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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Printing and Journalism


One of the most fiercely guarded concepts of American democracy is the jury system. Judges allude to the jury as "the conscience of the community." This is because, they say, the jury can determine not only whether a man is guilty or not guilty, but whether he should be punished further. This investigative article, dealing with the "Conscience of Frontier County," is the first of a series of 10 articles and an editorial on the recent changes in the jury selection process in South Dakota. It looks at the attitudes, "the community conscience," of one of the last, almost completely white juries in a South Dakota county with a large Indian population before the winds of social change, wrought by the Civil Rights Movement and court actions, rumbled in and remodeled the jury selection system. The actual cases examined in this article--at least the murder and manslaughter cases--may have had little to do with these sweeping changes. The significance is that while they were being heard, the currents of change were already swirling through the land. This series of investigative articles attempts to follow the judge's suggestion and, hopefully, the raw material gathered will provide the basis for future studies by social psychologists, sociologists, legal scholars, legislators, criminologists and journalists.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Jury -- South Dakota.
Jury selection -- South Dakota.
Civil rights -- South Dakota.



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright © 1972 Lee M. Jorgensen