Changes to Jury System Yields Award

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LANSING - Michigan's Supreme Court and 12 trial court judges are being honored for their efforts to help jurors at the Capitol Tuesday. The National Center for State Courts was highlighting its program that eventually allowed jurors to take notes, submit questions for witnesses, and discuss evidence amongst themselves before final deliberations. Those changes were adopted by the State Supreme court in September 2011.

One of the men awarded Tuesday, Judge Tom Boyd of the 55th District Court in Lansing, says these changes were long overdue. “Jurors ask good questions. Jurors discussed amongst themselves the evidence and understood it in a deeper, more meaningful way, Boyd says. “That's the beautiful part of these changes, is the jurors can engage as adult learners and make the right decision.”

Judge Boyd says he and others are always on the lookout for more ways to improve the court system.

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