Not Simply Black and White: Jury Power and the Law in Late Nineteenth Century Chicago
Social Science History, Vol. 25, No. 1, pp. 7-27, 2001
22 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2009
Date Written: 2001
Until the early twentieth century juries in Illinois had the power to decide the law as well as the facts in criminal law cases. This power allowed them to apply their own sense of what was just, rather than follow the rule of law. The result was a legal system responsive to a popular sense of justice, and often guided by public opinion or prejudice.
Keywords: criminal trial, criminal jury, jury nullification, rule of law, popular justice, insanity defense, legal history, law and society
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