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Facts Forum News, Vol. 5, No. 2, February 1956
File 049
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Facts Forum. Facts Forum News, Vol. 5, No. 2, February 1956 - File 049. 1956-02. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. December 1, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1352973/item/909/show/888.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Facts Forum. (1956-02). Facts Forum News, Vol. 5, No. 2, February 1956 - File 049. Facts Forum News, 1955-1956. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1352973/item/909/show/888

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Facts Forum, Facts Forum News, Vol. 5, No. 2, February 1956 - File 049, 1956-02, Facts Forum News, 1955-1956, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 1, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/1352973/item/909/show/888.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Facts Forum News, Vol. 5, No. 2, February 1956
Alternate Title Facts Forum News, Vol. V, No. 2, February 1956
Series Title Facts Forum News
Creator
  • Facts Forum
Publisher Facts Forum
Date February 1956
Language eng
Subject
  • Anti-communist movements
  • Conservatism
  • Politics and government
  • Hunt, H. L.
Place
  • Dallas, Texas
Genre
  • journals (periodicals)
Type
  • Text
Identifier AP2.F146 v. 5 1956; OCLC: 1352973
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries
  • Facts Forum News
Rights No Copyright - United States
Item Description
Title File 049
Transcript 'I. fees the right of trial by jury and vests '" jurors all powers as triers of the tacts. No one should contend that the sys- e»i of trial by jury is the perfect attainment or that 'it cannot be improved upon. But as human institu- u"Us go, it has served pretty well to 'ls"ve private quarrels and to try Public offenders. It is within the reach ot recorded history when these issues were tried by having a man thrust his "•'"d in scalding water and then judge me matter bv the degree of the burn '" "'lection-or carry live coals five paces with the same end in view. Trial '> battle of the litigants or their nomi- ees is not too far back in the history Or man. 'HE FUND FOR THE REPUBLIC FINANCES RESEARCH Slowly and painfully and haltingly, '•»' has seen trial by jury develop as "e best means of dealing with certain "man problems, but since it is not a """ect machine, scientifically accu- , i,xn,d relial>le, like an I KM machine ( " UNIVAC, the jury system has been newspap1^ 1D)ccted to some criticism by a small been p"1?? t 'A^01^, sma" - minority of well in- \Vtl'", •R n.'ted State' tl, i men wil" aR' impatient with e slow process in the evolution of ""man institutions. Let me state first what we have thus ar learned about the genesis and de- .e'opment of this research project " u""t goes on in tl,,- jurj room. ro said' J (,r,fgr0"P of Pr°fessors and research- ce, said. . J ers f„,, (, g ^ ^ ^ g ^^ ^ >' o.what goes on in a jury room. e ease ^"arf inccalcd K shorthand1 lished. Al*! t to influen^ nee was not. ,e (Texas)"" onduct of d*m mn, ,.0i,u-iii,r« -i-l S"^ "» »i a jtirv room. Tpreh"nsibjy ,ZUZ::T finan.Ced ^y. a very lil »tl> frn !Fant fl'""1 a lar!-e philanthropic H 1, - ,ltl0n- T1'e Size of the grant ma) 1 * Judged from the fact that it took . ° years and a large outlay of cash J'^evelop the first look at five Federal (/""t juries in Wichita, Kansas, and whole project js sajd to contem- ttte two - i.{. '"e a check on five hundred to a , United S»i """isand juries in all. al liberties'. the location of the court, and the ■. alld JefO the ty °f ,the j"dge are known but s of justice . . prOfflR y the trial some signij; n as we *"■ he disting the two co and .- , ;nity ?i g t]1 ) '" me |U„0%. ..,„ „, bar f'eIiearcn group laid down such r "' safeguards of internal secur- tnat as vei n,.,., i, i.,clined to lose jury room imperii-,, .iVT" "s-'c recorded for pos- c• If,' et U '"''""I'tless have an unhappy ., , ;'"-'"- jurors wi decision 0$,,' ",;:;;|"-«-re rec md felloe.^elleef o,H "'tl<'Ssha' iystem "f ' th»rese „,- '"'""' P'»Kll'ss of tin 'a'sic issues ^prol,1.1;:''1 the professors guiding thi province "^Vvay cUs"''><'<1 the problem in thi gy, or "I jti .,-, ' nrefcrred Ji siK„ |',™m!"itt<« recognizes thai if a „ sVliivirY^ Mr, '""n1,"1' is ", he accomplished vc oidm-'U f. mi ,t w,n ,„. „„.,.ssarv (n ()|)laln spe. rn and concrete information as to (Urinative s, Fefonjl one inal!'