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Posted by: Yahairah Aristy on Oct 31, 2020
The role of juries as guardian of justice in the legal system cannot be understated. The word jury appears five times in the U.S Constitution: Article III, section 2: “The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by Jury…”; Fifth Amendment: “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury…”; Sixth Amendment: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury…” and the Seventh Amendment: “In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise reexamined …”
 
Women have so cherished the right to serve on a jury that they fought to serve on them. Women were not regulars in jury service until the Civil Rights Act of 1957 gave women the right to serve on federal juries. California only officially allowed women to serve as jurors in 1917.
 
In 2020, a global pandemic has clouded the value of serving as a juror. Locally, juror summons have been met with atrophy. Just 5% of summoned jurors reported for their civic duty for the first local trials held since March. Lawyers Club recognizes this state of affairs cannot be ignored. As such, our local court’s leadership will discuss this grave situation tonight at our annual Fall Judicial Reception sponsored by Duane Morris LLP. I look forward to seeing you there.

Yahairah Aristy is a Deputy Public Defender, and is the 2020-2021 president of Lawyers Club of San Diego.


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