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We the Jury: The Impact of Jurors on Our Basic Freedoms
     

We the Jury: The Impact of Jurors on Our Basic Freedoms

by Godfrey D. Lehman
 

Your worst nightmare: twelve jurors stand between you and a miscarriage of justice, and none of them have read this book. Few doubt that America's judicial system is one of the fairest, but we all agree it has problems. Sometimes it must enforce unjust laws, or administer laws in ways that seem inherently unfair. In criminal cases, each participant has his or

Overview

Your worst nightmare: twelve jurors stand between you and a miscarriage of justice, and none of them have read this book. Few doubt that America's judicial system is one of the fairest, but we all agree it has problems. Sometimes it must enforce unjust laws, or administer laws in ways that seem inherently unfair. In criminal cases, each participant has his or her proper role: the government prosecutes, the lawyer for the accused defends, the judge referees, and the jury renders a decision. But few realize the extraordinary power juries have to take control of court proceedings gone wrong, to undo miscarriages of justice, and help preserve the liberties we hold so dear.

Judicial history student and veteran juror Godfrey D. Lehman has compiled 12 cases from England and the U.S. in which jurors have taken it upon themselves, as a matter of conscience, to nullify or overturn horrific laws that endangered our freedoms. This is a wake-up call and a must read for historians, lawyers, judges, and, of course, all prospective jurors.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Lehman, who has published articles on jurors' rights, is a firm believer in the ability of juries to render impartial verdicts based on their collective conscience. In this engrossing and well-researched study, he details 12 U.S. and English court cases to demonstrate the jury's power to preserve our basic liberties. For example, in 1735 a randomly chosen jury agreed with Alexander Hamilton's defense of journalist Peter Zenger against libel charges and affirmed freedom of the press. Minority rights were protected in 1925 when an all-white jury acquitted Ossian Sweet, an African American who had purchased a house in a white neighborhood, of conspiracy; and other jury verdicts advanced the cause of women's suffrage. Lehman shows that lawyers who pack juries with biased individuals are interfering with justice. He argues against the use of jury consultants and charges that requiring perspective jurors to complete lengthy questionnaires not only is an invasion of privacy but also may lead to tainted verdicts. (Aug.)
Booknews
Lehman, author of several articles on jurors' rights, details twelve U.S. and English court cases to demonstrate the jury's power to preserve basic liberties. He shows that lawyers who pack juries with biased individuals are interfering with justice and argues against the use of jury consultants, charging that requiring prospective jurors to complete lengthy questionnaires not only is an invasion of privacy but also may lead to tainted verdicts. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781573921442
Publisher:
Prometheus Books
Publication date:
06/28/1997
Pages:
369
Product dimensions:
6.27(w) x 9.28(h) x 1.16(d)

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