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NCJ Number: 114626 Find in a Library
Title: Jury Nullification: The Impact of Judicial Instructions, Arguments, and Challenges on Jury Decision Making
Journal: Law and Human Behavior  Volume:12  Issue:4  Dated:(December 1988)  Pages:439-453
Author(s): I A Horowitz
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: University of Toledo
Toledo, OH 43606
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study was conducted to determine the effects of nullification information to the jury (from judge's instructions and lawyers' arguments) on juries' verdicts and decisionmaking in three criminal cases. Additionally, the research tested the impact of challenges to nullification information on trial outcomes.
Abstract: The doctrine of jury nullification permits juries to acquit defendants despite evidence and judicial instructions to the contrary. Results from this study, obtained from 144 six-person juries, indicate that when juries receive nullification information from the judge or defense attorney, they are more likely to acquit a defendant who elicits sympathy from the jury and to judge a dangerous defendant more harshly than when such information is not given or when challenges are made to nullification arguments. Analysis of the juries' decisionmaking processes suggests that nullification information may alter the way in which juries perceive and use the trial evidence. In those trials in which a nullification defense was successful, juries used the outcome of the case, as well as the intent of the defendant, to assess the worth and weight of the evidence. Pronullification conditions devalued the currency of the evidence and permitted juries to use nonevidentiary factors in deciding the cases used in this study. 4 tables, 4 figures, 21 references. (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Jury nullification instructions
Index Term(s): Closing arguments; Jury decisionmaking
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