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Civil Liberties
Guide: The Jury System

This selection of primary and secondary resources focuses on the jury system. Use these resources to support students' understanding of different types of juries, how juries work, and why they are a central component of the U.S. justice system. Use the Export to My Lists button above to turn this into a research list for your students.

Theme Key Understandings

  • Civil liberties and civil rights are related but distinct and can be in conflict with each other
  • Government documents provide a framework for the protection of civil rights and liberties in a society
  • The judicial branch interprets and defines civil liberties and civil rights as they apply in practice
  • Civil liberties protect against government overreach
  • Civil rights assure equal protection under the law
  • The attainment of civil rights is an ongoing process, with different groups achieving parity at different times
  • The judicial branch is tasked with finding a balance between the protection of individual liberty and maintaining positive social order

Key Questions

  • Why was the institution of a jury system so important to the founders of the United States?
  • Identify examples from American history that demonstrate the pros and cons of a jury system.


  1. Overview: The Jury System
  2. Visuals: The Jury System (Visual)
  3. Outlines: Outline
  4. Transcripts: Transcript
  5. Lesson: Introduction
  6. Lesson: 1-Two Types of Juries
  7. Lesson: 2-Jury Service
  8. Lesson: 3-Juries in Criminal Cases
  9. Lesson: 4-Juries in Civil Cases
  10. Lesson: Closing
  11. Investigate Activities: Grand Jury and Justice
  12. Glossary Terms: grand jury
  13. Glossary Terms: jury
  14. Glossary Terms: petit jury
  15. Photos & Illustrations: Courtroom: Lawyer directs argument at jurors
  16. Photos & Illustrations: Sheppard trial: jury
  17. Reference Articles: Criminal Justice System
  18. Reference Articles: Sixth Amendment
  19. Political, Government & Court Documents: Ballew v. Georgia (1978)
  20. Political, Government & Court Documents: Taylor v. Louisiana (1975)

MLA Citation

"The Jury System." History Hub, ABC-CLIO, 2019, historyhub.abc-clio.com/Support/Content/2156154?cid=256. Accessed 6 Dec. 2019.

Entry ID: 2156154

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