Challenge to the Decisionmaking Process - Federal Rule of Evidence 606(b) and the Constitutional Right to a Fair Trial

Southwestern Law Journal, Vol. 38, p. 1187, 1985 (Originally appearing in Vol. 38 Southwest Law Journal 1187. Reprinted with permission from the SMU Law Review and the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law)

43 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2013  

Peter N. Thompson

Hamline University - School of Law

Date Written: January 1, 1985

Abstract

Courts have long guarded the secrecy of jury deliberations by a competency rule limiting juror testimony on post-trial motions for new trial. The proper role of the lay jury in resolving litigation has evoked constant controversy and concern. Some wonder if lay juries are basing decisions on error. The Court must reconcile its approach to post-trial review of error in criminal cases with the underlying policy giving rise to Federal Rule of Evidence 606(b). The conciliation must begin with an analysis of the jury trial rights as guaranteed by the Constitution and a clear view of whether the central purpose of the institution of the American jury is a search for truth or an exercise in democratic decisionmaking. This articles touches on the historical evolution of the jury, juror misconduct, Federal Rule of Evidence 606(b), and Supreme Court expansion of scope of juror testimony.

Keywords: Jury, juror misconduct, Federal Rule of Evidence 606(b), juror testimony, fair trial

JEL Classification: K00, K4, K41

Suggested Citation

Thompson, Peter N., Challenge to the Decisionmaking Process - Federal Rule of Evidence 606(b) and the Constitutional Right to a Fair Trial (January 1, 1985). Southwestern Law Journal, Vol. 38, p. 1187, 1985 (Originally appearing in Vol. 38 Southwest Law Journal 1187. Reprinted with permission from the SMU Law Review and the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1944356

Peter N. Thompson (Contact Author)

Hamline University - School of Law ( email )

1536 Hewitt Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55104-1237
United States

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