SAMPLES OF JURY ARGUMENT SEEKING TO INSPIRE
AND/OR ELEVATE THE DECISION-MAKER (JURY) BY MAKING EACH JUROR FEEL A SENSE OF PRIDE, POWER, AND OBLIGATION IN PERFORMING HIS/HER JOB
Lead in to discussing the role and duty of jurors and the importance of their decision-making power - The judge told you at the beginning of the case that you shouldn't be offended if the attorneys don't speak to you as you come and go. The law prevents me from speaking with you outside the courtroom. I hope you understand that why we have had to remain aloof. If we have passed in the hallways or if we shared an elevator and I seemed to avoid recognizing you, it's because the law requires it, not because I enjoy it. There was never any disrespect intended. Indeed, now that we are at a point in this trial when I can speak directly to you, I'd like to say a few things about how important you are and the sense of pride, power and obligation you should feel in doing your job as a juror.
Lead for discussion of purpose, power, and obligation entailed in being a juror - Soon, you ladies and gentlemen will go into the jury room to decide whether or not the evidence has removed each and every reasonable doubt about whether (name the defendant) did what the prosecutor claims. I wish I could be be there with you when you go over the facts of this case. During all these years as a lawyer, I have never had the opportunity to be a juror. I don't know what goes on in a jury room or how you will go about deciding this case. But if I were with you as a sort of thirteenth juror I would put my two cents worth in and raise the points I am going to discuss with you in a few minutes. But before I talk discuss the evidence, I want to take just a moment and visit with you he about your purpose as jurors, the power that you have, and the obligation that being a juror carries with it.
Buck stops here - Up to this point, you've all played a passive role in this trial. We've had a few laughs -- some on the witnesses, some on us lawyers. But as President Truman said, "The buck stops here." It stops with you ladies and gentlemen. Now, each one of you must assume one of the most awesome responsibilities of citizenship in a free society - the obligation of deciding the fate of a fellow human being.
Right to trial by jury as unique - I don't want to sound corny, but let me say this. You don't get a jury trial in Iran, Communist China, or Castro Cuba. Criminal cases in France and Germany aren't decided by juries of citizens. We are unique. We have a Sixth Amendment to our Constitution that gives every one of us the right to trial by jury. I am so thankful that we have the right to present our case to you, rather than leaving it up to the police or the prosecutor to decide whether (name the defendant) is guilty or not guilty. I am glad that we live in a country where your accuser is not also your judge.
Jury system as safety net - Our jury system was invented as a safety net against injustice.
Trial by jury valued - It is good that we have trial by jury. We don't have trial by commission or trial by police officer. We have trial by jury, by citizens.
Jurors akin to earthly Gods -To some extent, being chosen to sit in judgment of another person places you above that person, almost as if you were an earthly God.
Magna Carta -The jury system got its start in England under King John. It started in 1215 with the Magna Carta. But the Magna Carta didn't guarantee a jury in the way we think of it today. When the Magna Carta was written, women didn't have a right to jury. Working class citizens had no right to a jury. It was only the nobleman that was given the right to a jury.
Old as Scriptures and clear as the Constitution - It's as old as the Scriptures and as clear as the American Constitution.
