Supreme Court press release letterhead
September 13, 2006
Contact: David J. Remondini

American Judicature Society chooses Indiana for Special Merit Citation

Photo: Chief Justice Shepard shows AJS award to the Indiana Judicial Conference
Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard shows the AJS award to the
Indiana Judicial Conference

SOUTH BEND - American Judicature Society president Neal Sonnett attended the annual Indiana Judicial Conference today to present Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard with a Special Merit Citation for the court's Jury Pool Project.

Prior to the court's effort, Indiana counties used Jury Pool lists that included only 60%-80% of eligible jurors. Today's list includes more than 99% of eligible jurors.

"We knew those lists were not as diverse and inclusive as they needed to be so we enlisted the help of many partners including state government and university representatives to create a list that is one of the best in the nation and one we can be very proud of," said Shepard.

The Indiana Supreme Court's Jury Pool lists were created for each county in the state and offered free of charge. There are more than 2,000 jury trials in Indiana each year and a critical part of each trial is gathering an impartial jury.

The new jury pool list combined data from the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) and Department of Revenue (DOR), capturing anyone with a license or state ID card or who works or pays taxes.

"This project was a unique collaboration across branches of government and education. The results are a true success for Indiana courts and all our citizens," Shepard said.

Project partners included:

  • Indiana Supreme Court
  • Supreme Court Division of State Court Administration
  • Indiana Jury Committee
  • Indiana Judicial Center
  • Indiana Supreme Court Judicial Technology and Automation Committee
  • Indiana Department of Revenue
  • Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles
  • Indiana Criminal Justice Institute
  • Purdue University
  • Jury Administrators from Allen, Henry, Hamilton , Huntington , Lake, Lawrence , and Marion counties

The American Judicature Society (AJS), founded in 1913, is an independent, national, nonpartisan organization of judges, lawyers, and other members of the public who seek to improve the justice system. AJS, which brings a public perspective to justice system issues, has the mission to secure and promote an independent and qualified judiciary and fair system of justice. Primary areas of focus are:

  • Judicial independence
  • Judicial conduct and ethics
  • Judicial selection
  • The jury
  • Criminal justice system
  • Public understanding of the justice system