moral values on most of us who aren't as right-wing as you.


  11. Bob needs to find his testicular fortitude and quit being the Great Pander Bear.

    Takes real guts to enforce the law rather than subvert it. That is both a legal and moral issue.

    Too bad he can't lead rather than play follow the leader.


  12. Spoken like one of the majority of people in Bob's District who love what he's doing, myself included. Most of us agree with 7:50, not you 8:43.


  13. If you don't like it –move. Bob knows what his voters want and will be rewarded for this bill whether you extremes like it or not.


  14. Bob–I'm an ass-licker extraordinaire–HoWieckoski!

    Bring on the illegals in masses; we'll have the deportation vans ready to go with a caravan beginning at Tijuana.


  15. Just wondering. I assume Bob supports the passage of the Senate's comprehensive immigration bill.

    If so, what is his position about enforcement after passage.

    Will he support detention and deportation of undocumented workers who arrived after January 1st, 2012. As well as the same enforcement for all those arriving from this point forward.

    Does he also support workplaces using E-Verify in the future. With those found to be undocumented and deported.

    Does Bob really favor that eventual outcome of the passage of the Senate immigration bill?


  16. Bob has done the polling and that's why he's pushing this bill. John Q represents a small minority. Bob will win the Senate seat by double digits. If John Q runs against him he will find out just how much we love Bob. Run Q Run LOL


  17. Never use the Lord's name in vain.

    Since you've done no polling, don't presume to speak for others. John Q. definitely represents my view and many others as well.


  18. Interesting the way one particular union whore equates 'immigrants' with 'illegals.' Talk about narrow-mindedness. All illegals are immigrants, but not all immigrants are illegals.

    Legal immigrants get to stay and are welcome.

    Illegals are not welcome and must be deported.

    See if you can wrap that pea-brained 'brain' of yours around the concept.

    By the way, immigration 'reform' is officially dead. Really glad that we're about to bomb Syria. See what good can happen once the country comes together.

    John Q. Public
    The OFFICIAL representative of the People.


  19. The bill only allows legal immigrant to sit on juries.
    However, they need only have been in the country one hour to do so.

    AS to the extremes on both sides of the entire immigration issue, I like to ask one question.

    We are encouraged to promote passage of the Senate Gang of Eight bill.
    I'm sure you favor that passage?

    OK, then after we pass that bill, what will be your position when they begin to enforce it.
    Which entails the use of E-Verify and the deportation of any future illegal immigrants who arrive in the subsequent years..

    Actually it also includes anyone who arrived after January 1st 2012, undocumented.

    So what I always ask those who favor and promote passage of the senate bill, is will you be objecting to the full enforcement of that bill after passage.

    No objections to future deportations and workplace enforcement for those arriving illegally and working without permission?

    Or will you just pick and choose the part of the bill you want enforced?

    Just wondering?

    I favor passage and then strict enforcement.


  20. Bob is more like a fox than a nut, but he will win without a doubt. I do agree that Mary is in denial about how people perceive her. No amount of good deeds will help her any time soon.


  21. If Mary is Bob's main competition, then he is one lucky man.

    Mary is out of touch with how people perceive her.
    In 2014 she will still be on probation.
    If she has a clue, she'll do good deeds between now and 2018, then run as a born again good person.

    Her only chance now is that enough people think of Wieckowski as a nut.
    Shoplifter vs the nut. I say the nut wins that contest.


  22. This bill will help him get elected. As pointed out in the article Bob's District has a lot of immigrants in it. As far as Mary is concerned, she couldn't win in her race for Sup. It definitely will be Senator Wieckowski.


  23. Now, now, 11:37 and 7:57= one in the same. You might very well get a former, or present, shoplifter instead.

    Either way, damaged goods get in. No brainer.


  24. The large majority of people who voted for Bob are in favor of this bill. Bob is doing what we elected him to do. There does seem to be one person on this string who doesn't like that. Get over it. Move on with your life. Majority rules in a Democracy. Bob will be our next Senator because we like his bills.


  25. So says the Tea Bagging anti-union troll who doesn't represent but a small minority in Bob's District–what an idiot you are 7:30


  26. !0:09 if you think Bob's the idiot, run against him. You might come in 4th in a 3 person race. The idiot is you–put up or shut up! Our voters will reject your extreme positions and you know it. LOL


  27. So says the Tea Bagging anti-union troll who doesn't represent but a small minority in Bob's District–what an idiot you are 3:34


  28. you are the fringe in Bob's District. He represents the rest of us just the way we want. Most of us don't want him to do what the right-wing wants him to do. Take your club and go back to your cave!


