Content note: This paper discusses rape throughout.
In this paper, I consider arguments in favor of jury trials. While I find these generally persuasive, I argue that there can be cases where juries are not fit for purpose. In those cases, I argue that they should be replaced by judge-only trials. In doing so, I propose a framework for determining whether a type of case is unsuitable for jury trials. Partly in response to low conviction rates, there have been recent suggestions that rape trials should be conducted without juries. I suggest that there is strong evidence that these offences qualify under the criteria I have described. As a result, I argue that judge-only trials should be adopted for trying rape cases.
© 2023 by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois