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Trial by Jury, a Hallowed American Right, Is Vanishing

The New York Times recently carried an article about how jury trials are vanishing. While the focus of the article is on criminal trials, fewer civil cases are going to trial as well. One group of researchers concluded that only three percent of civil cases are tried.

Here’s what the NY Times has to say:

The criminal trial ended more than two and a half years ago, but Judge Jesse M. Furman can still vividly recall the case. It stands out, not because of the defendant or the subject matter, but because of its rarity: In his four-plus years on the bench in Federal District Court in Manhattan, it was his only criminal jury trial.

He is far from alone.

Judge J. Paul Oetken, in half a decade on that bench, has had four criminal trials, including one that was repeated after a jury deadlocked. For Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, who has handled some of the nation’s most important terrorism cases, it has been 18 months since his last criminal jury trial.

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