Jury Deliberation

Lesson Duration

Author: Dan May with Constitutional Rights Foundation of Chicago/ The American Jury

What happens in the jury room? How can citizens prepare themselves to deliberate fairly and justly? This lesson includes two activities to help students learn about jury deliberation.  The first is a case study that allows students the opportunity to make their own deliberations and consider the burden of proof.  The second part is a study guide for viewing the movie “Twelve Angry Men” as a class activity.  The two activities could be done together or separately.


  • to learn about the impact of the jury on the American justice system
  • to listen to evidence and deliberate as a juror
  • to consider burden of proof and how it impacts a juror’s decision




"The American Jury: Bulwark of Democracy" is an on-line resource guide for teachers, students, and citizens devoted to explaining the American jury system and its role in American legal, social, and political life.