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Susette M. Talarico Lecture
The Criminal Justice Studies Program and the Criminal Justice Society invite you to the
2022 Susette M. Talarico Lecture
“The Democratizing Jury”
Valerie P. Hans
Charles F. Rechlin Professor of Law
Cornell Law School
Thursday, March 31, 2022
12:00 – 1:00 PM EST
Virtual via Zoom Webinar
Register below to receive the Zoom link.
Trial by jury has played a central role in our democracy since the earliest days of the country. Juries engage in deliberative democracy, deciding the cases before them; in turn, their collective experience tightens the bonds between jurors and the government. Jury trials in both criminal and civil disputes were seen as so essential that protections of the jury trial right were cemented in the amendments to the US Constitution. Even in this extraordinary pandemic moment, they remain a significant part of democratic self-governance. However, achieving fair juries and fair jury trials in a polarized society presents challenges. The Georgia jury trial of Ahmaud Arbery and other high profile jury trials illustrate both the difficulties and the potential of doing democracy through trial by jury today. Empirical research on criminal and civil jury trials, conducted by Susette Talarico and others, allows us to study the process and the outcomes of jury trials. Jury research documents both strengths and limitations of the jury trial as a vehicle for democratic decision making. It also points to ways to fortify the democratizing qualities of trial by jury.