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.

Suggested Citation

Seidman Diamond, Shari and Rose, Mary R., The Contemporary American Jury (October 2018). Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Vol. 14, pp. 239-258, 2018, Available at SSRN: or

Shari Seidman Diamond

Northwestern University, School of Law & American Bar Foundation ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
312-503-2040 (Phone)

Mary R. Rose (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Sociology ( email )

2317 Speedway
Austin, TX 78712
United States
512-232-6336 (Phone)

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