Enshrined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, a jury trial is an essential right for all Americans. It places citizens at the very heart of the U.S. legal order. And yet at the dawn of the 21st century, juries resolve only a small percentage of legal cases, and concern has arisen that the jury is “vanishing” from both the criminal and civil courts. In The Jury in America: Triumph and Decline (University Press of Kansas, 2016), BC political scientist Dennis Hale contends that a preference for expert judgment has replaced public judgment, giving rise to arbitration, settlements and trials decided by judges only. In his new book, Hale combines legal history and political analysis to traces what the American jury system was, what it has become, and what the ramifications could be of a withering jury system. BC Libraries presents an interview with Hale.
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