History of jury system - derived from American Revolution - One of the main reasons that our country broke away from England was so we could have trials where the decisions would be made by a group of residents of the community. There were two other reasons. One was freedom of religion. The other was freedom of speech. King George infringed on the American colonist's right to a jury trial. That is one of the reasons for the American Revolution. In our day-to-day lives where we worry about our house payments or the cost of gasoline, we have a tendency to forget what this country is about. Recently, I had the opportunity to be in Philadelphia. It's a visit that will rekindle your belief in our system. After you practice law for a while, you can become a little jaded. I went through Independence Hall which is probably the most historic building in America. I saw where Thomas Jefferson sat down and wrote the Declaration of Independence. When I saw the room where patriots from all thirteen colonies came, sat, deliberated, and wrote the Constitution of this country, I was overcome by a feeling of quiet reverence. That simple room in Independence Hall had no heat. There were no ceiling fans. It was a laborious task to write the Constitution. There was much debate about it. They had four people carry Benjamin Franklin, eighty-one years old with gout, into the room. He was the mediator. The very principles we are talking about - the presumption of innocence, the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and the right of an accused person to a lawyer and to a trial by jury - all these fundamental concepts go back to our Constitution and Bill of Rights that were written by the founders of our country. This may sound like a history lesson, but I am doing this for a purpose. I want you to know how important you, in your role as a juror, are to democracy and to (name the defendant), because his future is in your hands. [Note: The Constitutional Convention of 1787 did not seek to create a guarantee of any fundamental rights or liberties except to ban bills of attainder (a legislative act that allows imposition without a judicial trial) and ex post facto laws and to preserve the writ of habeas corpus. The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution, was proposed by Congress in September of 1789. Upon ratification, the Bill of Rights became effective on December 15, 1791, some four years after the enactment of the Constitution.]
Don't return the verdict that "the King awaits" - story of the trial of William Penn - Last night, while I was thinking this case over in anticipation of what I would say to you today, I thought to myself, what can I tell these twelve (or six) people that will cause them, when they go back into the jury room, to give some consideration to what I have said and to recall the points I have tried to make in my summation. The it dawned on me that I have read this very case before, and why don't I share that with this jury: Years ago in England, a trial of an English citizen occurred which reminds me of this prosecution. That trial, unlike this one, was for the crime of speaking out against the king. There, the king was very upset because he had been advised that one of his loyal subjects had spoken out against him. The king summoned his prosecutor who, in turn, secured an indictment for sedition that brought the defendant into court. Then the king ordered the judge to convene a trial and to have the clerk bring in some jurors to try this defendant for sedition, this man who spoke out against the king. The prosecutor was instructed, "You are to get the verdict that the king awaits." The prosecutor put on his evidence and after that was done he looked over at the jurors and said, "Members of the jury, it is now your obligation to return the verdict that the king awaits." The last voice the jurors heard was the judge who told them, " Members of the jury, you have heard the testimony and now it is your duty to return the verdict that the king awaits." That jury went into the jury room and stayed there for several days. Finally, there was a knock at their door. The bailiff went over and inquired whether the jury had arrived at a verdict. The foreman, in those days only men could serve as jurors, advised that the jurors could not oblige because their consciences would not let them return the verdict that the king awaits. The judge called them back into court and instructed them again that it was their obligation to return the verdict that the king awaits. With that the jury went back and began their deliberations once again. Arguments went on among the jurors, but still their consciences would not permit them to return the verdict that the king awaits. Finally, the foreman wrote a letter to the judge asking that they be released because their consciences would not permit them to return the verdict that the king awaits. That letter, that piece of paper, became famous because it because the first writ of habeas corpus. The judge in that case granted the jury's request and released them. The defendant was not convicted of sedition. He left England and came to the American colonies. We thought enough of him to name a state after him. It's called Pennsylvania. The saga I just told is the true story of the trial of William Penn. The hero of that story is not the defendant, William Penn. The hero is not the foreman of the jury who drafted the first writ of habeas corpus. It's not the judge who granted the writ. The heroes are those twelve earnest people, the members of the jury, who refused to return the verdict that he king awaits. I ask you to show the same strength of character. Speak your conscience. Your conscience will not permit you to return the verdict that the king awaits.
David and Goliath - (Name the defendant) is an ordinary citizen who has found himself under the weight of a prosecution for the serious offense of (name the offense). He is the target here. Don't let there be any confusion about who is David and who is Goliath. The prosecutor has (name the government agencies, e.g., FBI, Customs, Justice Department) behind him. (Name the defendant) is not without protection. As a sword, he has truth on his side. And as his shield against injustice he has the right to an unbiased and fairminded jury.
