I’m on record as saying I wouldn’t mind if they were abolished entirely, although the idea floated by Iowa lawprof in Nathan Koppel’s WSJ article yesterday, of limiting them to three per side, seems like a plausible compromise. (A further possible refinement: excusing more juror prospects if both sides agree in wanting them off the case).
Most of the lawyers who are blogging in response to the Koppel article, however, take a position sharply different from mine: Patrick and Ken at Popehat, Scott Greenfield, Mark Bennett (and further). (More: WSJ law blog.) Deadline pressure doesn’t permit me to join in, but anyone interested in the issue will want to follow the discussion. Earlier mentions on this website are here, including a discussion of England’s near-abolition of the practice in 1989.