Should the American jury system by abolished? Why or why not?

. In John Grisham’s 1992 novel, A Time to Kill, the defendant, a black man whose young daughter was viciously raped by two white men, is on trial for gunning down the two men on the courthouse steps in full view of many bystanders. Even though it was obvious to all that the defendant had killed the two men, the jury in the case returned a not-guilty verdict, and the defendant was allowed to walk free. This is an example of jury nullification, the power of jury in a criminal case to acquit a defendant despite overwhelming evidence. The jury can acquit for any reason or for no reason at all, and the decision of the jury cannot be appealed. Jury nullification is one of the problems cited by critics who call for the abolition of the present American jury system. Another complaint about the jury system is the inability of some jurors in some trials to understand legal arguments, the evidence presented, or the instructions of the judge. Critics of the jury system suggest replacing jury trials with bench trials or with trials before a panel of judges or substituting professionally trained jurors for the current “amateur” jurors.

Answer the following questions:

  1. Should the American jury system by abolished? Why or why not?
  2. Do you believe that any of the alternatives suggested by jury critics would produce a better or more just system? Defend your answe
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