Yesterday, the trial judge handling the Bill Cosby sexual assault case determined that the case will not be moved out of Montgomery County, PA. However, the jurors who will decide Cosby's fate will come from a different county and will be sequestered.
We have problems in Orange and Osceola counties (the Ninth Judicial Circuit) summoning jurors that represent our diverse Central Florida population. While the U.S. Constitution does not require a “jury of peers” in criminal trials, it does require the jury to represent a fair cross section of the community. Currently, the jury pools do not represent the circuit...
Do not decide the case based on “implicit biases.” As we discussed in jury selection, everyone, including me, has feelings, assumptions, perceptions, fears, and stereotypes, that is, “implicit biases,” that we may not be aware of. These hidden thoughts can impact what we see and hear, how we remember what we see and hear, and how we make important decisions. Because you are making very important decisions in this case, I strongly encourage you to evaluate the evidence carefully and to resist jumping to conclusions based on personal likes or dislikes, generalizations, gut feelings, prejudices, sympathies, stereotypes, or biases. The law demands that you return a just verdict, based solely on the evidence, your individual evaluation of that evidence, your reason and common sense, and these instructions. Our system of justice is counting on you to render a fair decision based on the evidence, not on biases.
Noted jury scholar Valerie Hans is looking for a post-doc to assist with a research project on Quantitative Judgments in Law: Studies of Damage Award Decision Making.
I'm looking for a post-doc! Cornell Law School is seeking a Postdoctoral Associate to collaborate with and contribute to Professors Valerie Hans’s and Valerie Reyna’s National Science Foundation-funded research project on Quantitative Judgments in Law: Studies of Damage Award Decision Making. The position encompasses a full range of research and lab management responsibilities spanning jury decision making, numeracy and quantitative reasoning. The postdoctoral associate position will begin in fall 2017 and is for a one-year term. Responsibilities include: coordinating and running experiments; monitoring research task progress; assisting in selecting, training and supervising lab personnel; data acquisition; data analysis; preparing IRB documentation; assisting with manuscripts and reports; and other research-related tasks as assigned. The successful candidate will have a combination of education, training, and experience along with strong research and quantitative skills. Candidates should have a relevant Ph.D. and/or a law degree (J.D.) completed by June 1, 2017. For more details, and to apply, see https://lnkd.in/dAJc7Mi.
New Hampshire has drawn one step closer to creating a new law requiring courts to inform "the jury of its right to judge the facts and the application of the law in relation to the facts in controversy.” This week the New Hampshire state house passed (HB133) which reads, in part, as follows:
At the request of the defendant or the defendant’s attorney, the court shall instruct the jury as follows: “If you have a reasonable doubt as to whether the state has proved any one or more of the elements of the crime charged, you must find the defendant not guilty. However if you find that the state has proved all the elements of the offense charged beyond a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant guilty. Even if you find that the state has proved all of the elements of the offense charged beyond a reasonable doubt, you may still find that based upon the facts of this case a guilty verdict will yield an unjust result, and you may find the defendant not guilty.”
It remains to be seen if the New Hampshire state senate will go along with the house and approve this bill. Last year, a similar bill did not make it out of the state senate.
The right to trial in civil cases is enshrined in the United States Constitution* and most state constitutions. Most people, laypersons and legal professionals alike, consider trials an essential component of American democracy. But real life civil trials are disappearing from the American legal landscape. Films, like books designed for consumption by the general public, are cultural documents that embody a society’s attitudes about and views of the law and the legal system. Courtroom films are the most easily recognizable and popular subset of films about law because they provide the stage for an examination of some aspect of a trial — juries, lawyers, litigants, laws or the legal process itself. Some legal commentators contend that legal films have the capacity to teach and encourage film audiences to think more critically about the legal system. But most trial films involve criminal cases. Thus this essay asks whether the distinction between criminal and civil films trials is important when determining the impact of the decline in real-life civil trials on American popular culture and courtroom films in particular.
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.” U.S. CONST. amend. VII.
Law360, Dallas (February 9, 2017, 3:19 PM EST) -- Prosecutors in the felony securities fraud case against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Thursday accused him of orchestrating a two-year crusade to taint the jury pool in his home county, in a motion to change venue before the upcoming trial...
A Senate committee could begin moving forward Monday with a plan to require unanimous jury recommendations before inmates can be sentenced to death.
The Senate Criminal Justice Committee is slated to take up a bill (SB 280), filed by Chairman Randolph Bracy, D-Orlando, that would make the long-debated change. A similar measure (HB 527) has been filed by House Judiciary Chairman Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor...