Why Jury Duty Matters: A Citizen's Guide to Constitutional Action

Front Cover
New York University Press, Dec 1, 2012 - Law - 234 pages
2 Reviews
Itís easy to forget how important the jury really is to America. The right to be a juror is one of the fundamental rights guaranteed to all eligible citizens. The right to trial by jury helped spark the American Revolution, was quickly adopted at the Constitutional Convention, and is the only right that appears in both the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. But for most of us, a jury summons is an unwelcome inconvenience. Who has time for jury duty? We have things to do. † In Why Jury Duty Matters, Andrew Guthrie Ferguson reminds us that whether we like it or not, we are all constitutional actors. Jury duty provides an opportunity to reflect on that constitutional responsibility. Combining American history, constitutional law, and personal experience, the book engages citizens in the deeper meaning of jury service. Interweaving constitutional principles into the actual jury experience, this book is a handbook for those Americans who want to enrich the jury experience. It seeks to reconnect ordinary citizens to the constitutional character of a nation by focusing on the important, and largely ignored, democratic lessons of the jury. † Jury duty is a shared American tradition. It connects people across class and race, creates habits of focus and purpose, and teaches values of participation, equality, and deliberation. We know that juries are important for courts, but we donít know that jury service is important for democracy. This book inspires us to re-examine the jury experience and act on the constitutional principles that guide our country before, during, and after jury service.

What people are saying - Write a review

Why Jury Duty Matters: A Citizen's Guide to Constitutional Action

User Review  - Rachel Bridgewater - Book Verdict

Former public defender Ferguson (law, Univ. of the District of Columbia; coauthor, Youth Justice in America) offers an inspiring perspective on jury duty. Using a combination of personal narrative ... Read full review

Review: Why Jury Duty Matters: A Citizen's Guide to Constitutional Action

User Review  - Chelsea - Goodreads

Easy to read, very informative book about why we should take jury duty seriously. Gives a very good perspective on civil duty. Should be required reading in any government/civics course. A little disorganized which is why it got 4 out of 5. Read full review

About the author (2012)

Andrew Guthrie Ferguson is Professor of Law at the David A. Clarke School of Law at the University of the District of Columbia. He is co-author of Youth Justice in America.

Bibliographic information