Defendant's day in court - This is (name the defendant) only day in court. His Honor, Judge (name the judge presiding), the prosecutor (name the prosecutor), and myself may try other cases. But (name the defendant) will remember what happens in this courtroom today as long as he lives. This is his day in court, certainly one of the most important days in his life. And I know you recognize its importance to him as well as your obligation and responsibility to treat his case fairly.
Wars fought to ensure right to trial by jury - This jury represents the progress of over two hundred years of living and dying for the rights guaranteed by our United States Constitution. In the beginning, we fought another nation to secure these individual rights. Since our beginning, we have fought other nations to protect these rights. We have fought all over the globe. We have fought two World Wars, and someday we might be called upon to fight a third. You took an oath that you would a true verdict render, according to the law and the evidence - the law, ladies and gentlemen, the law. Not just the law in the United States since 1776, but going back to that day in in June of 1215 when the people won the Magna Carta from King John. Whether those who came before us died at Bunker Hill or at Pearl Harbor or at the Alamo, whether they died at Valley Forge, at Corregidor or on the beaches at Normandy, these people who came before us suffered and spilled their blood so that each of us could live in a land that gives a person accused by the government the right to a jury trial.
Juror's assurances during voir dire jury selection - During the jury selection stage of this case, I asked each of you (state the matter about which you received a pledge. promise, or agreement from the jurors). Each of you told me (indicate the juror's pledge, e.g., "no matter how horrible the facts of this case, you could and would follow the law of reasonable doubt.") I am asking you to hold yourself to that promise which you gave under oath. If you are not able, in good conscience, to resolve the conflicts in the evidence, you have no greater duty than to return a not guilty verdict.
Don't be "summer soldiers" and "sunshine patriots" - In the formative days of the American Revolution, the American hero Thomas Paine made some comments that were directed at people who would help in the struggle for freedom from England only on given occasions that were to their liking. Thomas Paine referred to these folks as "summer soldiers" and "sunshine patriots" -- people who only wanted to help on good weather days when it was warm and sunny. They weren't willing to slug it out during the cold winter weather of Valley Forge. I urge you, don't be sunshine patriots when it comes to following our law, our Constitution, and our Bill of Rights. Don't be summer soldiers and sunshine patriots in following the law of reasonable doubt.
Jurors not rubber-stamps of police or prosecutors - I anticipate that the prosecutor may get up here in a few minutes and argue that good law enforcement requires conviction this case. Her job is to persuade you as she bids. But your job is not to heed the prosecution's beck and call. You don't work for the prosecutor's office. Nor do you work for the police department. We all advocate good law enforcement. There's no dispute about that. Good law enforcement and justice occurs only when two things happen: First, when only those who are proven guilty beyond any and all reasonable doubt are convicted. Second, when everyone who hasn't been proven guilty are found "not guilty." That is justice. There are no losers when justice is done. Good law enforcement by this jury is not simply rubber-stamping every act of the police or every request of this able prosecutor. You have no duty to rubber-stamp what the prosecution wants you to rubber-stamp. Your duty, and what we ask of you, is to impartially weigh the evidence and the lack of evidence and apply the burden of proof to it.
Jury not arm of prosecution - The jury system was created not be an arm of the police and the prosecution, but rather to check the excesses of government. Historically, in England, where we got the idea for the trial jury, people learned how easy it is to suffer injustice if you let the accusers also be judges.
Why jury is here - Before turning to the merits of the case, I'd like to address another aspect of this proceeding. Why are you here? You know why the judge and lawyers are here. Why are you summoned from your home and your job to come spend time in your courthouse? Your names come from the driver's license records and the voter registration lists. Serving on a jury puts you at the heartbeat of the operation of the laws that govern all of our lives. I know you want to do it right. The laws that hear the judge describe are your laws. That's why you are here - to weigh the facts and the credibility of the witnesses and to apply your laws, well and truly.
