Jury Duty: Reclaiming Your Political Power and Taking Responsibility

Overview

Jury Duty: Reclaiming Your Political Power and Taking Responsibility presents an accessible account of the origins and development of the jury system as well as a comprehensive, stage-by-stage description of a jury trial and of the sentencing procedure in a criminal trial. The work also provides a unique estimate of the cost of the jury system, which is particularly relevant in this continuing era of budget constraints.

Rejecting the justifications usually given for the jury ...

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Jury Duty: Reclaiming Your Political Power and Taking Responsibility

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Overview

Jury Duty: Reclaiming Your Political Power and Taking Responsibility presents an accessible account of the origins and development of the jury system as well as a comprehensive, stage-by-stage description of a jury trial and of the sentencing procedure in a criminal trial. The work also provides a unique estimate of the cost of the jury system, which is particularly relevant in this continuing era of budget constraints.

Rejecting the justifications usually given for the jury system, the work explains how the political roles of the jury constitute the chief value of the jury system. The basis of these political roles is the unquestionable power of the jury to acquit even a guilty criminal defendant, which allows juries to prevent the enforcement of unjust laws and the imposition of unjust punishments. Accordingly, the book challenges a range of practices that the judiciary has developed to obstruct the jury's exercise of this power. Most people—even including many lawyers—remain unaware of these practices, but they undermine the value of the jury system to our society. Finally, the book offers an original, thought-provoking analysis of the responsibilities imposed on criminal trial jurors in cases of compelling injustice.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This detailed book would work in judicial process courses as an introduction to the controversy surrounding the jury system. Summing Up: Recommended. General readers, undergraduate students, graduate students, and professionals."

-

Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781440802690
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/31/2012
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v

Introduction vii

Part I The Basics of the Jury System

Chapter 1 How the Jury System Works 3

Chapter 2 What the Jury System Costs 13

Chapter 3 Citizens as Jurors in the Justice System 29

Part II Myths about the Jury System

Chapter 4 The Myth of Improved Trial Outcomes 43

Chapter 5 The Myth of Promoting Democratic Citizenship 61

Part III The Jury as Political Institution

Chapter 6 The Long History of the Nullification Power 75

Chapter 7 The Jury as Safeguard against Government 87

Chapter 8 The Worth of the Jury System 99

Part IV Government Obstruction of the Jury

Chapter 9 Obstruction of the Jury in the Trial Process 111

Chapter 10 Obstruction of the Jury in the Sentencing Process 123

Part V Jury Responsibility

Chapter 11 Discretion and Responsibility 145

Chapter 12 Conscientious Fulfillment of Jury Duty 157

Chapter 13 Juror Responsibility for Unjust Prison Conditions 173

Notes 187

Bibliography 217

Index 235

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