The Twenty-First Century Jury: Worst of Times or Best of Times?
Criminal Law Brief, Vol. 1, pp. 3-8, 2006
7 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2007
In thinking about legal developments, new research findings, and the continuing swirl of controversy over this venerable American institution, I observe the same paradoxical condition that Charles Dickens found in 18th Century London: "It was the best of times; it was the worst of times." There is evidence of both the expansion of jury trial rights, yet contraction of jury trials. Research evidence indicates that juries perform well, yet the 21st Century jury confronts more complex decision making tasks and continuing doubts about its fairness and competence.
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