Jefferson County, Birmingham Division, Juror Information
From the Presiding Judge
HOUSTON L. BROWN
TENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT OF ALABAMA
Jefferson County Courthouse, Room 370
716 Richard Arrington, Jr. Boulevard North
Birmingham, Alabama 35203
On behalf of the Courts of Jefferson County, Alabama it is my privilege to welcome you to jury duty. We know that jury duty is inconvenient for most of you but it is one of the most important obligations of citizenship. We will do our best to make efficient use of your time here.
Under the Constitution of the State of Alabama and of the United States, we are guaranteed the right to trial by jury in most civil and criminal cases and this fundamental right must be zealously protected by all of us. Trial by jury is fundamental to democracy. Thomas Jefferson, for whom this county is named, said, "I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution." Your presence here signifies your commitment to our system of government.
In a jury trial, the jury determines the true facts from the evidence. At the end of the trial the judge will instruct the jury to consider the evidence and the law and return a "verdict." The root of the word "verdict" is "to speak the truth." For those of you who are selected to hear a case, that is what you will be asked to do: return a verdict that is fair and impartial and speaks the truth.
Occasionally, we hear of a jury verdict that seems to be out-of-line. Those deviations are the ones that are newsworthy but we rarely hear of the thousands of accurate verdicts handed down every week in courts across this country. Our method of resolving disputes by jury trial works very well and we are especially proud of how it works in Birmingham.
We are grateful to you for rendering this valuable service to your fellow citizens and hope that you will find jury duty a pleasant and informative experience.
We welcome your suggestions as to how we can make this a better experience for our jurors.
HOUSTON L. BROWN
Presiding Circuit Judge