Why Jury Duty Matters

Andrew Guthrie Ferguson, Author, Charles J Ogletree, Foreword by
Andrew Guthrie Ferguson. NYU, $16.95 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-0-8147-2903-8
Reviewed on: 01/07/2013
Release date: 12/01/2012
Hardcover - 234 pages - 978-0-8147-2902-1
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Jury duty is a phrase sure to elicit eye rolls and groans from those summoned to service. Still, it remains one of our most important roles to fulfill as citizens and a right that people have valued since the middle ages. Ferguson, a veteran lawyer and law professor, outlines the importance of the jury in the legal system, how the right to trial by jury helped push the American Revolution forward, and how civil rights advances that created a more balanced jury pool have resulted in fairer trials for all. The subject of jury duty is a dry one and while Ferguson does his best to elevate the topic, he can't make it a compelling one unless the reader is already actively interested in the jury portion of the legal process. While the book is definitely written for laypeople in terms of prose style, it requires an enthusiastic ear. Though this book will lose the attention of most readers, the dedicated and wonk-minded will learn a great deal about our legal system. (Jan.)
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