The Contemporary American Jury
Posted: 29 Oct 2018
Date Written: October 2018
The contemporary American jury is more inclusive than ever before, although multiple obstacles continue to make racial and ethnic representation a work in progress. Drastic contraction has also occurred: The rate of jury trials is at an all-time low, dampening the signal that jury verdicts provide to the justice system, reducing the opportunity for jury service, and potentially threatening the legitimacy of judgments. At the same time, new areas of jury research have been producing important explanations for how the jury goes about reaching its verdict in response to challenging questions, like how to assess damages. Yet the persistent focus on individual juror judgments as opposed to decision making by the jury as a group leaves unanswered important questions about how jury performance is influenced by a primary distinctive feature of the jury: the deliberation process.
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