Jury Power Information Kit
Thank you for your interest in the juror's role in safeguarding justice and in FIJA's educational work to ensure access to fully informed juries for all.
John Adams, signer of the Declaration of Independence and the second U.S. president, said of the juror in 1771:
"It is not only his right, but his duty... to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court."
By consulting your conscience, you can recognize when a person's action has not harmed anyone, and thus deserves no punishment—regardless unjust laws or intimidating jury instructions that falsely tell you that sometimes you MUST convict. Consulting your conscience allows you, as a juror, to temper justice with mercy when a penalty is unduly harsh, when prosecutors maliciously overcharge defendants, and so on.
Jurors who are fully informed about their right of conscientious acquittal and who are prepared to vote their consciences—even if judges try to mislead them with false jury instructions and other intimidating tactincs—are the last peaceful defense of our civil liberties.
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