Preserving the Right to a Representative Jury

May 1, 2003

Mark A. Behrens

For over two centuries, the jury system has played an important and revered role in the American justice system. As Alexis de Tocqueville observed long ago, “the practical intelligence and political good sense of the Americans are mainly attributable to the long use they have made of the jury.” Today, jury service is commonly accepted as one of the few obligations of good citizenship. National polls indicate that Americans hold the jury system in the highest regard — 78% percent of the public believe the jury system provides the most fair method of determining guilt or innocence; 69% consider juries to be the most important part of the justice system.

Preserving the Right to a Representative Jury