After arriving early to perform his civic duty, former President Barack Obama was eventually dismissed from jury duty Wednesday morning in Chicago.
Shortly before noon, Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans told reporters that the former president had not been selected for jury duty.
He shook hands with other potential jurors in the assembly room and signed copies of his books people had taken to court with them. "No one is excused", Evans said after Obama's departure. "I am surprised that he's actually coming". As happens most days, would-be jurors brought books, but on Wednesday some people brought books Obama had authored in hopes he might sign them.
Obama's presence in Chicago's downtown county courthouse prompted extra security measures that meant delays and snaking lines to get through the building's entrance screening.
Obama still owns a home at 51st and Greenwood, and is registered to vote in Chicago, although he and his family live in D.C. Obama's predecessor in the White House, George W. Bush, responded to a jury summons in 2015.
He is not the first former US President to be considered for jury service. However people can be dismissed for jury due to economic hardship or if they work full time for the army, emergency services or the United States government. In 2004, Oprah Winfrey was on a Chicago jury that convicted a man of murder.
Like all prospective jurors, Obama earned US$17.20 ($24.70) for his day of service, which is actually pretty good considering he was only there two hours.
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