Albert Dzur: Twelve Absent Men

The Boston Review recently ran an article by political scientist Albert Dzur on the jury. It appeared on July 22, 2013, and was called “Twelve Absent Men.”

Until the early 20th century, the jury was the standard way Americans handled criminal cases, but today we operate largely without it. It has been supplanted by plea agreements, settlements, summary judgments, and other non-trial forums that are usually more efficient and cost-effective in the short term. In addition to cost and efficiency, justice officials worry about juror competence in the face of scientific and technical evidence and expert testimony, further diminishing the opportunity for everyday people to serve.

Continue reading