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Thaddeus Hoffmeister
Professor
Recent Activity
Leona Deborah Jochnowitz Abstract: This study compares two Missouri capital cases where evidence of the defendants' personality disorder and childhood abuse history were predominant themes at trial, in order to assess the jurors' receptivity to mental mitigating evidence. The cases... Continue reading
Posted 4 hours ago at Juries
Ever wonder what happens when a polled juror disagrees with the verdict in open court? Well, according to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in U.S. v. McDonald, the trial judge just has to tell the jurors to continue to... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Juries
John E. Campbell Bernard Chao Christopher T. Robertson David V. Yokum Countering the Plaintiff's Anchor: Jury Simulations to Evaluate Damages Arguments Abstract: Numerous studies have shown that anchoring can have a strong effect on juries. For scholars and policymakers, this... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Juries
Long time readers of this blog know that I have am an advocate of allowing juror questions (for previous posts about juror questions go here and here). Well, it looks like the topic is once again in the news. The... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Juries
The Tampa Tribune has an interesting article highlighting the efforts by some defense attorneys to make their clients more presentable to jurors. As the article points out, attractive defendants are less likely to be convicted than unattractive defendants. In certain... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2014 at Juries
Currently, Massachusetts is considering whether or not to change the way it conducts voir dire. At present, Massachusetts uses judge conducted voir dire. However, the Massachusetts House has passed legislation (H. 4123) to allow attorneys to conduct voir dire. The... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2014 at Juries
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Deliberative Democracy and the American Civil Jury Valerie Hans John Gastil Traci Feller Abstract: Civil jury service should be a potent form of deliberative democracy, creating greater civic engagement. However, a 2010 seven-state study of jury service and voting records... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2014 at Juries
In Rogers v. Bromac Title Services, a three judge panel from the 5th Circuit upheld the trial judge's decision to dismiss the plaintiff's wrongful termination claim pursuant to the Jury System Improvement Act ("JSIA"), 28 USC 1875. In this case,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2014 at Juries
3 years ago California was one of the first states in the country to pass legislation making it a criminal offense for a sitting juror to go online and either research the case or talk about it with others. This... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2014 at Juries
Testing Tribe's Triangle: Juries, Hearsay, and Psychological Distance Justin Sevier Abstract: Laurence Tribe’s “testimonial triangle” has been a staple of evidence law casebooks for several decades and has been cited frequently in support of the rule against admitting hearsay into... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2014 at Juries
Toronto Sun:Time to end civil trials by juries Bahamas Tribune: Bill Seeks To Amend Juries The Guardian: Attorney generals to debate role of juries in internet age Sunday Times: On trial:how juries reach their verdicts Trinidad Guardian: Lawyers on CJ's... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2014 at Juries
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John Browning, a litigation attorney with a large firm in Dallas and prolific author on social media law, has written a very persuasive article in the Connecticut Law Tribune in which he extolls the importance of researching jurors online. For... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2014 at Juries
Citizen Views on Punishment: The Difference between Talking and Deciding Maria Ines Bergoglio Abstract: In 2004, the Province of Córdoba implemented lay participation in criminal decisions by means of Law 9182. The law was passed within a context of national... Continue reading
Posted Jul 1, 2014 at Juries
In U.S. v Ganias, defendant-appellant Stavros M. Ganias appealed from a judgment convicting him of tax evasion. Ganias challenged his conviction on two grounds. First, he argued that his Fourth Amendment rights were violated when the Government copied three of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2014 at Juries
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Juries and Prior Convictions: Managing the Demise of the Prior Conviction Exception to Apprendi Nancy King Abstract: This essay offers a menu of procedural alternatives for coping with the potential, some would say inevitable, abandonment of the prior conviction exception... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2014 at Juries
Here is a story about a court ordering a jury consultant for an indigent defendant accused of murdering a police officer. According to the article, the court has allocated $60,690 to hire a jury consultant for the defense. I am... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2014 at Juries
Here is an interesting article that discusses the unusual jury system employed on the island of Okinawa during the American post-war occupation. According to the article, Okinawa, which was under U.S. trusteeship until 1972, utilized a jury system presided over... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2014 at Juries
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Passive Observers or Active Participants? Civil and Criminal Juries from the Mid-Eighteenth to the Late Nineteenth Century Niamh Howlin Abstract:What was the role played by jurors in civil and criminal trials from the late eighteenth to the late nineteenth century?... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2014 at Juries
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This may be the question that some Cuyahoga residents are starting to ask as result of the latest effort to make jury duty in Cuyahoga County a little more pleasant. According to a recent article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2014 at Juries
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Taking the High Road: Why Prosectors Should Always Waive Peremptory Challenges Maureen A. Howard Abstract: A fundamental tenet of the American justice system is that an impartial jury is an essential component of a fair trial. In addition to a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2014 at Juries
If you recently served on a jury and want to discuss your experience, I recommend that you contact Professor Andrew Guthrie Ferguson. He is starting a project in which he attempts to document the experience of jurors. In his latest... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2014 at Juries
John Bergendahl and Bruce Zimet, attorneys for Jim Sotolongo and Stephanie Musselwhite respectively, are putting forth a rather unique defense on behalf of their clients. It appears that the defendants are challenging the fact that during their trial security officials... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2014 at Juries
Despite assurances from both state and federal courts, stories continue to surface about jurors using the Internet to improperly research and discuss cases. Like I have said before, this is a growing problem that requires a multi-prong solution (1) punishment;... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2014 at Juries
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Japan's Lay Judge System: Expectations, Accomplishments, Shortfalls, and Possible Expansion Matthew J. Wilson Abstract: Japan’s efforts over the past decade to integrate citizens into its criminal justice system represent one of the most fascinating modern experiments in judicial reform. In... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2014 at Juries
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Strict Liability in the Shadow of Juries Darryl K. Brown Abstract: American and English criminal law is characterized by wider use of strict liability than one finds in the criminal law of many European jurisdictions. With respect to English law,... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2014 at Juries