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: UBLaw

Joseph Sanders on Jury "Nullification"

By ublaw


Our guests today are Nancy Reichman and Joseph Sanders. Nancy Reichman is Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminology at University of Denver, and co-editor of the journal Law & Policy. Joseph Sanders is A.A. White Professor of Law at the University of Houston. He holds a J.D. and Ph.D. in sociology from Northwestern University. Professor Sanders teaches torts, products liability, law and society, and scientific evidence. His scholarly interests include research on juries, the attribution of responsibility, mass torts, and scientific evidence. He is currently visiting professor at Florida State University College of Law. They will be discussing Professor Sanders' article, ?A Norms Approach to Jury ?Nullification:? Interests, Values, and Scripts,? forthcoming in Volume 20, Issue 1 of Law & Policy 30(1): 12-45.


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Juries and other lay tribunals are often justified because they leaven the law with community norms. Unfortunately, we do not have a particularly good theory of when and how juries substitute their normative judgments for the law. A first step in developing such a theory is to examine the nature of norms and the way jurors bring normative judgments to their task. In this article I compare and contrast different understandings of norms that currently are in vogue in the social sciences and then use these approaches to develop a more systematic understanding of when juries do and when they do not substitute their normative judgment for that of the law.

Full post as published by UBLaw on December 16, 2007 (boomark / email).

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