Photos by Blane Marable Photography.

Photos by Blane Marable Photography.

The Susette M. Talarico Lecture, presented by the Criminal Justice Studies Program and the Criminal Justice Society, is hosted annually in memory of Dr. Talarico, a long-time director of the Criminal Justice Studies Program. With support from the Susette M. Talarico Fund, the Criminal Justice Society, the Departments of Political Science and Sociology, this lecture series has brought practitioners and scholars to campus to speak on a wide variety of current issues in criminal justice.

To support the Susette M. Talarico Fund, click here.

The Criminal Justice Studies Program and the Criminal Justice Society invite you to the

2022 Susette M. Talarico Lecture

“The Democratizing Jury”

presented by

Valarie 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.


2009: Valerie E. Caproni, general counsel of the FBI
2010: Joe D. Whitley, former general counsel for the Department of Homeland Security
2011: Leah Ward Sears, Former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice
2013: John Hagan, John D. MacArthur Professor of Sociology and Law, Northwestern University / Co-director, Center on Law & Globalization at the American Bar Foundation
2014: Michael P. Downing, Deputy Chief, Los Angeles Police Department
2015: Victor Rios, University of California-Santa Barbara
2016: Steven E. Clark, Director, Presley Center for Crime and Justice Studies Director / Professor of Psychology, University of California, Riverside
2017: Dr. Christopher Uggen, Regents Professor and Martindale Chair in Sociology and Law, University of Minnesota
2018: Chief Louis M. Dekmar, Chief of Police and Chief of Public Safety for the City of LaGrange
2019: Judge Steve Goss, Superior Court Judge for the Court of Appeals of Georgia
2020: Dr. John Patrick Jarvis, Academic Dean, FBI Academy
2021: Dr. Brian N. Williams (AB ’88, MPA ’91, PhD ’95), Associate Professor of Public Policy in the Batten School of Leadership at the University of Virginia