skip navigation

CrimeSolutions.gov

Add your conference to our Justice Events calendar

PUBLICATIONS

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection.
To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database.

How to Obtain Documents
 
NCJ Number: NCJ 042103     Find in a Library
Title: JURY VERDICTS - THE ROLE OF GROUP SIZE AND SOCIAL DECISION RULE
Author(s): M J SAKS
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 149
Sale Source: D C Heath and Co
125 Spring Street
Lexington, MA 02173
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: AFTER PRESENTING A STATE-OF-THE-ART REVIEW OF RESEARCH ON THE EFFECTS OF JURY SIZE AND DECISION RULES, THE AUTHOR DESCRIBES THE RESULTS OF TWO SIMULATION EXPERIMENTS ON JURY STRUCTURE AND DECISIONMAKING.
Abstract: WHENEVER WE CONSIGN TO A GROUP THE ROLE OF DECISION MAKING, WE OBLIGATE OURSELVES TO MAKE CHOICES CONCERNING AT LEAST TWO STRUCTURAL FEATURES OF THAT GROUP: ITS SIZE AND THE SOCIAL DECISION RULE (SDR) THAT WILL DEFINE GROUP CONSENSUS. JURIES HAVE TRADITIONALLY OPERATED WITH A GROUP SIZE OF TWELVE AND A SDR OF UNANIMITY. BOTH THESE FEATURES HAVE RECENTLY BEEN CALLED INTO QUESTION, HOWEVER. IN THE SUPREME COURT'S MAJORITY AND DISSENTING OPINIONS IN THE CASES CONCERNING JURY SIZE AND SOCIAL DECISION RULES, A NUMBER OF EMPIRICAL QUESTIONS WERE DEBATED. THE AUTHOR REVIEWS THESE BEHAVIORAL ISSUES, AND POINTS OUT SOME ADDITIONAL ISSUES THAT THE JUSTICES DID NOT RAISE. HE THEN REVIEWS AND CRITIQUES A NUMBER OF EMPIRICAL RESEARCH STUDIES PROMPTED BY THE SUPREME COURT'S DECISIONS IN SUCH CASES AS WILLIAMS V. FLORIDA, JOHNSON V. LOUISIANA, AND APODACA V. OREGON. THE TWO STUDIES REPORTED IN DEPTH IN THIS TEXT WERE DESIGNED TO EXAMINE THE EFFECTS OF VARYING GROUP SIZE AND SOCIAL DECISION RULES ON GROUP PROCESSES AND DECISIONMAKING IN THE CONTEXT OF JURY DELIBERATIONS. THE TWO EXPERIMENTS ARE IDENTICAL TO EACH OTHER EXCEPT THAT THE FIRST USES UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS AND A WRITTEN TRANSCRIPT, WHILE THE SECOND USES REAL JURORS AND A VIDEOTAPED TRIAL. THE RESULTS SHOWED THAT NO ONE JURY TYPE CAPTURES ALL ADVANTAGES AND DESIRABLE CHARACTERISTICS. SPECIFIC ADVANTAGES OF EACH TYPE OF JURY -- SIX- AND TWELVE-MAN, UNANIMOUS AND QUORUM VERDICT -- ARE NOTED, AND BASED ON THESE FINDINGS, THE AUTHOR SUGGESTS A NOVEL JURY STRUCTURE THAT COMBINES THE BEST FEATURES OF EACH JURY TYPE. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED)...DMC
Index Term(s): Group behavior ; Behavioral science research ; Juries ; Decisionmaking ; Judicial process ; Juror utilization ; Jury selection ; Verdicts
   
  To cite this abstract, use the following link:
https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=42103

* A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's web site is provided.