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The Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA)

"Commitment to jury power is putting trust in the citizens of your community that they will do what is right more often than not. Jury independence is a profoundly democratic institution in that it puts power in the hands of the people." ­­The Lone Star Fully Informed Jury Association

The Fully Informed Jury Association was founded in 1989 in Helmville, Montana by Larry Dodge and Don Doig. It is a 501(c) 3 non-profit association dedicated to education of all Americans about their rights, powers and responsibilities as trial jurors. In particular, FIJA seeks to restore the traditional trial by jury, and protect it from further incursions. FIJA believes that the jury is not only a dispenser of justice for the accused, but also a crucial part of the checks and balances of power in our system of government. The power of the jury to judge not only the evidence, but also the merits of the law itself, is central to its proper functioning as a judicial and political institution.

If you, as a juror, feel the statute involved in any criminal case is unfair, or that it infringes upon the defendant's God-given inalienable or Constitutional rights, you have a right to dismiss the statute in question on the premise that the violation of it is no crime. In other words, if the defendant has disobeyed some man-made criminal statute, and the statute is unjust, the defendant has in substance, committed no crime. Jurors, having ruled then on the justice of the law involved and finding it opposed in whole or in part to their own natural concept of what is basically right, are bound to hold for the acquittal of said defendant.

Up until about 1900, judges routinely told juries in criminal trials that they had the right to vote their conscience. In the twentieth century, with few changes in law, the judicial practice has evolved to a completely different stance.

Today, in trials involving controversial laws, during the jury selection process, the judge will strike "for cause" anyone who states that he or she disagrees with the law. They go even further by telling juries that they are only to judge the facts in a particular case. Judges now tell juries that even if they disagree with the law the defendant has broken, the juries must convict. Finally, the judges can hold anyone in contempt of court that tries to inform juries of their right to judge the law.

At the end of World War II, in the Nuremberg trials, Americans told Germans that they should have followed their conscience instead of their government when it did wrong. Yet, in America's courtrooms today, judges routinely tell jurors to follow the government, not their conscience. This courtroom practice is fundamentally un-American.

In the Juror's Handbook, written by FIJA headquarters in Helmville, they plainly state that "the government cannot deprive anyone of 'Liberty' without a jury's consent." The Fully Informed Jury Association is on a mission to educate Americans of this "forgotten" power of the people. FIJA is currently active in 38 states and the District of Columbia.

For more information on this crucial organization contact:

The Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA)
PO Box 59
Helmville, MT 59843
Ph. - (406) 793-5550
E-mail -
Web -

Their web site contains an abundance of empowerment information, including camera-ready jury-educational documents, so that you can duplicate and distribute them to those who may need to know about their power as jurors, or who may be defendants.

Special thanks to FIJA for permission to reprint this information.

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