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NCJ Number: 43264 Find in a Library
Title: JURY DECISION-MAKING MODELS (FROM MODELING THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, 1977 BY S S NAGEL-SEE NCJ-43252)
Author(s): B GROFMAN
Corporate Author: Sage Publications, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: SUMMARIES OF STUDIES ON VERDICT OUTCOMES AS A FUNCTION OF JURY SIZE, THE NATURE OF THE JURY DELIBERATION PROCESS, JURY DECISION RULE, AND THE JURORS' NOTIONS OF JUSTICE ARE SUMMARIZED.
Abstract: TWO RECENT DECISION ALLOWING SIX-MEMBER JURIES HAVE SPARKED A SERIES OF STUDIES OF THE JURY PROCESS. SEVERAL STUDIES HAVE FOUND THAT THE SIZE OF THE PREDELIBERATION MAJORITY LARGELY DETERMINES THE VERDICT OUTCOME (KALVEN AND ZEISEL, 1966, ET AL) BUT WHETHER THIS IS A FUNCTION OF PROPORTION OR OF NUMBERS HAS NOT BEEN DETERMINED. PRELIMINARY EVIDENCE SUGGESTS THAT IT IS A FUNCTION OF PROPORTION. BECAUSE OF THE GROUP CONFORMITY PROCESS WHICH HAS BEEN OBSERVED IN DECISIONMAKING, IT IS UNLIKELY THAT A SHIFT FROM UNANIMOUS TO NONUNANIMOUS VERDICTS WILL HAVE MUCH EFFECT; THE ONLY IMPACT WILL BE IN LARGE JURIES IF THE DECISION POINT IS LOWERED BELOW TWO-THIRDS. IN MOCK JURIES IT HAS BEEN FOUND THAT JURORS UNDER NONUNANIMITY CONDITIONS DO NOT EVEN BEGIN TO DELIBERATE UNTIL A CONSENSUS IS REACHED. SMALLER JURIES ARE MORE LIKELY THAN LARGER ONES TO WALK INTO A JURY ROOM IN AGREEMENT; IF THE JURY HAS ONLY SIX MEMBERS, THERE IS A 22 PERCENT PROBABILITY THAT IT WILL HAVE A PREDELIBERATION MAJORITY OF FIVE OR SIX AND A 60 PERCENT PROBABILITY THAT IT WILL HAVE A PREDELIBERATION MAJORITY OF FOUR. THE LIKELIHOOD OF DRAWING A 12-MEMBER JURY WITH NINE IN AGREEMENT IS ONLY 49 PERCENT. HOWEVER, LARGER JURIES ARE MORE LIKELY THAN SMALLER JURIES TO DIVIDE INTO FACTIONS, THUS PROLONGING DELIBERATIONS. MODELS HAVE SHOWN THAT UNANIMITY IS MORE DESIRABLE IF ONE'S PHILOSOPHY IS TO 'PROTECT THE INNOCENT' WHILE SIMPLE MAJORITY IS MORE LIKELY TO 'CONVICT THE GUILTY.' SMALLER JURIES DO NOT SAVE DELIBERATION TIME, BUT THEY DO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF JURIES WHICH CAN BE DRAWN FROM A GIVEN MANPOWER POOL. THE EFFECT OF A SMALLER JURY ON REPRESENTATIVENESS OF THE COMMUNITY CANNOT BE KNOWN APART FROM THE COMMUNITY SETTING. A STUDY OF MULTIPLE VERDICT OPTIONS SHOWED THAT WHEN A JURY WAS GIVEN A CHOICE BETWEEN FIRST-DEGREE MURDER AND ACQUITTAL, 54 PERCENT VOTED FOR ACQUITTAL. HOWEVER, WHEN A RANGE OF OPTIONS WAS PROVIDED, ONLY 8 PERCENT VOTED FOR ACQUITTAL. A STUDY OF THE VOIR DIRE PROCESS SHOWED THAT WHEN BOTH SIDES EXERCISE THEIR 'FOR CAUSE' CHALLENGES, THE EXTREMES OF OPINION ARE INDEED WEEDED OUT AND A MORE IMPARTIAL JURY RESULTS. REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED.
Index Term(s): Juries; Jury selection; Studies; Verdicts
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