American Jury Institute by yurtgc548


									Fully Informed Jury
American Jury Institute
 Called for
Jury Duty?
 Some facts you should know
      before you go...
“I consider trial by jury as the
 only anchor yet imagined by
 man by which a government
 can be held to the principles of
 its constitution.”

                      Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Paine
                      1789, ME 7:408, Papers 15:269.
         Our Mission
Our mission is to inform all Americans about
 their rights, authority, and responsibilities
 when serving as trial jurors.

Jurors must know that they have the option
  and the responsibility to render a verdict
  based on their conscience and on their sense
  of justice, as well as on the merits of the law.
The highest and best function
  of the jury is to protect fellow citizens
  from tyrannical prosecutions and bad
  laws unfairly imposed by government.
  Why are Juries Important?
 • Protect society from dangerous individuals
 • Protect individuals from unjust prosecutions
 • Have a duty to render a just verdict
 • Have an inalienable right to veto bad laws
 • Cannot be punished for their verdict

Note: The principle of jury authority applies equally in criminal and civil cases
“The judge cannot direct a verdict
  it is true, and the jury has the
  power to bring in a verdict in
  the teeth of both law and facts.”

                      Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes
                           Horning v. District of Columbia
                               249 U.S. 596, 1920
 What are
Your Duties
as a Juror?
    Your Duties as a Juror

Appear for jury duty when you are called
      Your participation and your
      verdict will have an impact on
      the life of the defendant and
      on all of your community
      Your Duties as a Juror
• Pay attention to all witnesses and evidence
• Listen respectfully to fellow jurors
• Vote your conscience, even if you are the
  only juror who believes in your verdict
• Render a just verdict

     Do not change your verdict if you are
     pressured by fellow jurors or a judge
     Rendering a Just Verdict
Take into account…
  •Defendant is innocent until proven guilty
  •The facts of the case
  •Credibility of witnesses and evidence
  •Mitigating circumstances
  •Fairness of the law
  •Fairness of the law’s application in this trial
“One may… ask: "How can you advocate breaking
  some laws and obeying others?" The answer lies
  in the fact that there [are] two types of laws: just
  and unjust… One has not only a legal but a moral
  responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one
  has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.
  I would agree with St. Augustine that ‘an unjust
  law is no law at all.’ ”

                                    Martin Luther King, Jr.
                                       "Letter from Birmingham Jail”
                                     Why We Can't Wait, April 16, 1963
Jurors are Representatives of the People

•Hold no personal or political agenda
•Have no stake in the trial outcome
•Serve as the conscience of the community
Jurors are Representatives of the People

•The only truly objective individuals in a courtroom
•Serve as a check and balance on all branches of
•Last peaceful defense of our civil liberties
“It is not only (the juror's) right, but his
  duty... to find the verdict according to
  his own best understanding, judgment,
  and conscience, even though in direct
  opposition to the direction of the court.”

                                       John Adams
                                1771 2 Life and Works of John Adams
                                   253-255 C.F. Adams ed. 1856
  What Does FIJA/AJI Do?
•Maintains educational website
•Publishes educational literature and
commentary and essays
•Presents Amicus briefs when the authority
   of the jury is at issue
•Provides interviews to the media
•Speaks at functions and in classrooms
How Can I Get More Information?

Call 1-800-TEL-JURY for your free jury
information packet
•Visit our website:
•Send us a note
   P.O. Box 5570, Helena MT, 59604
•Contact your local representative
      What Can I Do to Help?
• Appear for jury duty when you are called
• Learn more about the role of the jury
• Share this information with your friends and
• Volunteer for jury education projects in your state
  and community
• Spread the word at every opportunity
• Support us with your contribution
  What Can I Do to Help?
  Mail your contributions to:
     PO Box 5570
     Helena, MT 59604

Contribute online through our secure site:
 The Authority of
  the Jury is the
Right that Protects
 all Other Rights
 The Fully Informed Jury Association and American Jury Institute (FIJA/AJI) is a nonpartisan public
  policy research and education organization located in Helena, Montana. FIJA/AJI focuses on issues
involving the role of the jury in our justice system and the preservation of the full function of the jury
  as the final arbiter in our courts of law. The FIJA/AJI mission is to inform all Americans about their
                          rights, authority, and responsibilities when serving as trial
 jurors. Jurors have both the authority and the obligation to render a verdict based on conscience, and
retain the right to nullify bad law and misapplied laws. FIJA/AJI works to restore the political function
            of the jury as the final check and balance on our American system of government.

To ensure public understanding of the power and function of the jury, FIJA/AJI hosts conferences and
 educational seminars. FIJA/AJI publishes an extensive variety of educational and research literature,
  and answers queries from the public, scholars and legal professionals. As well, FIJA/AJI officers are
 often featured speakers and guest commentators in the press, where they discuss cases in which jury
     selection, information, or jury instructions had a significant role in the outcome of the case.

  To maintain its independence, FIJA/AJI accepts no government funding. FIJA/AJI programs and
     publications are possible because of generous contributions received from individual donors,
   foundations, and corporations. FIJA/AJI generates revenue through seminar fees and the sale of
  FIJA/AJI publications and materials. FIJA/AJI is a public policy nonprofit, tax-exempt educational
                  foundation under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Fully Informed Jury
 American Jury Institute

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