Book Review: On the jury trial: Principles and practices for effective advocacy

Date01 September 2021
Published date01 September 2021
Subject MatterBook Reviews
related to subject resistance discretion plays a significant role in variation that exists in the data.
Human interaction, training, and experience all alter the way that these cases end. Boylstein dis-
cusses the commonalities in the research and the current standpoint of the field.
In the fourth chapter, Boylstein attempts to identify the reasons for those variations. However, the
question of whether the police treat different groups different is only preliminarily answered. While
Boylstein found that national-level data support the co ncept that there are racial differences in
treatment he calls for further research. He repeatedly points out the need for further investigation
while acknowledging that aggregated data and individual-level data present a challenge in research.
These chapters further note the fallacies of making an individual-level assessment of prejudice or
racial disparity based on the national data. One cannot make a general assumption based on a single
incident, regardless of the visibility of the incident. Moreover, one cannot paint an individual with
the same brush as the whole group. These chapters are only a starting point for discussion and need
further exploration, and the author is the first to recommend this process.
Following the findings, Boylstein discusses the current controversies that exist in police use-of-
force cases. The reality of modern-day policing is the fact that mental illnesses, while not more
prevalent, are more apparent. Moreover, the visibility of lethal force cases is increasing in this age of
social media. This chapter attempts to discuss the changing times and the realities of what the police
are currently facing. The final chapter of this book is a call for justice. Beyond the findings of this
book, Boylstein makes the stand that change can only occur when people acknowledge that change
is necessary. This book is a starting point in this call for justice and social change. Boylstein
recognizes that social inequalities exist and that to enact change researchers and activists have to
work together. The reality is that there are social inequalities that exist at a national level. The author
states the only way to achieve change is through demanding it, and it can only occur when people
understand where the problem lies. This process can only occur when further research is conducted
on this topic.
Boylstein acknowledges throughout his manuscript that the topic of police use-of-force is viewed
through a biased lens. People are not without fault, and the police are far from perfect. His final
chapter, a call for justice and social change, is one that is necessary for this current age. Scholars in
this field need to approach this book with the idea that this is a starting point for further discussion
and research. Furthermore, policing scholars need to be the first ones to recognize that further work
is necessary. By providing this book to the field, the author has taken the discussion in an engaging
direction while providing an undergraduate classes with a supplemental text for context and
Melsheimer, T. M., & Smith, C. (2017).
On the jury trial: Principles and practices for effective advocacy. Denton, TX: University of North Texas Press.
254 pp. $22.95, ISBN 9781574416992.
Reviewed by: Anne S. Douds, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA, USA
DOI: 10.1177/0734016818804867
On the Jury Trial, by two Texas attorneys, provides an easily digestible and refreshingly approach-
able exploration of the jury trial process that should be read by any legal or criminal justice
professional who might find themselves in a courtroom. Whether an attorney, litigant, expert,
386 Criminal Justice Review 46(3)

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