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Law

  • Jurors in all courts in the United States have the right to vote their conscience without being punished for their verdicts. The Founders valued this feature of English common law, and purposely built it into our legal system. It is not explicitly spelled out in the United States Constitution, as many of our rights are not, but denial of this benefit of trial by jury in the colonies was one of the grievances that led to the American Revolution. Even though it was well understood and used in both pre- and post-revolutionary America, some states added explicitly codified guarantees of this right in their state constitutions. Former FIJA board member and attorney Tom Stahl discusses the additional protections that can be found in many state constitutions.

Legal Cases

We are building what we expect to be the most comprehensive collection of legal cases about jury nullification, free speech in juror rights education, and other key cases in jury history. As we set up a case file for one of the below cases, it can be reached by clicking the case file name. Check back frequently for new case files.

Jury Nullification Case Files

  • Anthony, Susan B.

    After being arrested for voting while female, Susan B. Anthony embarked on an extensive speaking tour to educate prospective jurors who might judge her case about their right to conscientiously acquit her.

  • Branch Davidian Trial
  • Bushell, Edward
  • Carriker, Kyler
  • Cort, Melroy
  • Hodges, John
  • Kleinman, Noah
  • Lee, Jae
  • Moore, Tiawanda
  • Penn, William
  • Philadelphia Treason Trials
  • Swartz, Aaron
  • Upstate Drone Action
  • Willis, Antonio
  • Woody, Elijah
  • Zenger, John Peter

Juror Rights Educator Free Speech Case Files

  • Brandt, Eric
  • Heicklen, Julian
  • Iannicelli, Mark
  • Lamb, Luke
  • Verlo, Eric; Janet Matzen; and the Fully Informed Jury Association
  • Wood, Keith

Other Key Jury Rights Cases

  • Batson v. Kentucky
  • Glasser v. United States