Sal the Cat's Jury Duty Was Yesteryear's News

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Corrected: The story was bound to generate a lot of buzz: Boston’s jury commissioner had refused to release Sal the cat from jury duty after his owners sought to disqualify him on the ground he cannot speak English.

According to reports by 7NewsWHDH.com and MyFoxBoston.com, Sal’s owners, Guy and Anna Esposito, suspected Sal got the jury summons because they listed him under “pets” on the last city census form. Residents are listed by street address, and Sal may have gotten mixed up with the humans living there.

There’s just one problem with the story, CBS News reports. It’s a year old. It was picked up in 2011 by the Huffington Post, followed by the Fox story, followed by ABAJournal.com. We linked to the Fox story as well as the year-old story, without noticing the 2010 dateline.

More stories followed in the Toronto Star, the Daily Mail, the New York Daily News, a Washington Post blog and NPR, the CBS story says.

The Boston Globe also notes the story’s resurrection. Its report is entitled, “Story of cat called for jury duty has nine lives.” The newspaper talked to jury commissioner Pamela Wood, who said the cat-call was quickly corrected last year.

“It’s a cute story, the image of a cat appearing for jury duty,” Wood told the Globe.


Story corrected to say that Sal the Cat’s plight was first reported in January 2010.

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