Advertisement

Criminal Law and Philosophy

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 423–442 | Cite as

The Jury and Criminal Responsibility in Anglo-American History

  • Thomas A. GreenEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

Anglo-American theories of criminal responsibility require scholars to grapple with, inter alia, the relationship between the formal rule of law and the powers of the lay jury as well as two inherent ideas of freedom: freedom of the will and political liberty. Here, by way of canvassing my past work and prefiguring future work, I sketch some elements of the history of the Anglo-American jury and offer some glimpses of commentary on the interplay between the jury—particularly its application of conventional morality to criminal judgments—and the formal rule of law of the state. My central intent is to pose questions for further study (by myself and others) regarding the historical behavior of the jury, the jury’s role in reinforcing notions of political liberty and free will, and, primarily, how scholarly conceptions of the jury’s role and behavior have informed elite theory regarding the justifications for imposing criminal responsibility.

Keywords

Criminal responsibility Free will Jury Determinism Conventional morality Nullification 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I want to thank the participants at the University of Minnesota Law School Robina Institute workshop on “Criminal Responsibility and its History,” especially my commentators, Dan Richman and Jonathan Simon, and the conveners of the workshop (and editors of this symposium), Susanna Blumenthal and Antony Duff. Special thanks also to Elizabeth P. Kamali and Michael Lobban for insightful critiques of successive drafts of this paper and to Merrill Hodnefield for excellent research and editorial assistance.

