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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 158720 Find in a Library
Title: Jury Reform
Journal: ABA Journal  Volume:81  Dated:(November 1995)  Pages:72-76
Author(s): M Curriden
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 5
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Although disagreement exists regarding whether the jury system is ineffective, reforms are being advocated in nearly every aspect of the system.
Abstract: Recommendations range from broadening the pool of people who serve to streamlining the voir dire process to giving jurors more liberty and information in deliberations. Some of the recommendations appear radical; these include allowing non-unanimous jury verdicts, eliminating peremptory strikes, and reopening the case when the jury is hung. However, others are currently the subject of experiment; courts all over the country are considering the practicality of permitting note-taking and questioning by jurors, allowing counsel to sum up arguments throughout the case, and decreasing the use of legal jargon. Much of the reform activity comes from within the system itself. Other activity was stirred by the O.J. Simpson trial. Several recent students have revealed that people called for jury duty often feel that they are handled rudely and are unappreciated. In one effort to reduce the inconvenience to jurors, eight states are changing to the 1-day, one-trial system. Addressing all the concerns will require going beyond talk of sensational murder trials and million-dollar verdicts and learning from changes already in progress. Photographs
Main Term(s): Court reform
Index Term(s): Court procedures; Juries; Jury decisionmaking; Jury unanimity
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