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Title:"Gentlemen of the Jury": The Status of Jurors and the Reputation of the Jury in the Midwest, 1830--1860
Author(s):McDermott, Stacy Pratt
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Burton, Orville Vernon
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):History, United States
Abstract:This dissertation examines the demographic characteristics of antebellum Illinois jurors and analyzes the evolving status of the jury as a legal and democratic institution. A quantitative analysis of the economic, professional, social, and political rank of jurors in Sangamon County, Illinois, from 1830-1860, forms the foundation of the investigation. The research also encompasses an in-depth examination of jury statutes and appellate case law related to jury composition and service in the antebellum Midwest (Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa). Jury trial procedures, courtroom conditions, jury verdicts, and juror experiences are central topics of discussion. Most importantly, the dissertation draws connections between the power of jurors and the power of the institution of the jury as juxtaposed with the power of both the bench and bar with whom the jury struggled for dominance within the courtroom. During this formative period of American law, the jury's role within the legal structure, its reputation in the context of American democratic ideals, and the rhetoric employed by Americans to describe it was in constant flux. As a result, the power position of the institution of the jury was far from decided before the coming of the Civil War.
Issue Date:2007
Description:304 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2007.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3290315
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2007

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