Is juror rights outreach legal? In short, yes. This handy infographic documents recent legal events that back this up.
In all of these cases, a key element of “jury tampering” was missing—an attempt to influence the outcome of a particular case. FIJA outreach is simply about making sure that every juror knows all of the options available to them, including the option to vote Not Guilty when a just verdict requires it, even if they believe beyond a reasonable doubt that the law was technically broken. What they do with that information—whether they use it or not—is up to them.
Whether government agents are truly ignorant of this not terribly subtle distinction, or whether they simply ignore it because it is inconvenient in their misguided attempts to chill juror educators’ freedom of expression, they will very occasionally break the law and falsely arrest and charge people for this non-offense.
On the rare occasion when juror rights educators are arrested, that usually makes a big splash in the news. But when they are exonerated of wrongdoing for sharing FIJA information or discussing jury nullification, the media is much less interested. This can leave potential educators, as well as the general public, with the mistaken impression that our work is in some way illegal.
This is NOT the case! FIJA outreach has repeatedly been held in different courts around the country to be perfectly legal. Please feel free to download this infographic and share it on social media, etc. to help correct this mistaken impression.
Information on Safe and Effective FIJA Outreach:
● Courthouse Outreach Volunteer Training—an approximately half hour, on-demand, video training on YouTube
● Distributing FIJA Literature in Front of Courthouses—a downloadable .pdf flyer discussing the dos and don’ts of juror rights education near courthouses