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Children's LiteratureJury trials, especially those in high profile murder cases, have long fascinated Americans. Witness the myriad court-oriented programs, both the fictional and nonfictional variety, that appear on television. There is something uniquely American about the concept of a trial by a jury of one's peers. Indeed, many other democracies, such as France and Israel, do not even have jury trials as part of their justice systems. This excellent book is a wonderful introduction to the quintessential American notion of a jury trial. The book is a compendium of treatises and articles on various jury-related topics, including the origins of the jury concept, the relationship between juries and democracies, and the U.S. Supreme Court's contributions to the American jury system. These articles are engaging and highly relevant. They include pieces by such well-known commentators as the late Supreme Court Justice Byron White, 19th century French commentator Alexis de Tocqueville, and founding father Alexander Hamilton. This title belongs at the front of any school or library suggested reading list on the jury trial. It is a comprehensive, thought-provoking treatment of this American right. This reviewer, also an attorney who has tried many jury cases, would classify this book as recommended reading for students and adults alike. 2005, Greenhaven Press, Ages 12 up.
—Bruce Adelson, J.D.