362Law07a - PSC 362: The Criminal Justice System and the...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
PSC 362: The Criminal Justice System and the American Jury Professor A. Law Office Hours: M, W 1:00PM-2:30pm and by appointment Office Location: 990 West Fullerton Ave, Suite 2216 Phone: 773-325-4326/alaw1@depaul.edu Course Description In this course, we assess the role of the American jury in the criminal justice system. Although juries also serve in civil cases, the focus in this course is their participation in criminal trials. Supporters of the jury see the jury as the ultimate expression of democracy and freedom, a system whereby 12 regular members of society who are your peers judge you. Critics of the jury see it as deeply ineffective and biased system. They see it as 12 unlearned people and their prejudices, easily manipulated by lawyers and jury consultants, being asked to decide the fate of defendants in sometimes highly complex civil and criminal proceedings. We will assess both these claims. The course begins with the contemporary debate about juries, arguments for and against the system. Then we move on to the history and origins of the system. Only by understanding the history and origins of the jury can we place the contemporary jury system in its proper context as we assess how far the system has come and how far it has yet to go. Obviously a jury is only as good as the people who comprise it. We spend some time on the history exclusion of certain citizens for jury participation based on race and sex. The issue of jury selection is an important one and a veritable cottage industry of jury consultants who claim to help lawyers pick the "right" jurors has sprouted up. We explore the effect of these consultants on voire dire and the use of preemptory challenges. We then turn to how juries actually make decisions. Does the law guide jurors or are they guided by a more abstract sense of justice? We assess the phenomena of jury nullification. The final section of the course looks at the role of juries in capital cases and the alleged racial biases in capital cases. We then take a step back and reflect on the wisdom of continuing with the jury system in the United States. Texts and Readings There are two required text available at the bookstore: Jeffery Abramson’s We the Jury; and D. Graham Burnett’s A Trial By Jury . In addition, there is a required reading packet that you must purchase from the Political Science office at 990 W. Fullerton, Suite 2200. On the schedule of assigned readings, readings in your packet are preceded by ***. Requirements
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 5

362Law07a - PSC 362: The Criminal Justice System and the...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online