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The Death of the American Trial$
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Robert P. Burns

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226081267

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226081281.001.0001

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Decline and Criticism

Decline and Criticism

Chapter:
(p.82) Chapter Four Decline and Criticism
Source:
The Death of the American Trial
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226081281.003.0005

This chapter reviews the empirical evidence of the decline of the trial in the United States. It cites statistics showing a rapid decline in the numbers of criminal and civil trials over the last thirty years and the catastrophic crash over the last ten years. The chapter evaluates the tentative speculations about what is fueling the decline and suggests that this decline has a self-perpetuating quality, as key actors lose the skills and dispositions necessary to try cases.

Keywords:   trial, United States, criminal trials, civil trials, empirical evidence, self-perpetuating

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