Jury trials have been exciting events throughout history. The first in recorded history convicted Greek philosopher Socrates in 399 B.C. of “disregarding the gods and goddesses and polluting the minds of youth.” A grand jury of 500 citizens decided his fate: 360 jurors voted for his death and 140 voted for a fine. The 70-year-old was put to death by drinking a cup of poisonous hemlock.
Famous trials abound—some before juries and some before judges, from the Salem Witchcraft Trails (1692), to the Nuremberg Trials (1945-49), to Brown vs. Toledo Board of Education (1951) to the O.J. Simpson Trial (1995).
Certainly not every jury trial gets the attention or is as complex as the cases above. My own jury duty in a housing case influenced me to ask a lot of questions before I buy a condominium, though the experience certainly was not the stuff of murders, acquittals and exhonerations. Still, jury trials are an important way we deliver justice.
Have you served on a jury? How was that experience? What advice do you have for a novice jury member? Your comments and questions are always welcome!
HOSTS: Kathleen McCoy and Senior Judge Elaine Andrews
- Stacy Worby, Alaska Court System, state jury coordinator
- Ray Brown, jury trial attorney
- Alaska Court System Jury Service website
- Video: You, the Alaska Juror (13-min video)
- Alaska’s Grand Jurors (11-min video)
- Trial Juror’s Handbook, Alaska Court System (27-page PDF)
- The right to a jury trial—800 years and counting! (4 page PDF) by Judge Michael Jeffrey, who served 32 years as a judge in Barrow, Arctic Sounder, 4.25.2015
- Famous Trials, by Professor Douglas Linder (Great Courses)
- Alaska Innocence Project, website
- The psychology of voir dire, article, The Jury Expert website
- Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752 (statewide) during the live broadcast (2:00 – 3:00pm)
- Send email to email@example.com before, during or after the broadcast.
- Post your comment or question below
LIVE BROADCAST: Wednesday, February 21, 2018, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. (Alaska time)
REPEAT BROADCAST: Wednesday, February 21, 2018, 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. (Alaska time)