“Over the past two decades, the American jury system has become the focus of unprecedented interest by the legal community and by the broader American public. Some of the interest is in response to criticisms about the continued utility of the jury system. The rate of civil and criminal jury trials has steadily declined in recent years, eclipsed by non-trial dispositions such as settlement, plea agreements, and summary judgment. Proponents of the jury system, on the other hand, have maintained that trial by jury continues to play a critical role in the American justice system in protecting the rights of criminal defendants, in resolving intractable civil disputes, and in promoting public trust and confidence in the courts…”
This is the introduction to an interesting 84 page report sponsored by the National Center for State Courts and the State Justice Institute, discussing how different states are attempting to improve their jury trials.