The Adversary Jury Trial and Wrongful Conviction

Marvin Zalman, Wayne State University

This paper explores various elements of the adversary jury trial to assess its capacity to ascertain the ground truth of alleged crimes. Whether the jury trial better assess ground truth than the civil law "inquisitorial" is an old subject, going back to differences between Blackstone and Bentham. This paper takes a closer look at the role played by the judge, rules of evidence, reforms to allow more jury involvement, and the like to estimate whether a series of technical modifications in contemporary can make jury trial arguably more accurate.

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Updated 05/20/2006