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NCJ Number: 67155 Find in a Library
Title: EVALUATING PROPOSALS FOR SOCIAL CHANGE WITH MINIMAL DATA - AN EXAMPLE FROM GRAND JURY REFORM
Journal: LAW AND HUMAN BEHAVIOR  Volume:3  Issue:1-2  Dated:(1979)  Pages:121-134
Author(s): D A VOLLRATH; J H DAVIS
Corporate Author: Plenum Publishing Corp
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: National Science Foundation
Arlington, VA 22230
Plenum Publishing Corp
New York, NY 10013-1576
Grant Number: BNS 77-15216
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE USE OF EMPIRICAL AND/OR CONCEPTUAL RESEARCH FOR EVALUATING PROPOSALS FOR SOCIAL CHANGE THAT ARE BUTTRESSED WITH ONLY MINIMAL DATA IS ILLUSTRATED BY A STUDY OF GRAND JURY REFORM.
Abstract: THE EFFECTS OF ASSIGNED DECISION RULES OF THE CURRENT AND PROPOSED GRAND JURY SYSTEMS, ALONG WITH RESPECTIVE ALLOWABLE SIZE RANGES, ARE ANALYZED AS PRESENTED IN TWO BILLS INTRODUCED IN THE 95TH CONGRESS (S 1449 AND HR 94). SOCIAL-DECISION-SCHEME MATRIXES FOR THE MAXIMUM AND MINIMUM GRAND JURY SIZES UNDER THE CURRENT SYSTEM AND UNDER THE SYSTEM PROPOSED IN HR 94 SHOW THAT BY FIXING THE CRITICAL NUMBER FOR INDICTMENT AND ALLOWING SIZE TO VARY, A DIFFERENT SOCIAL DECISION SCHEME RESULTS AT EACH SIZE CHANGE IN THE GRAND JURY. THUS, A SET OF JURORS NEAR THE MAXIMUM OF 23 UNDER THE CURRENT SYSTEM IS MORE LIKELY TO YIELD AN INDICTMENT THAN A SMALLER JURY NEAR THE MINIMUM OF 16 MEMBERS. UNDER THE PROPOSED REFORM, A CONSIDERABLE SIZE EFFECT OVER THE RANGE OF GRAND JURY SIZES IS ALSO EXHIBITED, BUT A SMALLER GRAND JURY IS MORE LIKELY THAN A LARGER ONE TO INDICT WHEN THE PROBABILITY OF INDICTMENT IS SMALL. THE SMALL JURY IS LESS LIKELY TO INDICT WHEN THE PROBABILITY OF INDICTMENT IS LARGE (DUE TO THE FIXING OF THE PROPOSED DECISION RULE AT TWO-THIRDS OF THOSE PRESENT WHO ARE VOTING). A MATRIX CONSTRUCTED TO DETERMINE THE EFFECT OF A TWO-THIRDS RULE ON THE CURRENT GRAND JURY SYSTEM PRODUCED AN EVEN LOWER PROBABILITY OF INDICTMENT THAN THE PROPOSED TWO-THIRDS DECISION RULE OVER MOST OF THE RANGE OF INDIVIDUAL PREFERENCE. CONCLUDING REMARKS ON THE USE OF EMPIRICAL DATA FROM RESEARCH IN IMPLEMENTING SOCIAL REFORMS IDENTIFY TWO CONTINUING DIFFICULTIES: (1) RESEARCHERS CANNOT GENERATE AN EMPIRICAL STUDY FOR EVERY LEGAL QUESTION THAT MIGHT ARISE DUE TO CHANGES IN SOCIAL BEHAVIOR; AND (2) EVALUATION OF INSTITUTIONAL OR PROGRAM CHANGES PRIOR TO IMPLEMENTATION IS FACED WITH MAKING DECISIONS BEFORE THE CHANGES THAT WILL SUPPLY THE NECESSARY EVALUATIVE DATA HAVE OCCURRED. REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED. (DEG)
Index Term(s): Policy; Research; Research uses in policymaking; Social change
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67155

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