9-year-old called for jury duty

March 21, 2012 5:14:44 AM PDT
When 9-year-old Jacob Clark received a summons for jury duty at Orleans District Court, the third-grader only had one question: ''What's jury duty?''

At this stage of the game, Jacob is more interested in riding his bike than determining guilt or innocence. But he seems to have a good handle on how it all works:

"If you're picked then you go up to a judge and you say if they're guilty or not guilty," Jacob said.

"I think he'd do well. I think he's impartial. He'd be able to be objective, as long as there was no jury tampering. If someone offered him an Xbox game, he would do as he's asked; but besides that, he's a very impartial kid," said Robert Clark, Jacob's father.

The only thing barring Jacob from this civic duty is he is nine years too young.

"If he was born in '82, then I would have been his father when I was 2 years old, so ... it didn't make sense to me," said Clark.

According to the state's jury commissioner, Census records in Jacob's hometown of Yarmouth indicate he was born in 1982, which would make him 30 instead of 9.

"It could have been a data entry error at the town, it could have been on the Census form that the parents fill out," said Pamela J. Wood, Massachusetts jury commissioner.

But this isn't the first time Jacob was called for jury duty. He first got summonsed when he was 2, which he described in one word: "Weird."

And if he gets summonsed again, Jacob says, he's ready:

"Then, if I was 18 or older, I probably... I would have to go."