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Dear Friend of Liberty:
Thank you for your interest in the American Jury Institute. This
information will give you an overview of our purpose and projects. I hope
that when you have finished exploring this site, you will decide to become
a supporter. As I am sure you know, the highest and best function of the
jury is not, as many think, to dispense punishment to fellow citizens
guilty of breaking the law, but rather to protect fellow citizens from
tyrannical prosecutions and bad laws imposed by a power-hungry government.
Juries protect society from dangerous individuals and also protect
individuals from dangerous government. Jurors have a duty and
responsibility to render a just verdict. They must take into account the
facts of the case, mitigating circumstances, the merits of the law, and
the fairness of its application in each case. The recognition of the
authority and right of jurors to weigh the merits of the law and to render
a verdict based on conscience, dates from before the writing of our
Constitution, in cases such as those of William Penn and Peter Zenger.
Should this right ever be suppressed, the people will retain the right to
resist, having an unalienable right to veto or nullify bad and oppressive
laws, and in fact then would be morally compelled to do so.
Jurors, as the representatives of the people, hold no personal agenda
during any trial and most certainly not the government's agenda. Let us
not forget that the prosecutors, judges, arresting officers - and the
forensic investigators in most cases - are all a part of and receive their
paychecks from government, with personal power bases to build and personal
careers to protect through the "productivity" of successful prosecutions
resulting in convictions. Jurors have no such stake in the outcome, and
are, in fact, the only truly objective individuals in the courtroom.
The role of our jurors is to protect private citizens from dangerous
government laws and actions. Many existing laws erode and deny the rights
of the people. Jurors protect against tyranny by refusing to convict
harmless people. Our country's founders planned and expected that we, the
people, would exercise this power and authority to judge the law as well
as the facts every time we serve as jurors. Juries are the last peaceful
defense of our civil liberties.
AJI works to restore and protect the role of the juror, and the
institution of Trial by Jury. We sponsor educational seminars for legal
professionals, publish commentary, develop and present Amicus briefs when
the institution of the jury is at issue, provide interviews to the media,
speak at functions and in classrooms, and of course distribute educational
literature. Our newsletter The American Juror is published quarterly. We
articulate that the authority of the jury is the right that protects all
For more information, be sure to visit both of our web sites at
www.americanjuryinstitute.org and www.fija.org or call 1-800-TEL-JURY for
a free information packet. Thank you again for your interest. I hope you
will join with us in our work. To make a contribution for liberty today,
visit our contributions page at
www.fija.org/support_liberty_now where you can make a secure donation
and subscribe to our newsletter. Thank you for your support!
For Liberty and Justice for All,
Iloilo Marguerité Jones