Cover image for The American jury system
The American jury system
Jonakait, Randolph N.
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Publication Information:
New Haven [Conn.] : Yale University Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
xxv, 346 pages ; 25 cm.
Overview -- Checking abuses of power -- Hammering out facts -- Juries and community values -- Abide the issue -- Jury size and jury performance -- Unanimity and hung juries -- The vicinage -- The most diverse of our democratic bodies -- Challenges for cause -- Preemptory challenges -- "Scientific" jury selection -- The adversary system -- Presentation of evidence -- Instructions -- Jury verdicts and the primacy of evidence -- Jury trials of complex cases -- Jury nullification -- The finality of verdicts -- Reform.
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Table of contents
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Call Number
Material Type
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Item Holds
KF8972 .J66 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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How are juries selected in the United States? What forces influence juries in making their decisions? Are some cases simply beyond the ability of juries to decide? How useful is the entire jury system?

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Jonakait, (law, New York Univ.) former public defender, has written the latest exploration of the jury system. He describes the jury's history, place in the trial process, and unique decision-making procedure, and focuses on much-discussed problems: Is there bias in juror selection? Can consultants stack juries? Are ordinary people, serving as jurors, able to understand complex material, and are they capable of doing justice? To illuminate these and similar questions, Jonakait mines once again the vast literature produced by social scientists, journalists, and former jurors; he also compares American legal procedures with those used elsewhere. The book is more complete and up-to-date, though less accessible, than Valerie Hans and Neil Vidmar's Judging the Jury (1986). But it is less systematic, if more comprehensive, than Saul M. Kassin and Lawrence M. Wrightsman's The American Jury on Trial: Psychological Perspectives (CH, Jan'89), and it does not do as good a job of elucidating the policy issues as Jeffrey Abramson's We, The Jury (CH, Mar'95). The book suggests that, despite a thousand reasons why it should not, the jury system works reasonably well. On balance, this is a useful and reasonably accessible one-volume introduction to the jury system. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. General readers and undergraduate collections. P. Lermack Bradley University