Missouri’s Juror Appreciation Week is April 27-May 1
Thomas Jefferson called the jury system “the only anchor yet imagined by man which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.”
The state of Missouri is one of the few states to recognize Juror Appreciation Week statewide. More than 50 courts participate each year. Observing Juror Appreciation week started in 2000 by an order of the Missouri Supreme Court. The order states that thousands of Missouri citizens give their time to participate in this important duty each and every year. To honor these citizens, the courts are asked to observe Juror Appreciation Week, which began yesterday.
Reasons to Participate in Missouri’s Juror Appreciation Week
There are many reasons to participate in the observance of jury week. Jurors deserve to be recognized for performing their civic duty. Missouri citizens who have not yet participated in jury duty will be reminded how important it is. Participating in jury week promotes positive public relations for the court system. It also helps to create a positive relationship between Missouri courts and the community. Most of all, jury duty is one of the most important parts of patriotism and our civic duties.
How You Can Participate
Someone could be designated at each court building to be in charge of any Jury Week activities. Get the word out about what is going on. Posters and flyers can be hung just about anywhere; just make sure the contact person for the court building is listed.
Contact the media including local papers, news channels, and radio stations. Broadcasters will be happy to let your community know about Juror Appreciation Week. The Missouri Bar will send out a news release statewide. Make sure to get the work to your local media outlets.
Juror Appreciation Week Activities in Missouri
Here are just a few ways you can help spread the word about Juror Appreciation Week in your community:
- Get the mayor or chief judge to make a speech acknowledging Juror Appreciation Week.
- Decorate the court buildings and make signs honoring the people who have done their civic duty by serving as a juror.
- Have an information booth to give out flyers, buttons, and brochures.
- Have a concession stand and give out certificates of appreciation to jurors.
- Provide stickers for jurors to wear to show they are proud of having been a juror.
Also remember to make sure you honor your jury commissioner who is responsible for coordinating jurors for jury duty.
Your Participation as a Juror Matters
Court records have shown that over 88,000 Missourians participate in jury duty each year. Judge Steele of Kirksville has said that “jurors are patriots and continue to fulfill their civic duty.” Jurors create a strong foundation for the civil and criminal court system. People should also realize that when they come to serve jury duty that it enforces the notion of the “people’s court.” The judicial system doesn’t just belong to the judges and the lawyers; it belongs to the people in the community.
Furthermore, the willingness of jurors to serve their civic duty supports that they are part of the court system. Judge Steele can again be quoted saying, “jurors are fact-finders and their decisions are what the court system stands by.”
As lawyers and participants in Missouri’s judicial system, we would like to thank all those citizens who have willingly given their time and expended effort to help keep our court systems foundationally sound and balanced.
THANK YOU from The Lieser Law Firm.