This introductory chapter provides an overview of people's understanding of acquittals. One of the sources of this understanding comes from a study of nearly four thousand mid-twentieth-century criminal jury trials by University of Chicago law professors Harry Kalven and Han Zeisel—considered the seminal study of judge-jury decision making—and a handful of studies conducted to attempt to replicate its conclusions. Although Kalven and Zeisel provided an in-depth analysis of the trial judge's explanation for the reasons why the jury acquitted when the judge would have convicted, they were not able to provide any direct information about what the people who decided the case—the jurors themselves—thought or believed.
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