FIJA empowers jurors to uphold individual rights and liberty by instilling in them a rich understanding of their protective role, including jurors’ right to refuse to enforce unjust law.
FIJA advances its mission through a variety of programs including one-time events and ongoing outreach activities. Each headline below will soon be a clickable link to a dedicated page with more information on the corresponding programs.
FIJA invites you to join fellow friends of liberty in learning more about the protective role of the jury and jurors' right of conscientious acquittal through virtual reading groups we are hosting. Selections for FIJA's Virtual Reading Groups will come from a variety of media in the field of criminal justice, focusing on the protective role of juries and the consequences of their eroded authority or absence in modern and historic contexts.
We will provide a facilitator to guide discussion on the reading, engage participants with probing questions about the material, aid in the use of the meeting platform, and keep the conversation tone respectful. Each session lasts 60-75 minutes and groups meet once a week for 3-4 weeks. We'll send you instructions before and provide a simple walkthrough of the Zoom platform at the start of the first session.
For nearly 30 years, Jury Rights Day has been FIJA's signature day of education. Each year FIJA hosts Jury Rights Day on September 5 in commemoration of the famous trial of William Penn in 1670 which laid the foundation for the right that jurors have still today to conscientiously acquit someone by jury nullification. Friends of FIJA nationwide are called to spend an hour or more at their local courthouses and other local hot spots and events on or near Jury Rights Day sharing FIJA literature to create more fully informed jurors in their communities. For a limited time, we are offering FREE Jury Rights Day event kits for those holding events on or near 5 September. If you can't do courthouse outreach, you could host a jury-related movie night for friends, speak to a local school or civic group, make signs and hold them up at the corner of a busy intersection, write an op-ed or letter to the editor, etc.
Click here to join us in celebrating Jury Rights Day on 5 September!
FIJA's national office provides support of long-term, general educational outreach campaigns in a variety of ways. We can help you organize a local courthouse outreach campaign with training, strategy, materials, etc. We can help you recruit volunteers, participate in local events, help you find a speaker, and more! Details available here soon.
Looking to host a table at a local event? We can help you out with brochures, posters, bumper stickers, sample literature for people to browse at your table. In exchange, we ask you to set up a Facebook event page we can add to the FIJA Facebook page and draw information from for our website event calendar as well as provide a brief report and some photos or video after the event. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with details of your event.
Currently, we have an informal list of speakers who may be available to speak to your community group, at your conference, or at other events. If you are in need of a speaker, please contact us at email@example.com.
We are in the process of making this a more formal resource. This will include speaker training to expand our speakers bureau, as well as an online directory with contact information, speech topics, and other information to help members of the public select and make contact with the best speakers to meet their needs.
Jury Health Project
Since the founding of the United States, governments at all levels have chipped away at many of our rights that the founders intended to be protected by the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights. In other cases, where these founding documents did not guarantee and uphold liberty and justice for all, wider legal recognition of these rights has often been established through Constitutional amendments, legislation, and court precedent. The landscape for jury rights has changed significantly since the founding of the United States. Where do our jury rights stand today? It is time for a health check.
To provide exactly that, FIJA has created the Jury Health Project. We will be looking at numerous aspects indicative of the health or lack thereof of jury systems nationwide. We will evaluate the rules as officially spelled out, as well as their functionality in practice, of juries at the federal level, in all fifty states, and in Washington, D.C. with respect to each of these jury health indicators.