Fully Informed Jury Association

Are you fully informed about jury nullification?

Function of Juries | 01 Apr 2013

-Let ALL Jurors Ask Questions!


Jury BoxIn light of extensive questioning by jurors in the Jodi Arias case in Arizona, author Diane Diamond makes a case for a more participatory role for jurors. This hearkens back to the historical role of jurors in England, Germany, and elsewhere, when jurors did not simply sit passively by the side as they were spoonfed carefully crafted information designed to lead them in a particular direction. Rather, jurors historically played an active role in jury trials, not only asking questions, but also independently investigating to uncover the truth. In order to deliver just verdicts, jurors must be fully informed about the relevant facts of a case at hand, as well as their rights and responsibilities in judge the facts and the law as it is applied.

Let ALL Jurors Ask Questions!

I’ve always wondered why jurors aren’t allowed to play a more active role in the trial process. If we count on our fellow citizens to pass judgment, don’t we want them to fully understand the proceedings and the facts of a case?

That’s why I’ve been so entranced watching the current headline-making, televised murder trial of Jodi Arias, 33, in Phoenix. Arizona is one of the few states with a specific law giving jurors the right to ask their own questions if something isn’t clear. Panelists write down what they want to know, and if their inquiry passes legal muster, the judge poses the question to the witness. (Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky and North Carolina have similar laws.)

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