It was an upgrade for potential jurors in DeKalb County, Ga., just east of Atlanta.
The required questionnaire — long having been available only as a paper document that had to be filled-out by hand and mailed in — could now be completed online.
But when one potential juror reportedly got to the drop-down menu listing occupations and hit the letter “s” for “sales” on Monday, this is what he saw instead:
DeKalb County Court Administrator Cathy McCumber told WXIA-TV in Atlanta that she’s not sure if someone added the word to the questionnaire that went online a month ago, or if the word “slave” has always been on the list of occupations.
The online list is based on an internal 62-page list that’s been used for 13 years, she added.
McCumber told WXIA that “slave” was removed within an hour of the issue being called to the court’s attention — but as to how it got there, that’s a mystery.
Significantly, the company that designed the software for the new online form said the drop-down menus in the survey are inputted by the user, according to WXIA.
People outside the courthouse reacted with shock when told about the occupational option, including this man, who initially had no words upon seeing the drop-down menu and just looked away:
“So they’re saying it’s a mistake? I don’t think so,” Bridgette Mathis told the station after seeing the drop-down menu. “Why is that even an option? Wow.”
Said DeKalb resident Cheryl Glass: “That is not an occupation; slave is not an occupation.”
Here’s a report from WXIA-TV: