I spent two weeks observing jury trials and interviewing judges and barristers at the Old Bailey in London. There were several jury practices at the Old Bailey that would benefit American jurors, such as providing them with a "jury bundle," and we should introduce such practices in the United States. There are other practices, such as eliminating peremptory challenges, which are worth adopting over time because there would be some initial resistance. There are many practices that the two systems share in common, such as allowing jurors to take notes, to ask questions of witnesses, and to have a written copy of the jury instructions, but these practices need to be encouraged more broadly. Finally, there are some English jury practices that would not serve American jurors well, and should be rejected, such as seating the defendant in the dock and accepting a majority verdict from the jury. From my two weeks at the Old Bailey, I learned that there is no one way to design a jury system and that we should be willing to look to other countries' jury practices for ideas and inspiration.
Nancy S. Marder,
Two Weeks at the Old Bailey: Jury Lessons from England,
Chi.-Kent L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.kentlaw.iit.edu/cklawreview/vol86/iss2/6