Fully Informed Jury Association

Are you fully informed about jury nullification?

Jury Rights Day & Volunteer | 08 Sep 2011

Juror Education in Celebration of Jury Rights Day at Ravalli County Fair


In celebration of Jury Rights Day, David and Leona Merrick and other Montana volunteers hosted a FIJA outreach table at the Ravalli County Fair. The fair, which has been held annually for more than a century, took place in Hamilton, Montana from 31 August through 3 September 2011. Drawing approximately 20,000 people, the Ravalli County Fair is the largest event in the county.

The outreach table featured FIJA outreach literature, including our brand new Fresh Air for Justice brochure, freely available for anyone to take. One of our brand new 6′ wide by 3′ high FIJA banners hung on the wall next to the table was easily visible all the way across the building. The banner was also carried in the Fair Parade kicking off the event.

Volunteers at the table were available to offer literature to passersby and to invite them to sign petitions for state initiatives, including a fully informed jury initiative. While FIJA National is a strictly educational organization that does not engage in political activities, state level groups and individuals not covered under our 501(c)3 status may do so at their discretion.

David and Leona Merrick reported that most responses to juror education outreach efforts were positive. “If they’re not in favor of jury nullification and they think that we’re kind of going against the grain, we just thank them for stopping by and for listening to our pitch. We try to give them, if they will take it, some further information on what the fully informed jury means,” David said.

“There are probably about a thousand or so, I’d guess, that we have talked to,” David estimated over the course of 4 days of outreach. He noted that they have distributed FIJA literature every year for the last few years at the fair. Several people who visited the table recognized the outreach effort from previous years.

Leona also credited FIJA’s eye-catching, yellow “We Are Everywhere” t-shirts for attracting people to the table to learn more. “I think we have passed out the most literature ever this year,” she said.