Why accused in calling upon jurors - think what it's like to be charged with a crime you didn't commit - one phone call - right the wrong done to accused -I want you to imagine what it's like being charged with a serious crime that you didn't commit. You are arrested by the police, handcuffed, placed in a squad car, and taken to a local jail. You're booked and fingerprinted. You have your mug shot taken. You are taken before a magistrate, told of the crime you are accused of committing, and warned of your rights. You tell them you are not guilty. And then, for the first time, you hear those magic words, "You are entitled to make a phone call." Who would you call? Obviously, at this point you would want to call someone that had two things to offer: first, someone who cared enough about what had happened to you, and, second someone who could do something about your predicament. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, (name the defendant) is making his call to you. He is calling upon you because you have been selected to examine the allegations against him and because you, by your verdict, are the only people who can do something about the unjust predicament he's in. You are the only ones who can right this wrong and set the matter straight
Jurors as equalizers - It's obvious that (name the defendant) and I don't have the resources to compare with the prosecution, the government, if you will. In any sort of contest of strength, they have more manpower, more money, and more investigators than we can even imagine. Yet, I tell you that we are equal to the might of the government. Why? Because of you. You are the equalizers. You have the discretion to do what you feel is right. You have to answer to no one. That is the good thing, the honest thing, about the jury system. The American trial jury doesn't operate under those kinds of political influences and pressures that are usually present when people are forced into government service.
Wisdom and virtue - I've learned over the years that wisdom and virtue can't be coaxed from a jury like eggs from a chicken under electric lights. Wisdom and virtue won't automatically flow from the collective intelligence of the group. There is no such thing as collective wisdom and virtue. There is only the personal wisdom and virtue of each individual juror communicating itself to other persons of wisdom and virtue.
Jurors are the ones that make system work - There was a time in my career when I thought, through an unjustified lack of humility, that defenders like myself were the ones who make the system work. I thought that those of us who choose to defend the citizen accused are the ones who breathe the breath of life into the Constitution. I know now that I was wrong. Lawyers aren't the ones who make the system work. You are. (Indicate the jurors with unfurling open hands). If you don't do it, it doesn't get done.
Two sacred rights - voting for the candidates of your choice in elections and serving on a jury - There are two sacred rights that you enjoy as a citizen - the right to vote and the right to serve on a jury that will decide the fate of a fellow human being.
Small acts of courage shape our history - It is from small acts of courage that our history as a just people is shaped. Every time a good jury man or woman stands up for an ideal or strikes back against injustice, s/he sends forth a ripple of hope in the fairness of the American jury system.
Jury service as only conscriptive service - With the abolition of the military draft, jury service is the only conscriptive service that is imposed on the citizens of our land.
Sacrifices of jurors - You have made sacrifices to serve as jurors. You could have begged off jury service. But each of you made the sacrifice. I won't thank you for being jurors because that is part of a citizen's duty. However, for myself and on behalf of (name the defendant), may we express our heartfelt respect for the way you have served, for your patience, and for your kind attention.
Assuming responsibility for judging another person - crossing the street - When you were first summoned as a juror or when you were first questioned out here and heard a little bit about this case, you may have said to yourself, "Wait a minute, I'm not a lawyer. I have never been in a court trial before. What am I doing here? I'm not experienced enough." You might have said to yourself, "This is too big a decision. A person's life, a person's liberty and freedom is at stake. What am I doing making those kind of decisions without any experience?" But you see, you do have experience. In fact, each of you is probably better suited to make the kind of decision you have to make than the judge, the police, the prosecutors or myself. The reason for this is because we are involved every day in this business. It's a business, disposing of cases in the courts. And when you are involved in something every day, you get calloused. You naturally tend to get calloused. If you are a prosecutor for years, you will naturally tend to see only the prosecution side of it. If you are a defense lawyer for years, you naturally tend to see only the defense side of it, and it you are a judge you sit up there and it seems like everything just repeats itself. But you people are good sensible members of society. You are also individuals. You don't owe anybody any favor. You don't owe me anything. You don't owe (name the defendant) any favor. You don't owe the prosecutor anything. You're independent people. Every day of your life you make the kind of judgmental decisions you are going to make today. It's the kind of decision you have to make every day. You make this kind of decision when you cross the street. If you have a reasonable doubt about whether traffic might run you over, you don't walk out in front of car. You look both ways to make sure its safe before you cross the street. You look at the facts, and you make an important decision. You are doing the same thing here, except it's (name the defendant) welfare that is on the line instead of yours. But you use the same common sense and decision-making skills that you make for you and yours when you sit in judgment of (name the defendant).
