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NCJ Number: 50939 Find in a Library
Title: JUSTICE OR JUDGEMENTS? (FROM AMERICAN JURY SYSTEM - FINAL REPORT, 1978, BY R S JACOBSON AND B MORRISSEY - SEE NCJ-50937)
Author(s): A M PADAWER-SINGER
Corporate Author: Roscoe Pound-American Trial Lawyers Foundation
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: Roscoe Pound-American Trial Lawyers Foundation
Washington, DC 20007
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: DISCUSSION OF THE PROPOSED CHANGES IN THE JURY SYSTEM STRESSES ECONOMICAL CONSIDERATIONS OF MONEY AND TIME AND INCREASED EFFICIENCY.
Abstract: RECOMMENDATIONS HAVE BEEN MADE FOR SMALLER JURIES (6 MEMBERS), NONUNANIMOUS DECISIONS, A SHORTENED JURY SELECTION PROCESS, AND JURY SELECTION BY JUDGES. SEVERAL CITED U.S. SUPREME COURT DECISIONS FAVORED SMALLER JURIES BASED UPON THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS: (1) THE SIZE OF THE JURY SHOULD BE 'LARGE ENOUGH TO PROMOTE DELIBERATIONS'; (2) IT SHOULD 'PROVIDE A FAIR POSSIBILITY FOR OBTAINING A REPRESENTATIVE CROSS SECTION OF THE COMMUNITY'; AND (3) 'IN PRACTICE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE 12-PERSON JURY AND THE 6-PERSON JURY, IN TERMS OF THE CROSS SECTION OF THE COMMUNITY REPRESENTED, SEEMS LIKELY TO BE NEGLIGIBLE.' THESE ASSUMPTIONS WERE TESTED IN AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY INVOLVING 92 JURY EXPERIMENTS WITH ACTUAL JURORS. THE BEHAVIOR, DISCUSSIONS, ATTITUDES, DELIBERATIONS, AND DECISIONS OF 828 JURORS WERE COMPARED IN 4 DIFFERENT SETS OF JURIES. THE FOCUS OF THIS RESEARCH WAS TO DETERMINE WHAT MANNER AND UPON WHAT BASES EACH JURY REACHED A VERDICT, AND TO TEST THE VALIDITY OF THE SUPREME COURT'S ASSUMPTIONS. THE DATA SHOWED THAT THE 6-MEMBER JURY IS LESS HETEROGENEOUS WITH LESS CHANCE OF MINORITY GROUP REPRESENTATION. GROUP DELIBERATIONS HAVE GREATER IMPACT IN LARGER JURIES, AND NONUNANIMOUS JURIES MADE FEWER STATEMENTS THAN UNANIMOUS JURIES. THE SURVEY ALSO INCLUDED ASSESSMENTS OF THE JURORS' ATTITUDES, PREFERENCES, AND PERCEPTIONS. A 12-MEMBER UNANIMOUS JURY OFFERS GREATER PROTECTION AGAINST THE OCCURRENCE OF A VERDICT BEFORE DELIBERATIONS THAN A 6-MEMBER UNANIMOUS JURY. THE MAJORITY OF THE RESPONDENTS ENDORSED 12-MEMBER UNANIMOUS JURIES AS THE BEST TRIAL SYSTEM. STUDIES HAVE SHOWN THAT JURY SELECTION BY LAWYERS SEEMS TO REDUCE PREJUDICES AROUSED BY PREJUDICIAL INFORMATION. THE DIFFERENCE IN THE AMOUNT OF TIME NEEDED FOR SELECTING JURORS BY VOIR DIRE BY TWO LAWYERS, AS COMPARED TO SELECTION BY A JUDGE IS MINIMAL. AT THE TIME OF THIS STUDY, NO SYSTEMATIC COMPILATION OF COST STATISTICS IN THE 50 STATES EXISTED, THOUGH ARGUMENTS SUPPORTING CHANGES REST UPON THE COSTS OF THE JURY SYSTEM. COSTS OF FEDERAL JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION IN THE UNITED STATES AND VARIOUS STATE BUDGETS, JUDICIAL COSTS, AND JURY FEES ARE CITED. A VARIETY OF STUDIES COMPARING JURY SIZE HAVE FOUND LITTLE OR NO SAVINGS IN 6-MEMBER JURIES IN TIME SPENT ON JUROR SELECTION OR TRIALS. TABULAR DATA, CASE STUDIES, AND NOTES ARE PROVIDED. (JCP)
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Economic analysis; Evaluation; Juries; Jury instructions; Jury selection; Jury size changes; Verdicts
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50939

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