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Fair Trial - Fall 2018


Professor Charles Nesson 

No jury exists without bias or context. The American jury is designed as a “black box” into which we push facts and expect a fair verdict. But what makes a trial, and thus a jury trial fair? Learn about jury trial procedure with 'My Cousin Vinny'. Engage the ideal of fair trial, expressed constitutionally by the Sixth Amendment. We consider the place of the jury in the architecture of self-governance. We track the prosecution's responsibility to confront a criminal defendant with evidence sufficient to warrant a conviction, the defendant's right to test the prosecution witnesses by cross-examination, and the interrelated roles of judge and jury in reaching a fair guilty verdict in a fair trial. We proceed by a combination of full-group discussion, small-group discussion, and online pseudonymous text discussion using THREADS. Participation counts.

For more information visit the Harvard Law School Course Catalog