AJS-Committed to Improving the Jury System

Article excerpt

The editorial for this issue of Judicature focuses on the challenges faced by courts in these tough economic times, as they struggle to control costs but still provide fair and impartial justice. These challenges are particularly great For jury administrators, and the editorial addresses approaches for improving efficiency injury management. The jury system is a unique and important aspect of our American democracy, and it is an area in which AJS has been very active over the years in providing public education and research.

The importance of efficient jury management is illustrated in places like Los Angeles County, which has the largest court system in the country and where the court conducts 6,000 jury trials each year. This means that 10,000 jurors must be called every day. Executive Director Seth Andersen and I were fortunate to sit down in Los Angeles recently with local leaders of the bar, judiciary, and court system to discuss the unique problems that jury managers encounter in such a large and diverse jurisdiction. We also engaged in a lively discussion of new juryrelated research and educational programming diat AJS might pursue in Southern California and across the country. Among those in attendance was Thomas V. Girardi, former member of the AJS Board of Directors and current member of the National Advisory Council, whose contribution, along with that of Ned Carpenter and State Farm Insurance, made possible the establishment of AJS's National Jury Center in 2003.

Earlier this year, the National Jury Center was renamed the Edmund N. "Ned" Carpenter II Jury Center in recognition of Ned's lifelong advocacy of improvement in national and state administration of justice and his service to and financial support of AJS. Despite the change in the Jury Center's name, our commitment to providing essential resources on juryrelated topics has remained consistent. …