Why Jury Duty Matters by Andrew Guthrie Ferguson
A Citizen's Guide to Constitutional Action

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Synopsis

It’s 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 don’t 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.
 

About Andrew Guthrie Ferguson

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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.
 
Published December 17, 2012 by NYU Press. 224 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Law & Philosophy, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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Ferguson witnesses the process daily, and he serves it forth here to readers with enthusiasm: “I watch as constitutional ideals such as civic participation, deliberation, fairness, equality, liberty, accountability, freedom of conscience, and the common good come alive through the practice of ord...

Sep 30 2012 | Read Full Review of Why Jury Duty Matters: A Citi...

Publishers Weekly

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Ferguson, a veteran lawyer and law professor, outlines the importance of the jury in the legal system, how the right to trial by jury helped push the American Revolution forward, and how civil rights advances that created a more balanced jury pool have resulted in fairer trials for all.

Jan 07 2013 | Read Full Review of Why Jury Duty Matters: A Citi...

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