POSTED: Monday, March 14, 2011 - 5:13pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - 9:39pm
EL PASO – Imagine being the sole caregiver of your critically ill spouse, on a very fixed budget, while trying to be excused from jury duty, only to be denied. That's the situation one El Paso woman finds herself in.
Linda Connell says her 70-year-old husband, Lott, needs round-the-clock care.
“He's got end-stage lung disease...heart failure...diabetes...bleeding disorder, so he requires a lot of things,” said the 61-year-old woman.
Connell described her daily routine; she said after she wakes up every morning, she gets her husband ready.
“...getting him up, we give him a breathing treatment. Then I get him washed and dressed....take his sugar. I give him his pre-food medications.”
That's all before breakfast time. Connell said she sent the city a doctor's note, and explained why she can't do jury duty.
“We live on social security. There's no money there to pay for somebody to come in here and stay with him so I can serve on jury duty.”
But her request to be excused, was denied. Connell said she doesn't know what to do, since she's expected to serve this Wednesday.
“I just kind of said, 'Well, I'm really sorry. There's no way I can be there, so if you have to issue a warrant...if you're going to take me out of here, you're going to take him, too.'”
Connell said she doesn't understand why she's being singled out for jury duty, in such a populated city like El Paso. Meantime, she hopes the city will understand her situation.
“I would want to tell them, have some compassion,” stated Connell.
Meantime, after numerous phone calls, The Council of Judges got back to us late this afternoon, and told us the woman was exempt from jury duty this time. However, Linda Connell is concerned about what will happen when she's summoned for jury duty, in the future.