While researching my obligations for #juryduty Thursday, I came across this “Juror’s Creed.” The gender-specific reference to men, the instruction to reflect upon the virtues of democracy, and the instruction to respect the judge’s education all hint at a historical context for the creed. Institutions never put their creeds into writing unless they feel those creeds are threatened in some way.
I will remember the men who died to give us, and retain for us, the right of trial by jury, and I will reflect upon the fate of those people whose government gives them no such right.
I will act with the realization that the success of the jury system depends upon the willingness of men and women of integrity and intelligence to accept jury service, and upon the fidelity with which they discharge that responsibility.
I will respect the judge’s education, training, and experience.
I will listen attentively to all the evidence, the arguments of counsel, and the judge’s instructions, and will thoughtfully and impartially weigh the issues.
During the trial I will not discuss the case with others not permit others to discuss it with me; neither will I read about in the newspapers, or listen to broadcasts about it.
While hearing a case I will keep an open mind until the case is finally submitted to the jury.
I will observe legal procedure not as red tape, but as a device developed through thousands of years for the protection of the people.
I will consider all the evidence full and fairly, uninfluenced by friendship, sympathy, bias or prejudice.
I will work with my fellow jurors in a spirit of tolerance and understanding and will endeavor to bring the deliberation of the whole jury to a true and honest verdict.