For Immediate Release: September 19, 2011
For More Information, Contact: Kyle R. Richmond, 608-257-5741

Constitution Week and Juror Appreciation Month Affirm Important Rights to a Trial by Jury

In Many Places, the Right to a Jury Trial is Not Guaranteed

MADISON, WI – This month is “Juror Appreciation Month” in Wisconsin and this week is “Constitution Week,” a time when state residents can doubly celebrate an important right provided in both the Wisconsin and United States constitutions.

Wisconsin Association for Justice (WAJ) President Mike End on Monday called on Wisconsinites to reflect upon and honor the long-time provision for jurors and juries in the U.S. justice system.

“The sixth and seventh amendments to the U.S. Constitution codify a very significant right for all of us:  A citizen’s right to a trial with a jury,” End said.  “Jurors – community members called upon to help judge a person’s innocence or guilt – might be your friends, neighbors, or co-workers, and play an extremely  important role in the justice system.”

End added that in many countries, and over the course of human history, many people accused of a crime have not had access to a judgment of their peers.

“People who serve on juries become part of the collective conscience of their communities,” End said.  “Jurors take their responsibilities very seriously, listening to evidence and carefully weighing the information they receive to come to a responsible verdict.”

John Adams said, “Representative government and trial by jury are the heart and lungs of liberty.”  A jury trial is therefore a very important piece of democracy.

“When you become a juror, in Wisconsin or anywhere, you become part of a collective decision-making process,” End said.  “You are then a group of people which decides what is the truth and what is fair compensation for those who may have been wronged.”

“The Wisconsin Association for Justice pays tribute to the people who serve on juries every day to ensure a fair and balanced justice system for everyone,” End said.

For more information about the U.S. Constitution, check the Library of Congress’ resources page
about the Constitution at http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/Constitution.html.

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The Mission of the Wisconsin Association for Justice is to promote a fair and effective justice
system - one that ensures justice for all, not just a privileged few.

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