Author Archives: John Gastil

About John Gastil

John Gastil is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences and Senior Scholar at the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at The Pennsylvania State University. He specializes in political deliberation and group decision making, and he has published both nonfiction and fiction.

Ethnic bias in voir dire: More evidence of a widespread problem

A recent L.A. Times story picked up a preliminary report from U.C. Berkeley on who gets excluded from juries during voir dire in California. Here’s a quick summary: The report examined, among other things, nearly 700 cases decided by the … Continue reading

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Juries and social distancing

There are a string of recent essays and articles on how courthouses and trying to cope with social distancing rules when it comes to seating juries. A recent New York Times article provides the most comprehensive analysis. Meanwhile, ABA Journal … Continue reading

Posted in Conducting trials, Deliberation on juries, Summoning juries, Voir dire and jury selection | Leave a comment

Roger Stone jurors continue to be intimidated, even long after trial concludes

I posted an earlier note on this site about what a frightening norm-violation it was when President Trump tweeted about the jurors serving in the trial of Roger Stone. Now, those jurors have provided testimony that underscores just have grave … Continue reading

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When Presidents attack…

In The Jury and Democracy, we noted that although juries had high approval ratings in general, conservative political attacks on the civil jury had done damage to the reputation of such bodies. Now a sitting U.S. President has attacked the … Continue reading

Posted in Conducting trials, Public/media views of juries, Social/political impact of juries, Voir dire and jury selection | 1 Comment

Juries and board games: A match made in nerd heaven

For so many reasons, we here at the Jury and Democracy blog are delighted by a story from today’s Raleigh (NC) News and Observer. In a nutshell, a jury asked a judge to buy it board games, and the judge … Continue reading

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Suing to protect jurors’ right to serve

This lawsuit is a great example of advocacy for the rights of citizens to be considered for jury service. In an article for The Appeal, Kira Lerner explained: Mississippi District Attorney Doug Evans was hit with a proposed class action … Continue reading

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Jury system continues to advance in Argentina

Argentina had a funny provision in its constitution, which enabled Congress to establish a jury system. It chose not to, but that provision lingered and eventually inspired legal reformers to champion the jury system as a means of bolstering democracy … Continue reading

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In the age of Trump, a sign that jurors can still set politics aside

Many people probably wondered whether the jurors in the Manafort trial would be able to set aside any question of how a verdict might affect Special Prosectuor Robert Mueller’s investigation. There was relatively little discussion of this, but all it … Continue reading

Posted in Deliberation on juries, Public/media views of juries, Social/political impact of juries, Verdicts juries reach, Voir dire and jury selection | Leave a comment

How Jury Service Influences Attitudes toward the Court System

Written by Jimin Pyo, a doctoral student in the Department of Criminal Justice at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY. [Today’s post comes from a guest scholar, who has a new publication. We encourage anyone with research relevant … Continue reading

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When jurors herd together and when they stand their ground

A new study re-uses some of the data collected for the Jury and Democracy Project, along with original complementary data, to show when juries herd together and when they remain divided. A team of researchers in California, Maryland, and North … Continue reading

Posted in Deliberation on juries, Verdicts juries reach | Leave a comment