Jury Trial

A courtroom with a blurred background of three people sitting in a row, facing one person standing with his hands open.

The heart of the American system of justice is the adversarial process. It is the means by which truth is pursued, justice is done, the individual is protected from government overreach, and community values are expressed.

The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice.

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and its partners prepared the content below with funding from Grant No. 2019-YA-BX-K001, awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. This content has been preserved on this website “as is.” Users should independently confirm that there have been no updates to the law as of the date they access the website content.

Vanishing Trial Resources

Today, more than 95% of all cases are resolved through plea and without trial. This shift is eroding the fundamental balance our judicial process is meant to strike. It cannot be attributed to a single cause and is not restricted to a particular region or case type. Reversing this trend requires judges, court administrators, prosecutors, defense attorneys, local and state governments, and the community to work together to examine and change their criminal justice infrastructure and culture.