The Democratic Freedom Caucus supports the right of Fully Informed Juries.
Section 3d of the DFC PlatformEdit
- Juries should be informed of their traditional right and duty to judge the law as well as the facts. If a jury believes a person is being prosecuted for a law that is unconstitutional, then the jury has the right to let that person go free. The jury’s right to judge the law was considered by some of the writers of the U.S. Constitution to be one of the most important checks to prevent the government from violating the Constitution and individual rights.
- The right of juries to judge the law has played an important historical role: protecting newspapers against censorship laws (such as the famous Peter Zenger case); protecting runaway slaves against pro-slavery laws - in cases where they were allowed to have jury trials; and protecting workers against laws that prevented them from forming unions.
- Juries should be selected at random, rather than carefully packed by the prosecution or the defense - who should not be allowed to screen out prospective jurors except in very limited cases, such as when a prospective juror has a close relationship with the defendant. (Some outrageous cases of jury-packing have involved selecting all-white juries for trials of racially-motivated crimes.) When citizens become informed of the full rights, powers, and importance of juries, it is likely that more citizens will see jury service as a part of responsible citizenship, like voting. With fewer people trying to get out of jury service, and less packing of juries, the quality of juries would also be likely to improve.