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LAWS 7735 American Jury (Spring: 3 )

Course Description

This seminar will explore the jury system in the United States and in particular Massachusetts, in theory and in practice, in both civil and criminal proceedings. A variety of issues will be discussed including the history of the jury in the United States, jury composition, voir dire of prospective jurors by the judge and/or the lawyers, challenges for cause and peremptory challenges, trial issues and the jury, jury perceptions of the evidence, the roles of the jury and the judge, innovative techniques with respect to the jury (including the questioning of witnesses by jurors, interim commentary by counsel during the course of the trial, and discussion of the evidence during the trial by jurors), deliberations by the jury, jury nullification, the death penalty and the jury, the jury and scientific evidence, the requirement of unanimity, instructions of law by the judge to the jury, and the effectiveness of the jury in determining the truth.


Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:


Last Updated: 24-Jun-17