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The Trouble With Trial-By-Jury

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The jury that was supposed to try Jefferson Davis for treason after the Civil War. A presidential pardon closed the case.

Getting out of jury duty is as American as apple pie.  And maybe that's part of the reason that jury trials are becoming rare. 

But since they are a cornerstone of our legal system, it's not necessarily a good thing that so few cases now go to a jury trial.  Drury Sherrod, a psychologist who studies juries and jury behavior, wrote a book about the situation, The Jury Crisis: What’s Wrong with Jury Trials and How We Can Save Them.  Dr. Sherrod pays us a visit to talk about what has happened to jury trials and what can change the situation. 

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily news program focused on issues, people and events across Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the program's senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.