An editorial giving juries a break

All too often, juries in the news get criticism for this or that verdict, with the critics not having seen the trial from the perspectives of the jurors themselves. Even sitting in the gallery for a whole trial (something few observers have the time to do) can’t do justice to the juror’s experience, in part because that observer still has access to outside information jurors don’t.

This week, however, the editors Montreal Gazette published a thoughtful editorial about why we should give respect to juries, even when their verdicts confound us. The bottom line of that piece was simply,

There will be instances where many of us might disagree with a jury verdict. But we owe jurors our trust and juries our respect.

There will be instances where many of us might disagree with a jury verdict. But we owe jurors our trust and juries our respect.

The context for that request was a pair of highly publicized trials:

In two separate incidents, parents kill their children in strikingly similar circumstances, but jurors come to two entirely different conclusions. The question is: What does that say about the value of a jury trial?

Curious what transpired? Take a look at the piece in the Gazette.

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About jgastil

John Gastil is Head and Professor in the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences at The Pennsylvania State University, where he specializes in political deliberation and group decision making.
This entry was posted in Public/media views of juries, Verdicts juries reach. Bookmark the permalink.

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