The Missing American Jury: Restoring the Fundamental Constitutional Role of the Criminal, Civil, and Grand Juries

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Law professor Suja Thomas’s review of the functions of the American jury is written in obtuse, legalese, textbook language: “A jury trial will not be required for a new cause of action for which money remedies are available unless the action is analogous to one that existed at common law.” This makes it difficult to determine who would serve as the audience for the book.

The premise of the work is that the jury is an increasingly powerless and limited aspect of the criminal and civil justice systems. This is definitely true at a time when over ninety percent of criminal cases are settled without a jury (e.g., plea agreements). I suppose Thomas has performed a service in detailing the history of juries in the U.S. and elsewhere, but I doubt that 262 pages is needed to make a single point.

I was on my way to potentially serve on a jury panel when I picked up the work. This led me to realize that there are two groups who might be interested in reading The Missing American Jury; specifically, those called for jury duty and pre-law students. Law students will learn enough about the topic in their first-year classes.


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Author Suja A. Thomas
Star Count 2.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 232 pages
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Publish Date 2016-May-31
ISBN 9781107055650
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue December 2016
Category Current Events & Politics
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