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Juries and the Transformation of Criminal Justice in France in the Nineteenth & Twentieth Centuries$
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James M. Donovan

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780807833636

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807895771_donovan

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The Campaign Against the Juries, Circa 1890–1914

The Campaign Against the Juries, Circa 1890–1914

(p.141) Chapter Five The Campaign Against the Juries, Circa 1890–1914
Juries and the Transformation of Criminal Justice in France in the Nineteenth & Twentieth Centuries

James M. Donovan

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter discusses the attack on the jury system that would ultimately result in the destruction of its independence and the further reduction of its role in the justice system which began in earnest during the approximate quarter-century preceding the outbreak of World War I. It observes that liberal, Republican politicians—even some left-wing ones—began to waver in their defense of the jury system. The chapter notes that the rise of “scientific” criminology was the most important contributor to increased jury-based leniency, and in that sense, the state and its magistrates found it more difficult to control jurors. It notes that the new criminological ideas seemed to call for a justice by experts in place of a justice by jurors. The chapter observes that magisterial criticisms of the juries were now more often seconded by other jurists, the press, criminologists, politicians, and a new group—repopulationists—who were angered by the many acquittals for abortions.

Keywords:   Jury, justice system, World War I, Republican politicians, criminology, magistrates, repopulationists

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