Criminal Trial Juries
This seminar, which is taught by a local state court judge who has also served as an Assistant United States Attorney and law professor, examines the criminal trial jury from both a practical and theoretical perspective. The course will consider the history of the criminal jury trial, legal and strategic considerations in jury selection, jurors' ability to act as fact-finders, rules protecting jury deliberations, the consequences of juror misconduct, and juries and the death penalty. Students will observe portions of actual jury trials occurring in local courthouses. They will also examine legal decisions, theoretical critiques, and empirical research about the jury. Class discussion will consider the practical challenges for lawyers and judges posed by jury trials. This course will combine a one-hour seminar with a mandatory two-hour per week "practicum" involving time spent at court. Elements used in grading: Class participation and a final research paper.