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- Principles of Jury Reform, by Jon Roland — Measures needed to return trial jury procedure to compliance with the Constitution.
- You are summoned for jury duty — Brief guide for prospective jurors.
- If you are called for jury duty in a criminal trial ...
- Mansfieldism Reconsidered, by Jon Roland —; Review of evidence for arguing law in the presence of the jury.
- Original Intent, a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, by Rep Ron Paul (R-TX), August 1, 1997. Discusses the original intent of the Framers concerning juries.
- The Jury and Consensus Government in Mid-Eighteenth-Century America, William E. Nelson — What the Founders understood the role of the jury to be.
- An Introduction to Trial by Jury — Project of the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago.
- The Power of Juries: Jury Rights Day — Editorial in Orange County Register, September 8, 1997.
- History of Jury Nullification — Quotes from various sources.
- Law Must be Argued Before Jury — Column: Aug. 14, 2000
- The Laura Kriho Case — Juror prosecuted for doing her duty.
- Jury Power — More material on jury rights and powers.
- Juror's Handbook — Useful reference.
- JurorsRule.com — Site developed by Alexander Navarro.
- V Law Must be Argued before Jury. Video. 25MB MPEG, running time 2.5 minutes. Need a video utility like Quicktime Player,RealPlayer or Adobe Premiere.
- Sanhedrin — Ancient Jewish antecedent of Anglo-Saxon juries.
Leading Court Cases
- Trials of Liberty — Collection of leading historical trials that define the jury system.
- United States v. Fenwick, 25 F. Cas. 1062 (1836); 4 Cranch C.C. 675 — Defense in criminal trial has right to argue law before jury until bench rules on motion.
- Stettinius v. United States, 22 F. Cas. 1322 (1839); 5 Cranch C.C. 573 — Parties in cases of mixed law and fact, including criminal cases, have right to argue law before jury until bench rules on motion, and to have such rulings delayed until arguments can be made to the jury, which must hear legal arguments to perform their duty. Both judge and jury may judge the law in favor of the defendant. Jurors are expected to be able to determine whether the complaint is authorized by the Constitution.
- Games v. Stiles ex dem Dunn, 39 U.S. 322 (1840) — If the bench and jury disagree on a point of law, the opinion of the bench prevails.
- Sparf & Hansen v. United States, 156 U.S. 51, 64 (1895) — Jurors do not need to be informed of their power to judge the law in bringing a general verdict.
- Coffin v. U.S., 156 U.S. 432 (1895) — Court must instruct jury in criminal case that accused is presumed innocent.
- United States v. Dougherty, 473 F.2d 1113 (1972) — Dissent by Bazelon on informing juries of their power to judge the law.
- United States v. Julian Heicklen, 10 CR 1154 (KMW) (April 19, 2012) — Order by Judge Kimba Wood dismissing indictment of defendant for distributing fully informed jury literature outside a federal courthouse.
State Constitutional Reform
- Proposed California Constitutional Initiative Amendments — Civil Rights Amendments
- Proposed Revised Texas Constitution (Sections on juries and due process)
Trial Jury Reform Groups
Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA)
- Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA) — Alternate site.
- Lone Star FIJA — Texas branch.
- Texas Fully Informed Jury Amendment Association (FIJA) with an explanation and a history . Advocate jury nullification of unconstitutional statutes and law enforcement practices.
- Jury Power — Another site for the Fully Informed Jury Association. Archive of materials on jury nullification.
- Explanation of the FIJA movement.
- History of the FIJA movement.
- Indiana Fully Informed Jury Association — Indiana chapter. Has some important documents.
- Common Sense Justice for South Dakotans — Got an amendment to the North Dakota Constitution on the November, 2002 ballot.
- Jury Power — Working for jury reform at the state level.
- Jury Rights Project
Trial Jury Discussion Forums
- FIJA. To [un]subscribe, send message to FIJAfirstname.lastname@example.org. — Discussion of fully informed jury issues.
Jury Instruction Reform — California
The California Judicial Council Task Force on Jury Instructions has been charged by Chief Justice Ronald George with writing "jury instructions that both accurately state the law and are more easily understandable to jurors." Here are their draft proposals and our comments:
- * CJCTF Site, with their proposed jury instructions for comment by August 1, 2000, both criminal and civil, in PDF.
- CJCTF proposed criminal jury instructions, local copies, converted into HTML and text. (Removed temporarily at the request of Melissa Johnson of the California Judicial Council, who asserted their claim of copyright, which is disputed. See comment in Draft Comment #01 below.)
- Draft Comment #01 on the Proposed Criminal Jury Instructions.
- Draft Comment #02 on the Proposed Criminal Jury Instructions.
- Draft Comment #03 on the Proposed Criminal Jury Instructions.
- Civil Jury Instructions (July 2003, PDF, 4,176 KB) The Judicial Council officially adopted these new civil jury instructions at its July 16, 2003 meeting.
- Criminal Libel and the Duty of Juries, Joseph Towers (1764, 1784), Francis Maseres (1792) — Three essays on the right of defendants, especially in criminal libel cases, to have the jury decide the law as well as the fact issues.
- The Elements of the Art of Packing, As Applied to Special Juries, Particularly in Cases of Libel Law, Jeremy Bentham (written 1809, published 1821) — Critical treatise on abuses of the English jury system and ways to reform it, which provides a historical background to practices that continue to this day. The first publisher in 1817 of excerpts from this work was prosecuted twice for doing so, and the second three times, but in each attempt, juries acquitted them.
- History of Trial by Jury, William Forsyth. (1875) — Tells story of how it evolved, as seen by a legal scholar who missed the point that juries were established because judges and prosecutors cannot be trusted.
- Trials of Liberty — Some of the best expositions of law and constitutional principles are made during trials.
- Landmark Court Decisions — Includes commentaries on the rulings and the opinions.
- Sortition for Judges, by Jon Roland.
- An Essay on the Trial by Jury, Lysander Spooner (1852). Criticism of jury practice as of the time written. However, Spooner gets some of the history wrong. Random selection of jurors does not go all the way back to Magna Carta, but came later.
- A Lehman, Godfrey D., We the Jury : The Impact of Jurors on Our Basic Freedoms : Great Jury Trials of History, 1997, Prometheus. Landmark cases in which the jury played the starring role.
- A Lehman, Godfrey D., The Ordeal of Edward Bushell, 1988, Lexicon. A fictionalized rendition of Bushell's Case, in which Edward Bushell, by holding out against intense pressure to convict William Penn on a charge of preaching in a way not authorized by the Church of England, established both the power and role of the jury and the right of free exercise of religion. Available from America's Legal Bookstore, 725 J St, Sacramento, CA 95814, 916/441-0410.