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Do minority jurors participate less in jury deliberations than White jurors? (July, 2011, Issue 3)

July 29th, 2011|

Juries are becoming increasingly ethnically diverse in the United States. How much do non-Caucasian jurors participate in deliberations in comparison to White jurors, and does participation depend on how many minorities are on a jury? Cornwell and Hans (2009) studied the participation levels of 2,306 actual criminal jurors who served on 311 juries in Los Angeles, Phoenix, New York and Washington, D.C....

Do male jurors talk more than female jurors in deliberations? (July, 2011, Issue 2)

July 26th, 2011|

In the 1950s, Strodtbeck and colleagues (1956, 1957) conducted realistic mock jury research, using mock jurors chosen from the jury rolls, to determine which jurors talked most during deliberations. Jurors' participation levels varied widely, with jury deliberations typically dominated by only a few jurors. On average, three jurors accounted for more than 80% of the total speaking acts in jury deliberations, and most often these dominant jurors were upper-class men. In 1983, Hastie and colleagues also conducted mock jury research, and reported that male jurors initiated about 40% more comments than female jurors. In 2006, in an important study...

How does litigants’ race influence verdicts in sexual harassment cases? (July, 2011, Issue 1)

July 6th, 2011|

Jurors' verdicts in sexual harassment cases are usually studied absent any consideration of the race of the plaintiff and defendant. Bothwell and colleagues (2006) examined discrimination against Black plaintiffs in sexual harassment cases, to determine whether White jurors are more inclined to attribute what happened to a plaintiff's ignorance or carelessness, rather than to defendant misbehavior. In the research, 186 prospective jurors made individual decisions regarding liability and damages before and after deliberating in 56 juries...

How do interpreters affect the credibility of witnesses? (June, 2011, Issue 4)

June 21st, 2011|

Many trials are conducted with courtroom interpretation of testimony. Berk-Seligson (1987) analyzed 2,470 answers by 27 Spanish-speaking witnesses as interpreted into English by six interpreters to determine if the interpreter's rendition conveyed a different impression of the witness from the one originally conveyed by the witness testifying in Spanish. ...

When do jurors first form their verdict preferences? (June, 2011, Issue 3)

June 14th, 2011|

The study of jurors' opinion formation and change over the course of trials rarely relies on data from real jurors, and instead is usually based on studies of mock jurors or student jurors. Two studies have explored the verdict preferences of actual jurors who served in many different civil and criminal cases about when they began leaning toward one side or the other, and when they made up their minds about who should prevail...

Which dissenting jurors hang juries and which conform to majority opinion? (June, 2011, Issue 1)

June 1st, 2011|

The position of the juror who is a dissenter in deliberations is glorified in the movie Twelve Angry Men. But which jurors dissent, which hang the jury, and which simply acquiesce to the majority's wishes? Waters and Hans (2008) investigated jurors who dissent from the majority on juries, and distinguished dissenters who hang the jury from dissenters who acquiesce to the majority opinion to allow a jury decision against the dissenter's individual wishes...

Do jurors treat alcohol abuse and child abuse as mitigators in capital cases? (April, 2011, Issue 4)

April 26th, 2011|

In the sentencing phase of capital cases, jurors frequently hear about a defendant's history of child abuse and alcohol abuse. The defense offers this evidence in mitigation. Stevenson and colleagues (2010) investigated whether jurors used a defendant's child abuse and alcohol abuse as mitigating factors, aggravating factors, or ignored the evidence. Over 370 death-qualified jurors...