/fjf "^ aml « belaw.ThQj,- ffirmatively»lfArTsF™U' what actually goes on in a jury room. The only means by which the committee can assimilate scientific, accurate information concerning the actual functioning of a jury is to obtain the assistance of trial courts to the extent that actual recordings arc made of a substantial number of actual jury deliberations. It is the hope of the research committee that a minimum of five hundred transcriptions can be assembled over the next three-year period. The committee would prefer to obtain these records in the various federal courts because of their belief that a testing program in an area where juries are generally considered to be of tlie highest quality would more accurately reflect the true worth of the jury system than would recordings taken from some jurisdictions where the administration of the jury system has been questioned. Naturally it is not intended any testing methods be made of jury deliberations in criminal cases nor is it intended that st it'll transcriptions be made of any particular case without the consent of trial counsel for the respective litigants. It is proposed that the experimental work be carried out under very definite rules designed to fully protect all jurors against any identification. The committee has already made preliminary experiments with various types of recording equipment In the commit tec's opinion the technical aspects ol this problem will be easily handled. A formal set of rules for use of tlie equipment will be approved by each trial judge . . . before the project is commenced in any court. In order to be specific we have prepared the following proposed rules with the expectation that there will be suggestions made for thter improvement. . . . 1. A recording microphone will be placed in each jury room. The recording instrument with a satisfactory looking device will be placed in the judge's office or al such other place as tlie trial judge may designate. The trial judge will be tlie sole custodian of the key. The operation of the instrument will be the responsibility of the court reporter or such other person as the trial judge may designate, 2. No recordings will be made in in criminal cases. No recordings will be made1 in civil eases without the consent ol counsel for each party. 3. When a recording is taken of a jiu\ deliberation the record will be sealed and will remain in the custody of the trial judge or such other person as he may designate until final judgment has been entered and all appeals have been terminated. . . . Careful instructions were laid down to insure secrecy and to prevent any Influence whatever on the particular case. The instructions continue: ■4. The entire project insofar as it involves the recording of jury deliberations wil! receive no publicity from any source until after the project is completed. These an- by no means all (lie instructions and safeguards but they are the essential parts. In setting forth all these factors, I would like to emphasize that my primary purpose is to provoke ... a searching debate on the validity of this kind of inquiry into the jury room. On a matter of this kind a lawyer m News, February. 1956 is likely to have strong feelings, and even if I were disposed to withhold my own views, I wotdd find difficulty in doing so. BROWNELL UPHOLDS JURY PRIVACY Very shortly after this matter became known, Attorney General Brow- nell made a statement to the press in which he expressed — and 1 might say, with great restraint — his views. He said: ... in the spring of 1954, apparently with the consent of the Judge and the lawers on both sides, a Federal Court jury room was wired with a hidden microphone and all the deliberations of the jury were fully recorded. This was done without the knowledge or consent of the jurors and without the knowledge or consent of the Attorney General, in at least five civil cases. We in the Department of Justice are unequivocally opposed to any recording or eavesdropping on the deliberations of a jury under any conditions regardless of the purpose. Such practices, however well intentioned, obviously and inevitably stifle the discussion and free exchange of ideas between jurors. They tend to destroy the very basis for common judgment among the jurors, upon which the institution of trial by jury is based, and are inconsistent with the purposes of the Seventh Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which requires that trial by jury shall be preserved. The Department of Justice will present for the consideration of Congress at the first opportunity a proposed bill to prevent such intrusions upon the privacy of tlie deliberations of both grand and petit juries of the courts of the United States by any persons whomsoever and by any means whatsotver. I might add that this also represents the unanimous opinion of Mr. Brown- ell's assistants. In fact, when I first heard of the newspaper stories, I personally felt that an enterprising lawyer had played a very nasty practical joke on some hapless newspaper reporter who failed to check on his facts. But it is not a hoax. It is a fact that this has occurred. The question is simply this: Is there any objective, any circumstance which justifies an invasion of the traditional privacy and confidence of jury deliberations by permitting surreptitious eavesdropping by means of hidden microphones and recording devices? Trial by jury is as deeply and firmly rooted in our system of justice as any single part. It is more than a major stone in the structure — it is the keystone in a very real sense. It is the ordinary citizen's leavening in a system necessarily operated by trained professionals. Anything which strikes at the jury system strikes at the heart of our administration of justice. It is relevant to inquire then as to what place the secrecy and privacy of jury deliberations holds in this sys- Page 47 fs ing .
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