CHICAGO
01/24/2012 04:21 pm ET

Jury Duty No-Show Ordered By Judge To Carry Sign: 'I Failed To Appear'

An Indiana man who skipped out on jury selection has been ordered by a judge to stand in front of the Lake County Courthouse with a sign that says "I failed to appear for jury duty.;"

Judge Thomas Stefaniak, Jr. told the 22-year-old prospective juror, whose name has not been released but who is known to be unemployed, that leaving the courthouse after a lunch break before the jury had been selected was inexcusable, especially because the man has "got nothing else to do," the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

"Help me understand what it is about my words, 'You've got to come back,' that you don't understand?" Stefaniak said in court, according to the Sun-Times. "I'm at a loss to understand why you did what you did."

The man was being considered for service in the trial of Valparaiso resident Jeffrey Cleary, who faced multiple charges in the 2010 death of a road service worker, according to the Northwest Indiana Times. The jury found Cleary guilty on misdemeanor drunken driving charges, but were hung on three felony counts. Prosecutors say they intend to call for a retrial.

The 22-year-old told Stefaniak he didn't return as instructed by mistake. "I wasn't really paying attention," he said in court, according to CBS Chicago.

Unconvinced, Stefaniak asked for the wayward juror's name to be returned to the pool, and ordered him to show up at the courthouse at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 6 and Monday, Feb. 13 to walk out front with the sign until bailiffs release him, according to WGN Chicago.

CONVERSATIONS