Jury trial innovations, such as allowing jurors to take notes or providing them with written instructions, are designed to help jurors understand the trial better and improve juror comprehension, performance, and satisfaction. These innovations, while not mandatory, allow jurors to recall the evidence better during deliberations and therefore administer more confident verdicts, enhancing their overall satisfaction with the jury process and increasing public trust and confidence with the judicial system as a whole.
Links to related online resources are listed below. Non-digitized publications may
be borrowed from the NCSC Library; call numbers are provided.
The link above will open into an Excel spreadsheet and contains information on who must consent for a defendant in a general jurisdiction court to obtain a bench trial. I most states, the court and the prosecution must both consent to the waiver.
The composition of case dispositions in the nation’s state courts is changing. As the use of trials declines, knowledge of the use of non-trial dispositions becomes increasingly important as a means of maintaining public trust and confidence in the courts.
The Center for Jury Studies is dedicated to facilitating the ability of citizens to fulfill their role within the justice system and enhancing their confidence and satisfaction with jury service by helping judges and court staff improve jury management. To do so, the Center engages in cutting-edge research to identify practices that:- promote broad participation by the community in the jury system- respect jurors' contributions to the justice system- utilize jurors' time effectively and make reasonable accommodations for their comfort and privacy, and- provide jurors with the decision-making tools necessary to make informed and fair judgments in the cases submitted to them.
See the website to learn more.
Weekly electronic newsletter published by the Center for Jury Studies.
This curriculum was prepared to assist judicial educators to develop and present programs that ultimately improve the management of jury trials in their home jurisdictions.
The Munsterman Award recognizes states, local courts, organizations, or individuals who have made significant improvements or innovations in jury procedures, operations, and practices.
Most state courts still use a two-step process to qualify and summon jurors. But courts looking to expend less money and administrative effort may want to convert to a sone-step process.
Thomas M. Cooley Law Review, Volume 2, Number 1
This article addresses the “importance of accurate, precise and understandable for evaluating eyewitness testimony and their appropriate expression in plain English.” This is an important issue because research has demonstrated that eyewitness testimony can be unreliable, making it a leading cause of wrongful convictions.
This Australian report contains a literature review of existing research and studies that discuss the use of social media by empanelled jurors and the problems associated with said use. It also reviews policies and procedures implemented in other countries to address this problem and it contains specific recommendations changes in current practices.
The embedded video shows Chief Judge Donald E. Shelton of the Washtenaw Trial Court in Ann Arbor, Michigan delivering a “no googling, no texting” instruction to jurors. It is an excellent illustration of how to give this type of instruction in a way that is comprehensible and dignified for the jury. Click on the arrow below to view the video.
Most courts have only limited resources to offer jurors in terms of post-trial assistance, but the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offered to federal government employees by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services may provide a useful model for state courts to emulate.
This describes the policies and procedures that courts should employee to ensure that jurors and juror information is appropriately safeguarded.