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Jury Trials in Palau & Family History in Cambodia on Monday's Access Utah

Matthew LaPlante

Logan attorney Herm Olsen recently spent several weeks in the South Pacific island nation of Palau, helping the legal community there to make a transition to the jury trial system. Palau uses the American judicial system, but until recently they didn't allow for jury trials. Olsen reports to the Logan Herald Journal that "The Palauans were somewhat skeptical about a jury system, They said, 'Why do we need one? We have a judge.' One Palauan said 'I don't want to judge anybody. I don't want to make any decisions about guilt or innocence.'" An upcoming murder trial involving three defendants spurred the chief justice of the Palau Supreme Court to seek help. We'll also talk about the jury system in the U.S. and the ongoing meaning of the Magna Carta. 

USU Assistant Professor of Journalism Matt LaPlante recently traveled to Cambodia. He says  that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints there, as everywhere, are encouraged to research their family history. He notes however in an article for CNN that "in a nation cursed by decades of civil war and one of the worst genocides in history -- a place where dredging up the past can be a tremendously painful experience -- that hasn't been an easy sell." We'll talk about the difficulties of family history research and the ongoing echoes of genocide in Cambodia.