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January 21, 2020

Note: Justice Talking's grant funding expired in 2008 and the project has been closed. This website is an archive of the entire run of Justice Talking shows through June 30, 2008.
It is no longer being maintained. We apologize for any stale or broken links.
Featured Program

The Right to a Jury Trial
Last Featured: 5/5/2008

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Note: Justice Talking ceased production on June 30 of 2008. Link information on this site is not maintained and is provided for historical interest only. Although correct when posted, The Annenberg Public Policy Center makes no claim as the the accuracy or continued availability of any third party web links found on this site.

The right to a trial by a jury is guaranteed to criminal defendants by the Sixth Amendment. The Seventh Amendment extends the right to a jury trial to federal civil cases such as car accidents, contract disputes between corporations, and most discrimination or employment disputes. But there are many questions about how the system works. Who shows up to serve? Is there racial or other bias in the selection process or in jury deliberations? Join us for this edition of Justice Talking as we look at jury trials and jury service and ask whether this system is fair and effective.

The Verdict on American Jury Trials
Host Margot Adler speaks with law professor Valerie Hans about the history of jury trials and their relevancy in modern American society.

Valerie P. Hans is a law professor at the Cornell Law School. She is the author of several books about the jury system and co-author of American Juries: The Verdict with Neil Vidmar.

Photo: ©Sheryl Sinkow Photography

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Debate: Is it Time for Grand Jury Reform?
Former federal prosecutor Roger Fairfax and trial lawyer Gerald Lefcourt discuss the function and failings of the grand jury system.

Roger A. Fairfax, Jr. is a law professor at The George Washington University Law School. Before entering academia, he served as a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice and as a white collar criminal defense attorney in private practice.

Gerald B. Lefcourt, an attorney with a private practice in New York, was president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers from 1997-98. He co-chaired the organization’s Commission to Reform the Federal Grand Jury. He is also founder of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and a past president of the New York Criminal Bar Association.

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Racial Disparities in the Jury Box
Reporter Mark Houser takes us to Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, where there is continuing racial disparity in the make-up of juries.

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Show Me the Money: Punitive Damage Awards
Host Margot Adler speaks with law professor Cass Sunstein about how civil juries determine cash awards.

Cass R. Sunstein is a law professor at the University of Chicago Law School. Previously, he worked as an attorney-advisor in the Office of the Legal Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice. He co-authored the book Punitive Damages: How Juries Decide.

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The Art of Selecting a Jury
Host Margot Adler speaks with jury consultant Dr. Gil Calvillo about how he identifies jurors that are most likely to rule in his clients' favor.

Dr. Gilbert Calvillo is a director in the Trial Services group of FTI, a forensic and litigation consulting practice.

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Special Announcements
Justice Talking’s last broadcast & podcast was June 30, 2008.
Fifth Amendment
Sixth Amendment
Seventh Amendment
Baston v. Kentucky
Snyder v. Louisiana (Acrobat PDF file)
American Society of Trial Consultants
American Judicature Society
American Grand Jury Foundation
The Heritage Foundation - opinion
How Much do we Really Know about Race and Juries?
ATRA - American Tort Reform Association on punitive damages
American Association for Justice on punitive damages
American Juries: The Verdict
by Neil Vidmar and Valerie P. Hans
Inside the Juror: The Psychology of Juror Decision Making
by Reid Hastie
The Hidden Jury: And Other Secret Tactics Lawyers Use to Win
by Paul Lisnek
We, the Jury: The Jury System and the Ideal of Democracy
by Jeffrey Abramson
Bail Bondsmen, Bounty Hunters and Private Prisons
Innovations in Policing
Juvenile Justice 40 Years After In Re Gault