WHEREAS, one of the primary goals of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) is to promote every accused person's right to a fair trial and to be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,
WHEREAS, these goals are substantially promoted through the traditional instruction of America's courts that jurors must not discuss the evidence in the case until all evidence has been presented, the closing arguments delivered, and the closing instructions given,
WHEREAS, permitting jurors to discuss the evidence prior to the completion of trial would seriously undermine the fairness of trial and the accused person's presumption of innocence,
BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED, that NACDL, in accord with its affiliate, the Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice, opposes an amendment to Rule 19.4, Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure, which would permit jurors to discuss the evidence prior to the completion of trial.
NACDL Board Representative
Santa Fe, New Mexico