Today, all but one U.S. jurisdiction restricts a convicted felon’s eligibility for jury service. Are there valid, legal reasons for banishing millions of Americans from the jury process? How do felon-juror exclusion statutes impact convicted felons, jury systems, and jurisdictions that impose them? Twenty Million Angry Men provides the first full account of this pervasive yet invisible form of civic marginalization. Drawing on extensive research, James M. Binnall challenges the professed rationales for felon-juror exclusion and highlights the benefits of inclusion as they relate to criminal desistance at the individual and community levels. Ultimately, this forward-looking book argues that when it comes to serving as a juror, a history of involvement in the criminal justice system is an asset, not a liability.
About the Author
James M. Binnall is an attorney and Associate Professor of Law, Criminology, and Criminal Justice at California State University, Long Beach.
"Not only is Twenty Million Angry Men, a quick read, but it is well written. The book reviews and contextualizes the most important scholarship that has been done on the subject of felon juror exclusion. . . . Much like the field of convict criminology, felon-juror research demonstrates how previously convicted people can make a positive contribution to understanding the subtleties of the criminal justice process that lay people often overlook."
— British Journal of Criminology
"Scholars and activists need look no further than Binnall’s book for a powerful exposition of the flaws in felon-juror exclusions and compelling evidence that allowing felon-jurors to serve would enhance 'our purest form of civic engagement.'"
— Law & Society Review
“Twenty Million Angry Men: The Case for Including Convicted Felons in Our Jury System is a powerful title, and gives a useful preview of some of the emphases of this important book. James Binnall demonstrates the broad scope of this form of jury exclusion, unearths fascinating new material about the emotions of those involved, presents a multi-tiered argument for change, and shows, through his upfront ownership of the word ‘felon,’ that he is not going to shy away from exposing and tackling stigmatizing labels in this area of the law.”
— Criminal Law and Criminal Justice Books