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Judges Appreciate Jurors as Their Partners in Justice

Judges see jurors as their partners in justice and an integral part of a fair and impartial judicial process. In a new, five-minute installment in the Court Shorts video series, 11 federal judges bring attention to the central role of citizens in maintaining public trust in the justice system.

“In order for the law to have the respect of the citizenry, it’s important that the citizenry be a part of that decision-making process,” said Judge Reggie B. Walton, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Federal judges discussing the significance of jury service in the video include: Chief Judge Juan R. Sánchez and Judge Cynthia M. Rufe, Eastern District of Pennsylvania; Chief Judge Rodney W. Sippel and Judge Catherine D. Perry, Eastern District of Missouri; Judge Reggie B. Walton and Magistrate Judge Zia M. Faruqui, District of Columbia; Judge Martha Vázquez, District of New Mexico; Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto, Eastern District of New York; Chief Judge Scott W. Skavdahl, District of Wyoming; Judge Beth Bloom, Southern District of Florida; and retired Magistrate Judge Linda R. Anderson, Southern District of Mississippi.

“It's called a jury of your peers because who better to judge you than people who have walked a mile in your shoes,” Faruqui said. “So many of us want an opportunity to serve our community. We don't know how we can do it. A fundamental way that you can ensure our democracy is vibrant and effective is by jury service.”

Many jurors find their service rewarding and walk away from the experience impressed by the judicial process. They also are surprised to know that most trials last one to three days.

“Jury duty is direct participation in our democracy,” Sánchez said. “We live in a system where no one could be deprived of life, liberty, or property without consulting the citizens, you directly.”

The jury service video deals with Constitutional principles and the practicalities of jury service. It is part of the Court Shorts video series that includes installments on the rule of law and separation of powers.

Learn more about federal jury service.

Related Topics: Judges & Judgeships, Jury Service, Public Education