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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 62655 Find in a Library
Title: EFFECTS OF THE UNANIMITY REQUIREMENT ON RATINGS OF JURY DELIBERATIONS - A REPORT TO THE LAW REFORM COMMISSION OF CANADA (FROM STUDIES ON THE JURY - CANADA, 1979 - SEE NCJ-62650)
Author(s): V P HANS
Corporate Author: Law Reform Cmssn of Canada
Canada
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 25
Sponsoring Agency: Law Reform Cmssn of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario K1A OL6, Canada
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: AN EXPERIMENT DESIGNED TO TEST THE EFFECTS OF THE IN THE DELIBERATIONS OF JURIES IS DISCUSSED; 28 IN THE DELIBERATIONS OF JURIES IS DISCUSSED; 28 SIMULATED JURY DELIBERATIONS WERE EVALUATED.
Abstract: THE UNANIMITY REQUIREMENT MAY ENCOURAGE THOSE JURORS WITH DIFFERING OPINIONS TO EXPRESS THEIR THOUGHTS AND MAY LEAD TO MORE CAREFUL CONSIDERATION OF DISSENTING VIEWS. IF THE UNANIMITY REQUIREMENT PUTS JURORS WITH MINORITY VIEWPOINTS IN A STRONGER POSITION, THIS WOULD SOMETIMES AFFECT THE JURY'S FACT-FINDING ABILITY. REMOVAL OF THE REQUIREMENT MAY DECREASE THE MINORITY MEMBER'S VIEWS WITHIN THE JURY AND THUS INTERFERE WITH THE REPRESENTATIVE NATURE OF THE DECISION. IN THIS EXPERIMENT, LAW STUDENTS WERE USED TO EVALUATE SIMULATED JURY DELIBERATIONS IN WHICH UNANIMITY HAD OR HAD NOT BEEN REQUIRED. TWENTY-EIGHT SIMULATED JURY DELIBERATIONS AVAILABLE FROM A PREVIOUS STUDY ON THE UNANIMITY REQUIREMENT WERE USED. VIDEOTAPES OF THESE DELIBERATIONS WERE PRESENTED TO THE EVALUATORS, AND A QUESTIONNAIRE, COMPOSED OF 24 QUESTIONS ABOUT DELIBERATION QUALITY, ADEQUACY OF CONSIDERATION OF THE EVIDENCE, AND THE INFLUENCE OF THE MAJORITY AND MINORITY, WAS COMPLETED BY EACH EVALUATOR. EACH LAW STUDENT WAS SHOWN A PAIR OF DELIBERATIONS, ONE UNANIMITY DELIBERATION AND ONE MAJORITY DELIBERATION. A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT QUESTIONS ABOUT THE QUALITY OF GROUP DELIBERATIONS WERE THEN ASKED RELATING TO CONSIDERATION OF EVIDENCE AND LEGAL ISSUES, AND MINORITY AND MAJORITY INFLUENCES. THE EXPERIMENTS INDICATED THAT WHEN MAJORITY RULE VERDICTS WERE REQUIRED MINORITY VIEWS TEND TO BE DISREGARDED. THERE WERE NO DISCERNABLE QUALITATIVE DIFFERENCES IN THE DELIBERATIONS ENDNOTES AND AN APPENDIX ARE INCLUDED IN THE EXPERIMENT. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED--LWM)
Index Term(s): Canada; Criminal proceedings; Hung juries; Juries; Jury decisionmaking; Jury quorum rule; Questionnaires; Simulation; Studies; Trials; Verdicts
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=62655

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