  29. Soon USA citizenship will nothing more than just a piece of paper you buy at OfficeMax where you just fill in your name. Good job Bob the Idiot.


  30. You're right. More than enough said above.

    Another attempt to do away with borders by the extreme Berkeleyesque fringe who don't have any respect for the rule of law with regard to anyone or anything.


  31. Anon above–you are the fringe in Bob's District. He represents the rest of us just the way we want. Most of us don't want him to do what the right-wing wants him to do. Take your club and go back to your cave!


  32. You're right. More than enough said above.

    Another attempt to do away with borders by the extreme Berkeleyesque fringe who don't have any respect for the rule of law with regard to anyone or anything.


  33. Bob Wieckowski is doing what the majority of people in his District want him to do. That's why he will be our next Senator–enough said.


  34. This has nothing to do with civil rights. It is all about pandering to the illegals and doing away with the essence of citizenship.

    Another attempt to do away with borders by the extreme Berkeleyesque fringe who don't have any respect for the rule of law with regard to anyone or anything.


  35. 11:31, What about the civil right to vote where you live?
    Shouldn't non-citizens have that right?

    Come on, be consistent.

    I'm sure if Bob proposed that, you'd be all for it.


  36. Love the bill–thank you Bob for doing what the majority of your constituents want you to do–look forward to you being Senator in our District.


  37. You may want it, but to suggest it is “much needed” is laughable.

    But for the political pandering, it would never have put forth.

    Oh yes, California alone, out of all 50 states, just “needs” it. We are the isolated special case.

    Why not allow non-citizen to vote as well?
    I'm sure that also is “much needed” because we don't have enough turnout at the polls.


  38. Take 2 minutes and email Jerry Brown to veto AB1401


    Go to the bottom, click on contact.

    The find AB 1401 on the list of topics/bills.

    It is very easy to voice your opinion.
    It matters.

    Right now, the only people who think this bill makes sense are the politicians.

    All the editorials I've seen are against it.

    Bob is a numbskull. He cares nothing about the value of being or becoming a citizen.
    His bill will allow a person in the USA for only a month or two sit in judgement on your trial.


  39. Comment on August 24 at 8:20 pm didn't mention “minorities”, but it is interesting…and telling, that you did.


  40. What's the deal? Do we not have enough citizens to serve on juries? Isn't speaking english and having a general knowledge and understanding of government, laws, and civics kind of a baseline necessity for serving on a jury? Worst idea out of Fremont in a long time; and there have been some doozies.

    I'm also not sure how this is pandering to the “minority” constituents. I mean seriously, who WANTS jury duty? I've never met anyone who was psyched to be chosen. In fact people go out of their way to be disqualified. Why would anyone be grateful for this “privilege”?


  41. I'd rather have a non-citizen voting for my member of congress than voting on whether I end up in jail for 6 years.

    That you treat the jury service as a secondary issue is beyond me.

    My comparison is valid.


  42. The stupid, stupid slippery slope argument. If two adults of the same sex are allowed to get married, we're so profoundly changing the institution of marriage that next month people will successfully sue to get the right to marry their dog! No, dimwit, they won't- these aren't the same thing at all.

    A discussion about voting rights is much different than a discussion about jury service, and I would join you in being opposed to giving voting rights to non-citizen immigrants with legal status. Same with your other outlandish proposals here. You have to change the argument in your desperation to win it. Revealing.


  43. 8:00, Well gosh, if you are correct, then I see no reason why those intelligent non-citizens, here only a few months, can't vote.

    After all, to the guy on trial, the jury vote is far more important than the vote for a congressman.

    Besides there are lots of dumb American citizens who get to vote. Why not just allow all those legally here in the USA, no matter how long, vote for our congress and president.
    Why not.

    Then when you or I go to India, or Mexico, or Egypt, we should also be allowed to vote.
    Heck, I lived in both New Zealand and France, I should have been allowed to vote in their elections and serve on their juries.

    Yes, your logic makes perfect sense.
    Where ever you go, if there is a election, just vote.
    In fact, why even limit it to new non-citizens that are legally here, why not allow undocumented residents to vote?

    You know, there are some that propose that also.

    Why be “knee-jerk” in limiting anyone to do anything. Why not hand out citizenship papers as people exit the ICE counter at the airport, that is, for anyone who requests it.

    Citizenship, just a piece of paper. No big deal.


  44. No, it's “knee-jerk” to decide with no evidence that every single immigrant with legal status who has been in the U.S. for a relatively short period of time would be unsuitable to assist the search for justice on a jury. I avoided a knee-jerk reaction by conceding that some of these new immigrants might be unsuitable to be a quality jurist; I proposed that those immigrants would certainly be eliminated by one of the attorneys during the challenges.

