Bar Bulletin

Bar Bulletin

New Survey Data on Whether Jurors Follow the Law

May 2019 Bar Bulletin

By Thomas M. O’Toole, Ph.D.

Do jurors follow the law? Our legal system presumes that jurors take all the evidence and testimony they see and hear over the course of a trial and filter it through the jury instructions they receive from the judge to arrive at a rational and just verdict under the law.

In addition to these instructions, jurors sometimes receive a variety of instructions throughout the trial, such as curative instructions that instruct them to disregard statements they heard from a witness. Obviously, the role of these instructions is vital as they represent the law that should be followed as jurors...

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