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Jurors' Trust in Judicial System Tested in Trump's Upcoming Trials

Despite trust in institutions in general that is at an all-time low, a new study found that 60% of Americans still have faith in their fellow citizens serving on juries, higher than for any other group in the judicial system. It begs the question of whether this trust will hold up in the face of former President Donald Trump's upcoming trials, the New York Times reports. When asked specifically about Trump’s upcoming trials, a majority of Americans — Democrats, Republicans and independents — said they did not think the courts would be able to seat impartial jurors. And those jurors will face intense scrutiny, which for many is reason enough to not want to serve. In fact, a majority of Americans said they were not personally interested in serving on a jury for Trump. The study, conducted in July by the polling firm Ipsos, focused on Americans who have served on a jury at some point in the last 10 years, providing a portrait of the type of American who serves and a rare window into the thoughts of the kinds of people who may decide Trump’s fate.

It found that jurors were far more likely than the general public to trust those in the criminal justice system, such as judges at the federal, state and Supreme Court level, attorneys, nonlegal staff members and law enforcement. The demographics of those who have served also differ notably from those of the general public. They are more likely to be older, wealthier and more educated. Two-thirds of those who have served on a jury are over 50, compared with fewer than half of the general public. Former jurors skew slightly more Democratic than all Americans, and men are more likely than women to have served. Jurors were 20% more likely than Americans overall to say they trusted defense attorneys, and 30% more likely to say they trusted prosecuting attorneys such as district or state attorneys. Jurors were also more likely than members of the general public to say that they trust judges, though a partisan gap emerged when they were asked about their trust in Supreme Court justices, with Republicans expressing more trust than Democrats. That partisan divide largely did not exist among jurors, or the general public, when asked about state and federal judges.


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