Barack Obama dismissed from jury duty in Chicago

The former law professor was ultimately not chosen to sit on a jury.

Former President Barack Obama waves to a crowd of people as he attends Cook County jury duty at the Daley Center on November 8, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. PHOTO | JOSHUA LOTT | AFP 

IN SUMMARY

  • Obama is not the first US president to show up for service that some Americans either dread or find excuses to avoid. Obama's predecessor in the White House, George W Bush, responded to a jury summons in 2015.

Former US President Barack Obama has turned up for jury duty at a Chicago courthouse, but was dismissed by the judge without being called on to serve.

The former leader of the free world was the only juror to arrive by motorcade, however, accompanied by tight security and met with a throng of news media.

As a prospective juror, Obama joined fellow citizens at the courthouse, waiting to see if they are chosen to serve on a trial.

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He shook hands and thanked others for showing up, and was surprised by some who presented him with copies of his books to sign.

"Thanks everybody for serving on the jury. Or, at least being willing to," he said to laughter.

Dismissed

The former law professor left by midday, along with a number of others who were randomly selected for dismissal, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Before heading to court, the former president tweeted in the morning about Tuesday night's high-profile state and mayoral election results seen as a sweeping repudiation of the politics of his White House successor Donald Trump.

"This is what happens when the people vote," Obama wrote. "Every office in a democracy counts!"

Obama is not the first US president to show up for service that some Americans either dread or find excuses to avoid. Obama's predecessor in the White House, George W Bush, responded to a jury summons in 2015.

Bush was not selected to serve as a juror, but images of the smiling former president posing with delighted citizens at the courthouse in Dallas, Texas quickly showed up on social media.

Chicago has some experience with high-profile jurors. In 2004, media titan Oprah Winfrey, who at the time produced her talk show out of the midwestern city, was a juror on a three-day murder trial ending in a conviction.

While the Obamas currently live in Washington, the ex-president and first lady Michelle Obama maintain a home in Chicago, the city where he got his political start.

The south side of Chicago is also where the future Obama presidential centre will be built, near the former leader's home.

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