The American jury has a certain aura internationally. Many people view the jury as a bad part of American exceptionalism. They think that juries decide lots of cases and make many bad decisions: they find people innocent who are not, and in civil matters, they unjustly award significant sums. The most prominent criminal and civil examples are the O.J. Simpson and McDonalds cases. In the Simpson case, with a large international audience watching, the jury acquitted Simpson despite significant evidence that he murdered his wife and her acquaintance. In the McDonalds case, the jury awarded $2.7 million in punitive damages to Stella Liebeck when she was burned by McDonalds’ coffee....to read more go here.
To access Professor Thomas' latest book examining the vanishing jury go here.