New and Converted Documents
● What Say the Reeds at Runnymede? by Rudyard Kipling
A poem by Rudyard Kipling commemorating the sealing of Magna Carta at Runnymede on 15 June 1215.
● The Duty to Disregard the Law (.pdf) by Michael Huemer
Philosopher Michael Huemer argues that jurors are sometimes morally obligated to disregard the law. Originally published in Criminal Law and Philosophy, and hosted here with permission of the author and CLPH.
● From the Diary of John Adams on the Right of Juries
Notes from the Diary of John Adams on the right of juries to judge the law as well as the facts in a case before them.
● Address to the People of Great Britain
This Address to the People of Great Britain was reportedly written by John Jay and signed by others, including fellow Founder and jury rights advocate John Adams. Issued in 1774, it foreshadows the American revolutions with its detailed discussion of colonists’ grievances related to the denial of the benefits of trial by jury.
● Jury Instructions in Georgia v. Brailsford (1794)
Georgia v. Brailsford is notable in jury history for acknowledgement by SCOTUS’ first Chief Justice, John Jay, of jurors’ right to judge the law. Here is Justice Jay’s charge to the jury in that case.
● Letter from Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Paine, 11 July 1789
In this letter to Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson provides details from France of the revolutionary goings on at the time and expresses his concern that the revolutionary National Assembly, in creating a new government for France, would not be persuaded to adopt trial by jury.
● Vices Are Not Crimes by Lysander Spooner
Spooner argues that offending another’s sensibilities or acting against one’s own best interest, do not constitute crimes but only vices.
● Jury Reform by Victor S. Yarros
Yarros, former law partner to Clarence Darrow, argued in 1895 against eroding jury protection with such measures as non-unanimous verdicts and schemes to stack juries with certain types of people.
● The Twelve Men by G. K. Chesterton
Chesterton, one of the great writers of the 20th century, discusses what jury duty taught him about the importance of juries composed of ordinary people.
● Justice Goodloe’s Proposed Jury Nullification Instruction for Trial Judges to Give the Jury
Proposed verbiage of a jury nullification instruction to be given by trial judges, written by former Washington State Supreme Court Justice William Goodloe.
● War and Taxes: What Prompted the Magna Carta? by Lawrence W. Reed
Lawrence Reed, president of the Foundation for Economic Education, discusses what prompted the Magna Carta, a foundation of our jury rights still today.
● Jury Nullification in Conscience Cases (.pdf) by William Kunstler
Former ACLU director and co-founder of the Center for Constitutional Rights William Kunstler published this article in the Vietnam War era detailing the foundations for and use of jury nullification in conscience cases.
● Forgotten Sentinel by Harvey Wysong
The author reminds us that the jury must stand guard as a sentinel in protection of rights and against unjust and malicious prosecutions.
● Criminal Courts Have Quietly Moved from “May” Convict to “Must” Convict Jury Instructions by Roger I. Roots, J.D., Ph.D.
FIJA Advisory Board member Dr. Roger Roots traces the evolution of the treatment of jury nullification in jury instructions, which today often falsely instruct jurors that they “must” convict.
● Many Things Were Missing from the Rosenthal Trial by Iloilo Jones
Former FIJA executive director Iloilo Jones details the absence of fully informed jurors, in addition to the absence of relevant facts, in the trial of Ed Rosenthal.
● Letter to the New Hampshire Telegraph Editor by Iloilo Jones
Former FIJA executive director Iloilo Jones discusses the full function of juries and the crucial role of fully informed jurors in protecting our communities.
● The Power of One Juror to Protect your Rights by Robert Thornton
Robert Thornton discusses the importance of unanimous verdicts in criminal cases, especially for firearms owners.
● Guerrilla Jurors: Sticking it to Leviathan by Don Doig and Stewart Rhodes
Jurors’ power to vote according to conscience and judge the law itself is the only real power citizens have in government, say Don Doig and Stewart Rhodes.
● Increase in Jury Nullification Verdicts Seen by Don Doig
Don Doig takes a look at the evidence that jury nullification verdicts are on an upward trajectory.
● FIJA and the Second Amendment by Don Doig
FIJA co-founded and chairman Don Doig explains how jurors—especially fully informed ones—can defend our Second Amendment rights.
● Book Review of Stealth Juror by Trent Hammerstein reviewed by Don Doig
● The Importance of the Skeptical Jury by Clay Conrad
Using the trial of Ed Rosenthal to illustrate, Conrad argues that the role of the juror is not to be complacent or compliant, but skeptical and independent.
● Thoughts on Jury Nullification by Bill St. Clair
Bill St. Clair shares his thoughts on jury nullification, in light of recent remarks made by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor favorable to it.
● Quotes on Jury Authority and Jury Nullification
Selected quotations regarding the authority of the jury and the right of jury nullification.
Old Essays and Editorials Page
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No permission is granted to modify these documents, publish unattributed excerpts, or to print, publish, or distribute any other material containing the FIJA imprint. For all other material of any nature, you must have been granted permission BEFORE publishing or distributing any such material either in hard copy or in electronic format. Please make your request to the Fully Informed Jury Association at firstname.lastname@example.org or by postal mail to FIJA; P.O. Box 5570; Helena, MT 59864.
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Jury Nullification in Conscience Cases, William M. Kunstler
» 886.4 KiB - 2,648 hits - February 8, 2011
Essay by William. M. Kunstler that appeared in the Virginia Journal of International Law.
The Importance of the Skeptical Jury, Clay S. Conrad
» 5.2 KiB - 1,882 hits - April 10, 2009
On June 4, 2003, Edward Rosenthal was sentenced to one day in prison for growing marijuana. Rosenthal is clearly guilty. If the law is to...
FIJA and the Second Amendment, Don Doig
» 7.7 KiB - 1,833 hits - April 10, 2009
We frequently hear the proposition that in the line of defense of our liberties, first is the ballot box, then the soap box, then the jury box, and finally, failing all else, the cartridge box...
Increase in Jury Nullification Verdicts Seen, Don Doig
» 6.3 KiB - 2,578 hits - April 10, 2009
It's nice to know that years of effort by thousands of FIJA activists, involving thousands of news articles, media interviews, letters to the editor, scholarly articles and the distribution...
St. Patrick's Four Found Not Guilty of Conspiracy Charge
» 2.1 KiB - 1,678 hits - April 10, 2009
Empowering the Jury as the Fourth Branch of Government, Justice William Goodloe
» 74.5 KiB - 3,315 hits - April 10, 2009
Letter to the New Hampshire Telegraph Editor, Iloilo Jones
» 3.4 KiB - 1,704 hits - April 10, 2009
Sir: It is impossible for juries to render just and informed verdicts if the full knowledge of their powers of discretion are hidden from them. Jurors have both a duty and a responsibility...
Many Things Were Missing from the Rosenthal Trial, Iloilo Jones
» 6.0 KiB - 1,419 hits - April 10, 2009
More than facts were missing from the Federal Courtroom where Ed Rosenthal was tried and convicted last month. An informed jury was missing, and had been carefully excluded during the process of jury...
The Power of One Juror to Protect Your Rights, Robert Thornton
» 32.0 KiB - 1,002 hits - April 10, 2009
A timely article about changes in the law which allow convictions with less than unanimous jury verdicts.
Trial By Jury
» 507.6 KiB - 1,077 hits - April 10, 2009
Forgotten Sentinel, Harvey Wysong
» 102.0 KiB - 2,036 hits - April 10, 2009