skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 148099 Find in a Library
Title: Effects of the Dynamite Charge on the Deliberations of Deadlocked Mock Juries
Journal: Law and Human Behavior  Volume:17  Issue:6  Dated:(December 1993)  Pages:625-643
Author(s): V L Smith; S M Kassin
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 19
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Specific instructions to a deadlocked jury are discussed.
Abstract: When juries report that they are deadlocked, judges often deliver the "dynamite charge," a supplemental instruction that urges jurors to rethink their views in an effort to reach a unanimous verdict. This article presents the results of a study that evaluated the impact of this procedure on 378 subjects who participated in 63 deadlocked mock juries. The study was designed with three goals in mind: to assess the impact of the dynamite charge on the perceptions and behavior of deliberating mock juries; to examine the process by which the dynamite charge coerces individuals to change their votes; and to evaluate a possible procedural alternative to the dynamite charge. Results indicated that the dynamite charge caused jurors in the voting minority to feel coerced and change their votes, reduced the pressure felt by those in the majority, and hastened the deliberation process in juries that favored conviction. The alternative to the dynamite charge, a transcript intervention designed to break the deadlock by refocusing attention on the evidence, rendered mixed results. According to the authors, these findings raise serious questions concerning the use of this controversial charge. They urge that future research address three issues: what features of the dynamite instruction causes jurors to change their votes; what is the appropriate context in which to deliver the dynamite charge; and whether the dynamite charge has more impact in some kinds of trials than in others. References
Main Term(s): Courts
Index Term(s): Hung juries; Jury instructions
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=148099

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.