Are you Fully Informed?

Fully Informed is the Substack newsletter of the Fully Informed Jury Association, written by FIJA Executive Director Kirsten C. Tynan, with occasional guest posts by FIJA Vice Chairman Robert Anthony Peters and FIJA Board Secretary Nathan P. Goodman, Ph.D.

In this publication, we will delve into what it means for jurors to be fully informed. This will include a special emphasis on FIJA’s main focus area: jury nullification.

You can also expect significant discussion of various other features (and bugs) of the law and our legal system that enable or inhibit jurors in exercising their right of jury nullification or otherwise support or undercut the jury’s role as a bulwark for liberty.

In this era of criminal justice reform, join us in learning how restoring the jury to its rightful role in protecting individual rights and liberty can help rein in government overreach and abuse that has resulted in mass incarceration and mass injustice.

Juries? Do you really think I want to read about juries?

Despite common portrayals in pop culture, jury trials have become exceedingly rare.

By and large, those who are accused have essentially been priced out of the market for the Constitutional right to a trial by jury not only by the financial expense of the months- or even years-long process, but also by the drastically higher penalty they face should they turn down a plea deal and lose in a trial by jury.

Most sources estimate that the percentage of criminal cases heard by a jury has declined from about 20% just 30 or so years ago to maybe 3% as of a couple years ago. The lingering effect of 12-16 month suspensions of trial by jury around the country during the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet known, but it can’t have been good.

We are now at a critical moment in the history of trial by jury. Will we become fully informed about and act to preserve our jury rights before it is too late, or will we watch them vanish into thin air in our lifetimes?

And if these rights are lost, what unintended consequences will be unleashed in the processes that replace them?

In this era of criminal justice reform, join us in learning how restoring the jury to its rightful role in protecting individual rights and liberty can rein in government overreach and abuse.

Subscribe to Fully Informed

Jury nullification, trial by jury, and other aspects of the legal system.

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Kirsten Tynan

Executive director of the Fully Informed Jury Association