DECEMBER 11, 2012
With the launch of its 17th online game, We The Jury, iCivics is bringing fun to jury duty.
Serving on a jury is one of the fundamental duties of American citizenship. Yet when most Americans see that summons come in the mail, their first thought is “How can I get out of jury duty?” It’s a staple of sitcoms and comedy routines. When Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer appeared to serve jury duty, national newspapers treated performing this basic duty of citizenship as something remarkable.
Citizenship is about both rights and responsibilities, and the right to a jury of your peers is secured by the responsibility of serving as one of those peers. In We the Jury, students are exposed to the importance of serving on a jury with an engaging and fun game.
“iCivics’ mission has always been to make civics engaging, educational, and relevant,” said iCivics Executive Director Gene Koo. “We the Jury highlights for young people one of the most important duties of citizenship, one that is essential if our democracy is to continue to thrive.”
In We the Jury, players can choose from two different civil trial issues. They are taken out of the jury box and into the deliberation room where they must analyze evidence, weigh testimony, and use the right arguments to persuade their fellow jurors. The clock ticks down as players work to avoid a hung jury and reach a fair and impartial verdict. Teachers will find supporting materials including alignment to state and Common Core standards, a game guide, and related lesson plans.
“The right to trial by jury is a fundamental right accorded to every American by the United States Constitution. This fundamental right, which forms the foundation of our democracy, is essential to the rule of law in our society,” said President of the American College of Trial Lawyers Chilton Davis Varner. “The American College of Trial Lawyers wholeheartedly supports iCivics' We the Jury project. Educating our students about this constitutional right is essential to ensuring that future generations understand and protect this fundamental right. Only by educating future generations will citizens appreciate the importance of fulfilling their civic duty for jury service. We the Jury is an important educational tool that will accomplish this goal,” Varner concluded.
“We the Jury is an outstanding resource that provides a practical understanding of the modern jury system and the methods of conflict resolution. Students learn why trial by jury is so important to the American legal process and how it affects each of us today,” noted President of the American Board of Trial Advocates Robert N. Stone. “It is so critical for the next generation to see how the jury system is a fundamental part of American democracy and is necessary to a free society in which all citizens are allowed to participate directly in our government,” Stone said.
Designed by noted educational game developer and long-time iCivics collaborator Filament Games, We the Jury was made possible with the generous support of the Foundation of the American Board of Trial Advocates and the Foundation of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
To play We the Jury, please visit http://www.icivics.org/games/we-jury.