Supreme Court press release letterhead
November 1, 2006
Contact: David J. Remondini

Sigmund Beck Award Given for Creating Diverse, More Inclusive Jury Pools


Left to Right: Lilia G. Judson, Executive Director, Division of State Court Administration; Claudia Pena Porretti, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana;
Hon. Theodore R. Boehm, Justice, Indiana Supreme Court

Indianapolis - The Indiana Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union this week presented the Indiana Supreme Court with its Sigmund Beck Award. Justice Theodore Boehm, who was the court's lead on the project, accepted the award on the court's behalf from ICLU executive director Claudia Pena Porretti.

Prior to the court's effort, Indiana counties used Jury Pool lists that included only 60%-80% of eligible jurors. As a result of the Jury Pool Project, today's list includes more than 99% of eligible jurors. The court has made these lists available to all 92 Indiana counties without charge.

"This situation required a comprehensive solution and the work of many partners, including state government and university representatives. Our goal was to create a list that is one of the best in the nation and one all Hoosiers can be very proud of because all eligible Hoosiers are included," said Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard.

This is the second award bestowed on the Jury Pool Project. The American Judicature Society awarded the court a Special Merit Citation last month.

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 collaboration across branches of government and education allowed us to produce a list that is making a real difference in courts across Indiana. Since the new lists were made available, there has been difference in the pools of citizens called to our courts," said Lilia G. Judson, executive director for State Court Administration.

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
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