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NCJ Number: 184539 Find in a Library
Title: Without Peers: A History of Women and Trial by Jury Part Two--The Law of Jury Service in the Twentieth Century
Journal: Women and Criminal Justice  Volume:11  Issue:4  Dated:2000  Pages:81-101
Author(s): Susan A. Lentz
Date Published: 2000
Page Count: 21
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This second part of a two-part study on the development of Anglo-American law regarding women and jury service examines the 20th century legal and political struggle for women's full participation in the American jury system.
Abstract: The first part of the study examined the limited participation of women in the legal system in medieval and early modern England, colonial America, and the new American Nation, ending with women's entry into the public world and the victory of women's suffrage in the United States. Part two provides an overview of the law of jury service largely from the perspective of the judicial branch. In defining trial by jury at the State and Federal levels, the courts became the final arbiter of statutes and constitutional provisions regarding the definition of an impartial jury. Particular cases and examples are cited in this paper as exemplifying the diversity of State experience in either expanding or delaying the jury service of women. Once women became eligible to sit on juries, court cases also reveal patterns of the continued exclusion of women based on legislated exemptions, judicial authority, and the discretion of jury commissioners. Thus, although women were eligible to serve on juries, this did not mean they were selected or even summoned. Although State judicial intervention dominated the law of gender and jury service for almost 50 years following adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment, the U.S. Supreme Court has perhaps become the final arbiter. Beginning with U.S. Supreme Court interpretations of congressional enactments that define the composition of Federal juries in the 1950's, this paper surveys the expansion of constitutional mandates that address gender and trial by jury under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments. The paper notes, however, that U.S. Supreme Court decisions remain to be implemented and interpreted at the State level. 3 notes and 36 references
Main Term(s): Court procedures
Index Term(s): Females; Gender issues; Juries; Sex discrimination; US Supreme Court decisions
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