What Does It Mean to Have a Fair Trial?

, The Legal Intelligencer


In my career as a jury consultant, I have been confronted repeatedly with the concept of what it means to have a fair trial. The criminal child-molestation trial of Jerry Sandusky was quite a headline-maker for 2012 and I received calls from several newspapers and news stations alike to provide commentary from a jury perspective. Each reporter was concerned with the jurors' connections to Penn State University, for whom Sandusky was the former assistant football coach. Each reporter asked about the implications of jurors' Penn State connections and, considering those connections, whether it was possible Sandusky could have a fair trial. It all got me thinking about what it means to have a "fair" trial as a general concept.

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