CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Friday, May 23, 2014

Hutchins on Trial Juries and Credibility

Hutchins reneeRenee M. Hutchins (University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law) has posted You Can't Handle the Truth! Trial Juries and Credibility (Seton Hall Law Review, Vol. 44, 2014) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Every now and again, we get a look, usually no more than a glimpse, at how the justice system really works. What we see — before the sanitizing curtain is drawn abruptly down — is a process full of human fallibility and error, sometimes noble, more often unfair, rarely evil but frequently unequal.

The central question, vital to our adjudicative model, is: How well can we expect a jury to determine credibility through the ordinary adversary processes of live testimony and vigorous impeachment? The answer, from all I have been able to see is: not very well.

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