Do you know what rights and powers you have as a juror? The Fully Informed Jury Association has a webpage and handbooks explaining the overriding power of jurors over courts, prosecutors, and the government. As Thomas Jefferson once said in a letter to Thomas Paine, ” The trial by jury is the only device yet imagined by man by which a government may be bound to the principles of its Constitution.” Jurors can just say no! When the letter of the law is violated but not the spirit of the law. When justice and fair play demand a not guilty verdict a jury can speak its mind. The jury is conscious of the community. As Justice Bryon White wrote, “The purpose of a jury is to guard against the exercise of arbitrary power–to make available the common-sense judgment of the community as a hedge against the overzealous or mistaken prosecutor and in preference to the professional or perhaps over conditioned or biased response of a judge,” in Taylor v. Louisiana, 419 US 522, 530 (1975).
-Author: George Creal