    You're making absolutist statements here about immigrants which cannot be backed up by the facts. There are some highly intelligent immigrants with legal status who display good judgment and have been studying the American government and judicial systems for years, while there are citizens born and raised in the U.S. who are plumb ignorant of the ways our government works (“KEEP YOUR GOVERNMENT HANDS OFF MY MEDICARE!!”). Other U.S. citizens carry major cultural and racial prejudices. We don't eliminate citizen eligibility because some citizens are poorly suited for jury service.


  45. 10:20 AM says
    ” If you're going to claim that more minority participation in the jury pool would hurt the search for justice, I'd challenge you to prove that with facts, not made-up anecdotes.”

    Right, bring in a separate issue.
    Pay no attention to the difference between having American citizen “minorities” on the jury and having someone who has lived 59 years eleven months of the last 60 years in Pakistan passing judgment on you or your family member, when they have only been in our country for 60 or 90 days.

    I'm sure if you arrived in India or Pakistan or Hong Kong, you could make a good juror only months after arriving.

    Technically, as the law is written, a new immigrant, non citizen, could step into the jury box in the first week after arrival.
    Who writes such a foolish law without even minimal time or residency constraints?

    Not to overlook that California will be the FIRST and ONLY state in the nation to allow non-citizen on juries.

    But you want to make it all about “minorities” to fan your own special claims of injustice.
    Really “knee-jerk” of you.


  46. The way it works right now is just fine, thank you very much. All races, creeds, both genders–all are good and honest Americans from different backgrounds who make great jurors.

    But all must be citizens. Period.


  47. Yes, because we all know that white Americans whose families have lived in the U.S. their entire lives have no prejudices and cultural restrictions of their own which affect their abilities to judge facts and evidence openly and fairly.

    I guess that explains the erudite-sounding gentleman who stood up at last week's Hayward town hall hosted by Representative Swalwell and said that immigration reform policy must take into account that European immigrants have IQ levels 15 points higher than Hispanic immigrants. He had studies that showed this, he said!

    Would we want that white American on a jury that involved cultural or class issues? Not if we care about a just verdict.

    There are many parts of the American legal system which are “a joke”. Many of these flaws result in unfairly harsh treatment of minorities. If you're going to claim that more minority participation in the jury pool would hurt the search for justice, I'd challenge you to prove that with facts, not made-up anecdotes.

    If a potential jurist has cultural perceptions that would cause them to be unable to help a jury reach a reasonable verdict, either the prosecution or the defense would toss them out on a preemptory challenge.


  48. The legal system in America is a joke anyway. This just confirms it. People new to the country do not have the experience or knowledge to understand how the American melting pot works. They will bring the prejudices and restrictions from their own countries with them. That is not a “jury of our peers”. It's unconstitutional and should not be allowed.


  49. Bob the Idiot…with his rationale then we need immigrants to vote in elections too, since we do not get enough of voter turn out.


  50. Bob is henceforth to be known as the Pander-bear!

    This fool-hearty move diminishes everything that citizenship stands for. Another move to do away with citizenship and move in the direction of open borders and amnesty. No dice, baby. No dice.

    Unfortunately since Jerry signed Ammiano's fool-hearty bullshit which now allows guys and girls to shower in the same locker room or take a whiz in the same bathroom at the same time [Hello! If you have a dick, you're a guy; a pussy, a girl], he'll probably sign this if it makes it out of both houses.

    This nation has now arrived at hell in a handbasket.


  51. Under this bill, any “lawful permanent resident” can serve on a any jury.
    It matters not that they have only been in the USA for only 1 week.

    As a practical matter, they will probably not be called for about 60 days because it is done through the DMV drivers license rolls.

    So you arrive at age 60, having spent your entire life in Pakistan, apply the first week for your drivers license and then 30 or 60 days later you can be called to be on a jury.

    Deciding if you or I go to jail, or deciding if we should award a person 20 million dollars in a civil case.

    I'm sure in those 30 to 60 days you can learn all about American cultural norms, values and the legal system. You'll make fine juror, just as we would if we stepped off the plane in Pakistan and were placed on a jury.

    You don't suppose this could just be Bob Wieckowski pandering to a certain voting base for his 2014 state senate run?

    Oh, did we mention this will be the first state in the entire nation to allow non-citizens on juries?

    I sure admire Bob for passing this urgently needed bill. You just know he has our best interests in mind and that it has nothing to do with political posturing.


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