The Jury Under Fire: Myth, Controversy, and Reform

Paperback | February 10, 2017

byBrian H. Bornstein, Edie Greene

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Although the jury is often referred to as one of the bulwarks of the American justice system, it regularly comes under attack. Recent changes to trial procedures, such as reducing jury size, allowing non-unanimous verdicts, and rewriting jury instructions in plain English, were designed topromote greater efficiency and adherence to the law. Other changes, such as capping damages and replacing jurors with judges as arbiters in complex trials, seem designed to restrict the role of laypeople in trial outcomes. Whether these innovations are implemented to facilitate the administration ofjustice or due to the belief that juries have excessive power and make irrational decisions, they raise a host of questions about their effects on juries' judgments and about justice. Policymakers sometimes make incorrect assumptions about jury behavior, with the result that some reform efforts havehad surprising and unintended consequences.The Jury Under Fire reviews a number of controversial beliefs about juries as well as the implications of these views for jury reform. It reviews up-to-date research on both criminal and civil juries that uses a variety of research methodologies: simulations, archival analyses, field studies, andjuror interviews. Each chapter focuses on a mistaken assumption or myth about jurors or juries, critiques these myths, and then uses social science research findings to suggest appropriate reforms. Chapters discuss the experience of serving as a juror; jury selection and jury size; and the impact ofevidence from eyewitnesses, experts, confessions, and juvenile offenders. The book also covers the process of deciding damages and punishment and the role of emotions in jurors' decision making, and it compares jurors' and judges' decisions. Finally, it reviews a broad range of efforts to reform thejury, including the most promising reforms that have a solid backing in research. Featuring highly visible trials to illustrate key points, The Jury Under Fire will interest researchers in psychology and the law, practicing attorneys, and policymakers, as well as students and trainees in theseareas.

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Although the jury is often referred to as one of the bulwarks of the American justice system, it regularly comes under attack. Recent changes to trial procedures, such as reducing jury size, allowing non-unanimous verdicts, and rewriting jury instructions in plain English, were designed topromote greater efficiency and adherence to the...

Brian H. Bornstein, PhD, is Professor of Psychology and Courtesy Professor of Law at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he serves as Director of the country's oldest Law and Psychology Program. His research interests include jury decision making, the reliability of eyewitness memory, and the application of decision-making princi...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:February 10, 2017Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190201347

ISBN - 13:9780190201340

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