Jurors selected based on ability to be fair and honest -We talked to (indicate the number) people in selecting the jury for this case. We selected you because you are fair and reasonable people. Once you passed that railing to take your place as jurors in this trial, your duty became to treat (name the defendant) as fairly and honestly as you would expect to be treated in a court of law.
Assessing credibility - gold/sand analogy - Your duty is to assess the credibility of the witnesses and to determine the facts from the evidence. It's you job as jurors to sift the gold from the sand.
Jurors' right to draw inferences and make logical deductions from the facts in evidence - The law gives you jurors the right to draw reasonable inferences from the evidence. You can conclude the existence of one fact from proof of another fact. For example, suppose when you left home this morning you know your mailbox was empty. When you get home this evening you find it contains mail. The logical inference you can draw from the facts you know is that the carrier delivered your mail while you were gone. Even though there is no direct proof that the carrier delivered your mail, you could draw the reasonable inference that it happened. You can also make logical deductions. Basically, this means that you can use your common sense and education. A logical deduction is where you have two known facts that always lead to the same conclusion. It's like two and two is four. Two and two will always be four. If someone gives you two apples and someone else gives you another two, you logically know you have four apples. So if the evidence gives you two and two, you have the right to put that together and conclude that you have four.
Jurors may pick and choose evidence - You, as jurors, may choose to believe all of the testimony you heard or you may disregard all of it or you may believe some of it and disregard the rest. That is your right. That is your obligation. That is your job, your duty and your function as judges of the facts.
Verdict does not have to be explained to anyone - The decision that you render in this case is yours and yours alone. You don't have to justify it to anybody. When you walk out of here, no one will require you to give any sort of explanation for your verdict. It is strictly a matter of your own conscience.
Jury's job not to decide morality - One thing you are not here to decide is the morality of anyone. It's not your job to decide issues whether (name the person) is a good person. The trial is not about judging (name the person) moral character.
Treat job of judging as though it were an important decision in your own life - (Establish eye contact with the jurors with a Z-gaze) Every one of you ladies and gentlemen has had to make an important decision from time to time in your own life - major decisions - like quitting one job and taking a new one, transferring from one city to another one, buying a new home, deciding to have elective surgery, marrying, or divorcing. I am asking you to extend to the decision you make about (name the defendant) the same serious consideration that you would give to an important matter in your own life.
Jurors should not approach job as machines - Mankind has invented machines that assume much of the responsibility in our society. Robots make our cars. Air conditioners keep us cool. We press a button and a machine gives us a cup of coffee. We press another button and an elevator takes us to our floor. The President can issue an order and buttons could be pressed that would a destroy the civilized world. Computers keep track of how much we make and how much we owe. But there is one machine we have yet to devise. We don't have a machine that can judge people. There is no computer that can take the facts of a trial and render a fair decision. Why is that? It's because machines don't have humanity. They can't feel. They have no emotions. If it was intended that you approach your job as though you were a machine, don't you think we would have a computer in here instead of you? No, you are judging (name the defendant) precisely because you are a thinking, feeling, sensitive person and not a machine.
Hard work of court personnel - There are a lot of people who have worked hard on this case - the judge, the clerk, the bailiff, the court reporter. They have worked hard and done their duty to make one thing possible - a fair verdict based only on the law and the evidence. All of the work done by these people means nothing if you decide this case on anything but the law and evidence.
Knowing what is right - No jury ever has a problem doing what is right. The big problem in knowing what is right.
Right of each individual juror to maintain his/her opinion - Each person on this jury has the duty of making up his or her own mind as to whether the prosecution has proved the accused blameworthy beyond a reasonable doubt. A juror with an abiding belief that there is a reasonable doubt cannot compromise this duty merely because someone else on the jury disagrees with that abiding belief.
