The Enfranchised Jury

13 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2020

Date Written: May 29, 2020


This is a Book Review of Sonali Chakravarti, Radical Enfranchisement in the Jury Room and in Public Life (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019). The author is a political theorist whose understanding of the American jury depends on a critical reception of Jurgen Habermas's discourse ethics and Tocqueville's traditionalist (and in her view, flawed) appreciation of the jury. She articulates a vision which places the jury outside of our usual understanding of the rule of law "as a law of rules." She ends with a number of specific suggested reforms, including the end of the Allen charge, an explicit instruction on nullification, and informing the jury of the sentencing consequences of a guilty verdict.

Keywords: K10, K30

JEL Classification: Jury, Nullification, Tocqueville, Habermas

Suggested Citation

Burns, Robert P., The Enfranchised Jury (May 29, 2020). Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 20-12, Available at SSRN: or

Robert P. Burns (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
312-503-6613 (Phone)
312-503-8977 (Fax)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics