Last Chance for Justice: The Juror's Lonely Quest

Laurence H. Geller, Author, Peter Hemenway, Joint Author NCDS Press $26.95 (360p) ISBN 978-0-9657115-0-0
Jurors' personal biases frequently become the basis for trial verdicts, argue authors Geller and Hemenway, themselves California administrative law judges. Using two notorious California cases--the trial of the LAPD officers who beat Rodney King and the O.J. Simpson criminal and civil trials--the authors explain the basic procedures of criminal trials and how those procedures can lead to verdicts that seem to go against the evidence. Their book makes for fascinating reading for anyone interested in the sometimes arcane workings of our legal system. The authors demystify jury service by defining legal jargon and court procedures in simple, everyday language. They ably explain what any juror on a criminal trial needs to know, covering such topics as how charges are filed, how a jury is selected and how verdicts are handed down. They also point out problems with our current legal system by carefully reviewing original testimony and evidence presented in the King trial, and by showing where and how things might have gone differently had the evidence been presented to a more impartial jury. The authors close by offering methods that jurors can use to set aside their prejudices and impartially determine guilt or innocence based on evidence presented at trial. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1997
Release date: 10/01/1997
Genre: Nonfiction
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