The Importance of Jury Trials
“I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution”. – Thomas Jefferson
The right to trial by jury is guaranteed by Article III of the U.S. Constitution and the 6th and 7th Amendment of the Bill of Rights. The founding fathers established this constitutional right in recognition of the importance of giving a panel of ordinary citizens the absolute power to make decisions. They determined that jury trials offered unparalleled protection to their hard-won freedoms. This is most important where an individual seeks to hold accountable those of wealth and power. Jury trials present the only means for leveling the playing field between large corporations, including insurance companies, and individuals who have been harmed. Juries connect people across class, race, religion, wealth and power.
“In matters of truth and justice, there is no difference between large and small problems, for issues concerning the treatment of people are all the same”. – Albert Einstein
The Importance of Jury Service
“The government has a strong interest in having the jury express the conscience of the community” –Justice Clarence Thomas – Jones v. United States
Juries play a central role in the American system of justice. The protection of our civil rights and enforcing our community safety rules are achieved through the combined efforts of attorneys, judges, and juries. After hearing all the evidence presented at trial, it is the jury who makes the final decision on a case. The verdict of a jury decides the truth of the case and in so doing dispenses justice. Serving on a jury is the most direct and impactful way for citizens to participate in the process of democracy. Jury trials give the people a voice in our system of justice.
“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice”. – Martin Luther King, Jr.