Juries: Community Conscience

Trial by jury is a relative rarity throughout the world. Apart from English-speaking countries, it exists in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Norway and some Swiss cantons. Indeed, 80% of the world's criminal jury trials take place in the U.S. Even at that, because most defendants plead guilty and forgo trial or choose to be tried by a judge alone, the U.S. actually produces only 60,000 criminal jury trials a year. Moreover, the frequency of jury trials varies widely—from only three per 100,000 people in Connecticut, to 144 in Georgia.

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