References

  1. Bazelon, D. L. (1976). The morality of the criminal law. Southern California Law Review, 49, 385–405.Google Scholar
  2. Bellamy, J. G. (1998). The criminal trial in later medieval England: Felony before the courts from Edward I to the sixteenth century. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
  3. Boldt, R. C. (1992). The construction of responsibility in the criminal law. University of Pennsylvania Law Review, 140, 2245–2332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Blumenthal, S. L. (forthcoming). Law and the modern mind: Consciousness and responsibility in American legal culture. Cambridge: Harvard University Press (in this issue).Google Scholar
  5. Cockburn, J. S. & Green, T. A. (Eds.) (1988). Twelve good men and true: The criminal trial jury in England, 12001800. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Delgado, R. (1985). ‘Rotten social background’: Should the criminal law recognize a defense of severe environmental deprivation? Law and Inequality, 3, 9–90.Google Scholar
  7. Garland, D. (1985). Punishment and welfare: A history of penal strategies. Aldershot, Hants: Gower.Google Scholar
  8. Glueck, S. S. (1925). Mental disorder and the criminal law: A study in medico-sociological jurisprudence. Boston: Little, Brown & Co.Google Scholar
  9. Green, T. A. (1985). Verdict according to conscience: Perspectives on the English criminal trial jury, 12001800. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Green, T. A. (2010). Conventional morality and the rule of law: Freedom, responsibility, and the criminal trial jury in American legal thought, 1900–60. In D. W. Hamilton & A. L. Brophy (Eds.), Transformations in American legal history: Law, ideology, and methodsEssays in honor of Morton J. Horwitz (Vol. 2, Chap. 15). Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Green, T. A. (forthcoming). Freedom and criminal responsibility in American legal thought. New York: Cambridge University Press (in this issue).Google Scholar
  12. Greene, J., & Cohen, J. (2004). For the law, neuroscience changes nothing and everything. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B, 359, 1775–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hall, J. (1935). Theft, law and society. Boston: Little, Brown & Co.Google Scholar
  14. Hart, H. L. A. (1961). The concept of law. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  15. Hartog, H. (1997). Lawyering, husbands’ rights, and ‘the unwritten law’ in nineteenth-century America. Journal of American History, 84, 67–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hay, D. (1975). Property, authority and the criminal law. In Hay, D., et al. (Eds.), Albion’s fatal tree: Crime and society in eighteenth-century England. New York: Pantheon Books.Google Scholar
  17. Hill, W. P. (1955). The psychological realism of Thurman Arnold, in Insanity and the criminal law—A critique of Durham v. United States. University of Chicago Law Review, 22, 377–396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Howe, M. D. (1939). Juries as judges of criminal law. Harvard Law Review, 52, 582–616.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kamali, E. P. (2014). Felonia felonice factum: Felony and intentionality in medieval England. Criminal Law and Philosophy, 8. doi:  10.1007/s11572-013-9273-2.
  20. Katz, W. (1953). Responsibility and freedom: A difficulty in relating Christianity and law. Journal of Legal Education, 5, 269–285.Google Scholar
  21. Krauss, S. D. (1998). An inquiry into the right of criminal juries to determine the law in colonial America. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 89, 111–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lacey, N. (2001). In search of the responsible subject: History, philosophy and criminal law theory. Modern Law Review, 64, 350–371.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Langbein, J. H. (2003). The origins of adversary criminal trial. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Model Penal Code: Tentative draft no. 4. (1955). Philadelphia: American Law Institute.Google Scholar
  25. Moore, M. S. (1985). Causation and the excuses. California Law Review, 73, 1091–1149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Morse, S. J. (1986). Psychology, determinism and legal responsibility. In Melton, G. B. (Ed.), The law as a behavioral instrument: Vol. 33. Nebraska symposium on motivation 1985 (pp. 35–85). Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.Google Scholar
  27. Morse, S. J. (1998). Excusing and the new excuse defenses: A legal and conceptual review. Crime and Justice, 23, 329–406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Morse, S. J. (2008). Determinism and the death of folk psychology: Two challenges to responsibility from neuroscience. Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology, 9, 1–36.Google Scholar
  29. Nelson, W. E. (2010). The lawfinding power of colonial American juries. Ohio State Law Journal, 71, 1003–1030.Google Scholar
  30. Norrie, A. (1993). Crime, reason and history: A critical introduction to criminal law. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.Google Scholar
  31. Pound, R. (1911). Introduction to the English version. In Saleilles, R. (Ed.), The individualization of punishment (R. S. Jastrow, Trans.). Boston: Little, Brown & Co.Google Scholar
  32. Pound, R. (1930). Criminal justice in America. New York: Henry Holt & Co.Google Scholar
  33. Rabin, D. Y. (2004). Identity, crime, and legal responsibility in eighteenth-century England. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Speranza, G. C. (1903). Criminality in children. Green Bag, 15, 516–520.Google Scholar
  35. Strawson, P. F. (1961). Freedom and resentment. Proceedings of the British Academy, 48, 1–25.Google Scholar
  36. Szasz, T. S. (1956). Some observations on the relationship between psychiatry and the law. Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry, 75, 297–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Szasz, T. S. (1963). Law, liberty, and psychiatry: An inquiry into the social uses of mental health practices. New York: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Twain, M. (1875). A new crime. In Twain, Mark Twain’s Sketches, New and Old. Chicago: American Publishing Co (Reprinted from Buffalo Express (1870, April 16)).Google Scholar
  39. Wechsler, H. (1952). The challenge of a model penal code. Harvard Law Review, 65, 1097–1133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Wechsler, H. & Michael, J. (1937). A rationale of the law of homicide: I. Columbia Law Review, 37, 701–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Weinreb, L. L. (1986). Desert, punishment, and criminal responsibility. Law and Contemporary Problems, 49, 47–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. White, W. A. (1923). Insanity and the criminal law. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  43. Whitman, J. Q. (2008). The origins of reasonable doubt: Theological roots of the criminal trial. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Wiener, M. J. (1990). Reconstructing the criminal: Culture, law, and policy in England, 18301914. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

Cases

  1. Commonwealth v. Porter, 51 Mass. (10 Met.) 263 (Mass. 1846).Google Scholar
  2. Durham v. United States, 214 F. 2d 862 (D.C. Cir. 1954).Google Scholar
  3. United States v. Alexander, 471 F. 2d 923 (D.C. Cir. 1973).Google Scholar
  4. United States v. Battiste, 24 F. Cas. 1042 (C.C.D. Mass. 1835).Google Scholar
  5. United States v. Brawner, 471 F. 2d 969 (D.C. Cir. 1972).Google Scholar
  6. United States v. Dougherty, 473 F. 2d 1113 (D.C. Cir. 1972).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.John P. Dawson Collegiate Professor of Law Emeritus and, Professor of History EmeritusUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.University of Michigan Law SchoolAnn ArborUSA

Personalised recommendations