Uncomfortable case - At some time during this trial, you perceived that this was not an ordinary trial. You perceived that this type of case was one that you were going to have to wrestle with. It's the type of case that can make you uncomfortable.
Horrific facts hard to hear - Some stories are hard to hear. But stilling the witnesses' tongues or stopping our ears won't make this tragedy go away. For justice to be done, the details of this awful crime had to be shared with you. Indeed, the first step in doing justice when a wrong has been committed is to have a group of courageous jurors who are willing to listen to horrific facts.
Duty to resist publicity and peer pressure - This case has received quite of bit of publicity. It's been something of a media event. A great many of your friends may think they know what happened. You must walk out of here and say, "Yes, I found him not guilty, and I based my verdict on the trial evidence and the trial evidence alone. You weren't there in court. You only read a newspaper story or watch a TV report."
Case with media coverage - don't try cases in newspaper - (Name the defendant) is not here to be tried by the media. The evidence in this case is not just the evidence that the newspaper journalists and television personalities chose to report. We all believe in freedom of the press, and we are not here to fault our friends in the media. But they are not under the duty that you are. You are here in court and, unlike reporters, you can't get up and walk out whenever you want to get a drink of water or call in a story or check on what's going on in another courtroom and miss part of the testimony in this case. You are here for the whole shooting match. Each of you knows what this case is about. You have paid attention. So regardless of what is said about this case in the papers or on TV, regardless of what your friends and neighbors think from following the media coverage, it is what's in your heads and hearts that this trial is about.
Trial by media - phone in verdict - Under our system of government, we can't convict on suspicions or what newspapers on TV commentators say. Some people say, "Where there is smoke their is fire." Well, if that were our system, we'd just allow people to pick up their newspaper, read about the case, and phone in their verdict.
History of trial by jury - Your role as jurors was defined nine centuries ago in England when the citizens wrested from King John certain rights of citizenship. Those rights were contained in the Magna Carta. The Magna Carta embodied the first human rights doctrine of western civilization. It contained a very important provision. That provision is that the sovereign, the king, the government, can't take the liberty of a person unless that person is found guilty by a jury of their peers. We fought a revolution in this country to be free of the British, but we incorporated this basic right of citizenship into our own Constitution. We said that the citizen is protected from arbitrary or abusive acts of the sovereign, the government. We established a system that requires twelve (or six) jurors to (unanimously) agree upon guilt of an accused person before he can be turned over for punishment.
Jurors as human shield around the defendant - You ladies and gentlemen of the jury are, in one sense, impartial arbiters of the facts, but in another sense, and by virtue of your historical role, you are a very crucial part of the defense. You form a human shield around (name the defendant). You say to the prosecutor, "Ms. Prosecutor, (name the defendant) is our peer. He is a citizen (or resident) of this country. He is one of us. He may look different than we do. He may dress differently than we do. He may have a different skin color or different hair than we have. But he is one of us, and we are not going to allow you to take him from our midst - we are not going to let you take this person, this citizen, unless or until you prove to us that his guilt has been established beyond a reasonable doubt. Our country was founded by people who guaranteed this fundamental right to each of us." Folks, you are here to say (gesturing to the prosecutor), " Ms. Prosecutor, we are the jury. We are the jury, and we are here to see that the right to a fair jury trial is protected."
Verdict communicates jurors' notions - By your verdict as judges of this case, you are communicating to all the citizens of this community your notions of right and wrong (or how far the government can go in its wrongheaded quest to convict a person for a crime s/he didn't commit).
Jury as embodiment of popular will - We spent a great deal of time trying to select a jury that could fairly judge this case. Traditionally, jurors have been the protector of individual rights. They have reflected what is the popular will in the community. The name of this case is (state the style of the case, e.g., State, People, Commonwealth, United States of America) versus (name the defendant). One thing needs to be clear - you, not the prosecutor, represent the will of the people in this community. You are the judges. You, not the prosecutor, are going to decide this case.
