By: Mary Smith
Published: Jun 29, 2021

Dead Case Against Jury-Skipper

Dead jury-skipper. Officials in Massachusetts said they will not allow an application for a criminal complaint against a dead man for being a jury-skipper to go forward. State Deputy Jury Commissioner John Cavanaugh said his office will take action before a criminal complaint is issued for Michael Wylie.

Wylie was a Georgetown man the application accuses of failing to show up for court while he was in hospice care a few months before he succumbed to cancer in 2006. The courts received a call about his medical condition. That’s when prosecutors decided to take no action against the dead jury-skipper.

“According to the files, we got a telephone call that said (Wylie) had a medical condition that prevented him from serving,” Cavanaugh said in explaining the mix-up. “But we required a doctor’s letter, and we never received one.

“Given what we now know, we will make an attempt to independently obtain documentation to confirm his death from the (Georgetown) town clerk before the hearing and stop that process,” Cavanaugh said. “But this could have been settled if someone in his family had faxed us a copy of his death certificate years ago.”

Steve Schubert, who is engaged to Wylie’s widow, Cindy, said the state should start taking advantage of recent technological advances. “In this electronic age, there has to be a simpler way to confirm someone’s dead than requiring their families to pay for and send in death certificates,” Schubert said. “I’m a forensic accountant. They could have done a viral search and come up with his death certificate online.”


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