As a juror, you can save a life with just two words: Not Guilty. Learn how.
When you are called to serve on a jury, will you be prepared? Most people assume that they know the basics of jury duty and that once they arrive at the courthouse they will be fully and accurately instructed about the details of their responsibilities. Yet that is disturbingly far from the truth in many cases.
Judges and prosecutors often purposely mislead well-meaning people into convicting someone they later regret having had a hand in punishing. Some jurors find out after a trial that information was withheld from them that would have changed their view of the case—but it is too late for them to take back their decision. Many are misled by the judge's instructions and other psychological tactics to mistakenly think that they have to convict or impose a sentence even though they think it would be unjust.
We have heard from many jurors over the years who now have to live with the knowledge and moral injury from having mistakenly convicted or punished someone unjustly. It weighs on them heavily. Many wish they had walked into the courthouse already well-versed in the information on this website.
If you received a jury summons in the mail today, how prepared are you? Test your knowledge with this short quiz!
Here is some basic information you need to know in order to serve as a fully informed juror when called for jury duty.
Press releases and other resources for news, television, film, and other media professionals.
Information for defendants who are seeking trial by jury and are considering a jury nullification strategy.
Key jury-related legal cases as well as current policy, law, and proposed legislation regarding jury rights.
Jury-related resources for attorneys interested including CLE information, legal arguments, amicus briefs, and more.
Frequently asked questions, articles and essays, historic documents, videos, glossary of legal terms, and more.
We'll discuss with Professor Michael Huemer his forthcoming book entitled "Justice before the Law". . In this book, Professor Huemer explores the largest injustices in the legal system and what can be done about them. Besides proposing institutional reforms, he argues that prosecutors, judges, lawyers, and jury members ought to place justice before the law—for example, by refusing to enforce unjust laws or impose unjust sentences.
Coming up on June 4! Join us for a screening of the short film "Tank Man" on the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, and a discussion with its creator, actor/director and FIJA Vice Chairman Robert Anthony Peters, about what jurors can learn from the heroic example of Tank Man.
Video and reference links for our 9 November 2020 Zoom session of 15 Minutes with FIJA. We cover jury issues in two capital cases, jury trial delays due to reluctance of people to serve, and an update on the status of trials by jury around the country.