Jurors as mirrors of society's values - A jury has been described as "a mirror of society" and its verdict as "a reflection of society's values."
Jurors as soul and conscience of community -You are the soul and conscience of this community.
Jurors as chosen ones - You ladies and gentlemen truly are "the chosen ones." We spent quite a bit of time in selecting you. The reason for that is that you must be the embodiment of fairness. You are the ultimate cornerstone (or bulwark) of liberty and justice.
Jurors as officers of the court - You have become "officers of the court" as much as Judge (name the judge) and as much as the lawyers.
Special jury for special case - counsel wanted jurors with a particular trait - You should know that you are not on this jury by accident. You weren't selected at random. Each and every one of you was questioned carefully about (indicate the issue of importance). You are special in the sense that you are (indicate the trait of importance, e.g., an exceptionally intelligent jury). This is what we wanted in this case. We wanted (indicate the trait of importance, e.g., a very smart jury) because you have before you (indicate the nature of case that is relevant to the trait, e.g., some complex testimony), the likes of which this courtroom may not have seen in a long time.
Wanted fair, intelligent, concerned jurors - When we started this case and picked this jury, I looked for one thing. I looked for people who could be fair. With that, I looked for two characteristics in your personality. I wanted jurors who were intelligent, and I wanted jurors that were concerned. If you are fair, if you are intelligent, if you are concerned, as you all are, there can be no confusion about what happened in this case.
Four categories of persons not fit for jury service - Selection of a jury in a case of this nature is not an easy task. My experience and observations have taught me that we have in this country four types of jurors who are not equipped to do their duty. First, we have the type of juror who is honest and conscientious but lacks the moral courage to do what is right in the jury deliberation room. In his or her heart the juror knows that the defendant is not guilty, but at the moment of truth falters and fails to stick to his or he belief. Next, in type two, we have a juror who only follows a law if that juror personally believes in that law. That type of juror overlooks the fact that we have fought two world wars to preserve our system of laws - all of them. In the third category, we have the jury who is always in sympathy with the prosecution. This is the juror who considers the prosecution as the home team and himself or herself a fan of the home team, pulling for the prosecution from the get go. Some people are that way because they have been brought up to believe that the king can do no wrong. Lastly, in the fourth category, we have, and I hesitate to mention them in front of you, the juror who with padded feet would slip into the jury box for improper purposes. There is no expression in the human language to describe and depict the dark and deceitful nature of such a juror. I have never forgotten the historical fact that when George Washington selected his loyal lieutenants to fight the battles of the revolution, he found in the darkest hour of the country a Benedict Arnold to prove a traitor and surrender the army. These are the four types of people who, I suggest, are unfit for jury service. We have full faith and trust that there are no such persons on this jury.
Jurors as persons of intellect - Human beings are special. No other species decides its disputes in courts of law with judges and lawyers. Some of us may view the power of human intelligence as a divine creation. But I think all of us would agree that we humans have been gifted with a special power to distinguish between right and wrong, between truth and lies, between what makes sense and what doesn't. Each of you brings a lifetime of human experience to that table in the jury room. I know each of you will listen with respect to the reasoning and opinions expressed by your fellow jurors. Whatever judgment is expressed by your group is likely to be as close to the truth as anyone has a right to expect.
Jurors see through smoke and clouds - If my years of law practice in this courthouse have taught me anything, it's this: The law is wise because it lets jurors decide the issues in a criminal case. You jurors have a wonderful way of seeing through the smoke and the clouds and determining what is the right thing to do.
Stick to your decision - Your role and responsibility is to listen to the evidence and analyze it in your mind. Discuss it among yourselves. Once you have decided in your own mind, stick to your decision. You and you alone will decide whether your doubts are completely removed from your mind. Don't compromise your belief for someone else.
Jury's attitude toward the poorest of us - I don't want to wave the flag, but let me say this: The quality of a jury system is judged by how the poorest of us is treated when he comes before the bar of justice.
