March 7, 2006
Adjunct Professor Morris Hoffman published an op ed in the New York Times on March 7, 2006. The editorial, titled "Unnatural Selection," discussed the abolition of peremptory challenges during jury selection. The editorial begins with a provocative challenge, as follows:"THE side show of jury selection all too often takes over the circus in American trials. And the central culprit in that takeover is the peremptory challenge, a practice by which lawyers may exclude a certain number of prospective jurors without having to prove, or even state, a justification. Since peremptory challenges are not mandated by the federal or any state constitutions, Congress and state legislatures could abolish them tomorrow. They should."Judge Hoffman was appointed to the Denver District Court in December 1990. Prior to his appointment, he was in private practice in Denver, specializing in commercial litigation, real estate and bankruptcy law. Judge Hoffman graduated with honors in mathematics from the University of Colorado and received his law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1977. He has published extensively, in journals including the University of Chicago Law Review, Duke Law Journal and Stanford Law Review. He is judge-in-residence at the Gruter Institute for Law and Behavioral Research, and was nominated in 2002 to be a fellow at Stanford's Center for the Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. At CU Law he teaches a course titled Law and the Biology of Human Nature.To visit the New York Times and read the op ed, click here.