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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 141292 Find in a Library
Title: Blindfolding the Jury to Verdict Consequences: Damages, Experts, and the Civil Jury
Journal: Law and Society Review  Volume:26  Issue:3  Dated:(1992)  Pages:513-564
Author(s): S S Diamond; J D Casper
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 52
Sponsoring Agency: American Bar Foundation
Chicago, IL 60611
National Science Foundation
Washington, DC 20550
Northwestern University
Evanston, IL 60201
Grant Number: SES-8922582
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This experimental examination of the performance of the civil jury in response to a complex price-fixing case varies the information provided to jurors about the consequences of their damage award decisions (treble damage rule) and the type of expert testimony (statistical models versus concrete yardstick models). Twelve versions of a simulated videotaped antitrust price-fixing case were shown to 1,022 jurors in a Cook County (Illinois) courthouse over a period of 8 months. Six sets of judicial instructions were used to test the effects of blindfolding on the jury. The design also included two versions of expert testimony, creating a 6x2 factorial design. The research found, consistent with a profile of the jury as active rather than passive, that jurors are more likely to follow judicial instructions when they are given explanations rather than bald admonitions. In addition, complex expert testimony neither overpowers the jurors nor is dismissed by them. The expert presenting a statistical model is viewed as having higher expertise but lower clarity; as a result, the statistical expert and the expert presenting a more concrete model are not significantly different in their persuasiveness. Finally, in contrast to most research on the criminal jury, the study found that deliberations do not affect jury awards. 7 tables and 68 references
Main Term(s): Jury decisionmaking
Index Term(s): Expert witnesses; Jury instructions
Note: An earlier version of this article was presented at the 1991 Law and Society meetings in Amsterdam in June 1991.
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