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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

This information is provided for educational purposes. These are our observations only and do not constitute legal advice. FIJA does not offer legal advice or legal referrals.

This is a work in progress. If you have questions you would like us to answer here about juries and jury nullification, please email us at aji@fija.org.

Jury Nullification Basics

Legal Basis for Jury Nullification

  • What is the legal basis for jury nullification?
  • What was the intent of the Founders with regard to jury nullification?
  • What laws specifically permit jury nullification?
  • Is jury nullification illegal where there is no law specifically authorizing it?
  • Is jury nullification a right or just a power?
  • What have the courts said in support of jury nullification?
  • What have legal professionals said in support of jury nullification?

Hung Juries and Mistrials

Double Jeopardy

Jury Selection (Voir Dire)

  • What is voir dire?
  • How do I get on the jury?
  • Should I bring up jury nullification during jury selection?
  • What are challenges for cause?
  • What are peremptory challenges?
  • May I be eliminated from the jury because of my race or gender?

Jury Unanimity

  • Aren't jurors always required to agree unanimously to deliver a verdict in the United States?
  • Has the Supreme Court weighed in on non-unanimous jury verdicts?
  • In practice, do any states allow non-unanimous jury verdicts?
  • How do non-unanimous verdicts undermine the protective role of jurors?

Jury Issues in Capital Cases

Undermining the Role of Juror

  • How does reducing the size of the jury undermine the role of jurors?
  • How does asset forfeiture circumvent the protection of trial by jury?
  • How does sentencing on acquitted conduct usurp the rightful authority of the jury?