Fully Informed Jury Association

Are you fully informed about jury nullification?

FIJA in the News | 04 Feb 2011

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press Article on Judge’s Order


Judge bans leaflets meant to influence jurors at courthouses

Ninth Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Belvin Perry signed the Florida Administrative Court Order in response to representatives of the national non-profit organization Fully Informed Jury Association handing out pamphlets outside the Orange County Courthouse, according to a story in The Orlando Sentinel.

The organization advocates “jury nullification,” where jurors can ignore the judge’s instructions if they are “voting their conscience.” Iloilo Marguerite Jones of the jury association described the organization as an “educational outfit . . . [whose members] believe in the right of free speech, and peaceful and orderly dissemination of information.” Members described the handouts as jury “education” information for distribution to sitting or potential jurors, according to the Sentinel.

fija.org/aie653l, the website for the association, provides members with access to several free printable brochures. One of the newest available brochures is titled New True or False Brochure, which stresses, “When you sit on a jury, you may vote on the verdict according to your conscience,” even if it defies a judge’s order or juror’s oath. Jones stated that the association does not allow their members to hand out any other literature other than material the organization produces.

In response to the order, the Fully Informed Jury Association wrote a letter on Feb. 3 to Perry, Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi. The organization said in the letter that there is a contradiction in the law, citing a Feb. 8, 2010, memorandum issued by Florida Judge David B. Eddy, which said: “Based on principles of free speech, I believe that whoever is distributing the handouts in question has a right to do so. Accordingly, I see no reason why the handouts must be excluded from the jury assembly room.”

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