Examine conscience - all men have equal rights - I hope that every one of you will stop and examine your conscience. This nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all of us are created equal, and that the rights of every one of us are diminished when the rights of one person are threatened.
Extend same sort of virtuous effort you would want - We ask only that you extend to (name the defendant) the same virtuous effort to judge him as you would expect an American jury to extend to you. Judge him with the same sort of even-handedness and fairness as you would be judged.
Jury service - passing the torch analogy - You are much like the Athenian runners who carried the Olympic torch. You are carrying the torch of justice. It is a torch that is passed from one jury to another.
Pride in being a lawyer in system that uses a jury to apply legal principles older than our country - I'm proud to be a lawyer. I'm proud to be able to stand in front of jurors such as you. I'm proud because we have the kind of system that we have, one that allows someone who accused of a crime to present his case to twelve of his fellow citizens. Because, as you know, in legal systems other than ours, usually a magistrate, sometimes a policeman, always someone connected with the government decides if you are guilty or innocent. If this case were simply to be decided by a magistrate or a police officer or some individual connected with the prosecution, you wouldn't be here and (name the defendant) wouldn't stand a chance, nor would you, if by some quirk of fate you were charged with a crime you didn't commit. But our system gives us the right, and gives you the right, to have a fair and impartial tribunal of honest, decent citizens decide whether you are guilty or innocent. I thank the Lord that we have that system. The way you make that decision is by following rules that have existed for hundreds of years. Some of these rules are older than our country, because our system of jurisprudence is based upon the English common law system, and many legal principles were decided years before we were even a nation. They give guidance in your duty as jurors.
Jurors have had trouble of others cast in their laps - You each have troubles enough of your own without having to borrow anyone else's. But you are here, and you have had the troubles of strangers cast in your lap for decision. You have endured (state the length of the trial) of listening and watching witnesses, lawyers, and the judge. Now comes the hardest part - deciding the case and doing the right thing. We are confident that you will not merely endure, you will prevail. You will right the wrong that has been done to (indicate who was wronged, e.g., the complainant, the defendant)
Jury verdicts shape community - It is by the verdicts of juries, common judgments of good people using their common sense, verdicts rendered every day in this courthouse, that our community is shaped.
Being a good person as different from being a good citizen - Being a good person and being a good citizen are not the same thing. You can be a good person who minds his own business and doesn't care about participating in government. But to be a good citizen you occasionally must heed the call to serve your society. Each of you is doing that by being a juror.
Most important office available to private citizen - When you are chosen as a juror, you occupy one of the most important offices a private citizen can hold.
Jurors as lynchpins of law enforcement - prosecution argument - You are the lynchpin in our system of law enforcement. Without enforcement of its laws against crime, our society can never become that better, safer, and more law-abiding world waiting out there on the horizon.
Jurors as society's protection against evildoers - prosecution argument - If we, as members of the community, can't depend on trial juries to safeguard us from wrongdoers among us, then who will protect us from us and who will act for us against evildoers. Folks, you are society's instrument of moral restraint and wisdom. We trust in you.
Jurors as representative of society - prosecution argument - You are here as the representatives of society to sit in judgment of a person who has committed a serious wrong. It takes stamina, vigilance, and courage to do your job, but it's worth it because the health and safety of our society is a concern for all of us.
Job of juror invested with majestic power - This job of being a juror - it invests you with a kind of majestic power. It can make you understand the rights and responsibilities of being a member of society and your role in protecting society. It allows you to take part in our form of government, where we, the people, are given the power to govern ourselves.
Last words - Well, I'm done. I tried to portray the true facts. I've told you the honest story of this case. I hope that I've said enough to refresh your memory of the evidence and what the evidence means. I lift my heart in gratitude for your patience and kind attention.
Find force to do right thing - Find the force inside you, ladies and gentlemen. Find the force to do the right thing here.
Unite hearts and minds - We ask only that you unite your hearts and minds to the common purpose of doing the right thing in this case.