The O.J. Simpson criminal trial (External Links) has been cited as a recent example ofjury nullification(page 131 in the text), where a jury disregards the facts of the case and acquits a defendant despite overwhelming evidence. There have also been several cases where defendants are wrongfully convicted for all types of offenses, from minor thefts to capital offenses (estimates are approximately 2,000 per year). In our readings, we find that jury selection is an extremely important part of the case, as who is selected to the jury could ultimately have an effect on the outcome of the trial. Critics say that many of these problems stem from the ineptness of American juries and they suggest replacing our current system with bench trials or with professionally trained jurors.
1. Does our current jury system work? Why or why not?
2. Based upon some of the aforementioned errors and loopholes, should our current jury system be abolished? Why or why not?
3. Describe what you would do, however major or minor, to fix/refine our current system to avoid these errors and loopholes?