UC Law Journal


Peter G. Keane


Periodically, our society goes through agonizing soulsearching and much hand-wringing about the efficacy and worth of the jury system. We are in the midst of such a period of analysis now as we again discover, to our seeming shock, that one of our human-created institutions has some all-too human flaws. This scrutiny is particularly prevalent due to the media's recent focus upon the American legal system and society's concomitant fascination with the distribution of justice.

This Essay provides valuable insights from an experienced litigator on the value and role of the jury system. Professor Keane examines societal expectations of the jury by contrasting its historical origins against its modem embodiment. The discussion serves to assist the reader in understanding the jury in a historical perspective. The author encourages the reader to view the jury system as a continuing work in progress and a human endeavor to obtain the benefits of stability, common sense, sound judgment, and wisdom for our legal system.

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