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NCJ Number: 67224 Find in a Library
Title: WOULD JURORS DO A BETTER JOB IF THEY COULD TAKE NOTES?
Journal: JUDICATURE  Volume:63  Issue:9  Dated:(APRIL 1980)  Pages:436-443
Author(s): V E FLANGO
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 8
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: FOR THIS PILOT EXPERIMENT, THE CIRCUIT COURT OF DUPAGE COUNTY (ILLINOIS) SELECTED ACTUAL JURORS TO TAKE NOTES IN BOTH CIVIL AND CRIMINAL TRIALS AND COMPARED THEIR EXPERIENCE WITH A CONTROL GROUP THAT DID NOT TAKE NOTES.
Abstract: PROSPECTIVE JURORS WERE RANDOMLY SELECTED FROM THE ELIGIBLE VOTERS OF THE COUNTY AND ASSIGNED TO JURY PANELS. ONE CIVIL CASE AND ONE CRIMINAL CASE WERE HEARD BY BOTH JURORS TAKING NOTES AND THE CONTROL GROUP. QUESTIONNAIRES WERE LATER ADMINISTERED TO BOTH GROUPS, WITH EXTRA QUESTIONS FOR THE NOTETAKERS. FINDINGS SHOWED THAT EVERY JUROR ALLOWED TO TAKE NOTES DID TAKE NOTES. SUCH JURORS PERCEIVED THE CASES TO BE LESS DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND AND RATED THE QUALITY OF THEIR DELIBERATIONS HIGHER THAN THE CONTROL GROUP. NOTETAKERS PUT MORE EMPHASIS ON THE DEFENSE ATTORNEY'S ROLE, BUT SHOWED NO OTHER DIFFERENCE IN THE KINDS OF EVIDENCE THEY USED TO REACH A DECISION. NOTETAKERS RANKED INFLUENCE BY OTHER JURORS LOWER THAN DID THE CONTROL GROUP. MOST PEOPLE RATED THEIR NOTETAKING ABILITY AS AVERAGE. HALF OF THE JURORS TOOK NOTES THROUGHOUT THE TRIAL, AND THE REMAINING HALF TOOK MORE NOTES AT THE BEGINNING THAN AT THE END OF THE TRIAL. JURORS FELT THAT NOTES REFRESHED THEIR MEMORIES AND HELPED CONVINCE OTHERS OF THE FACTS. MOST NOTETAKING JURORS DID NOT CHANGE THEIR MINDS DURING DELIBERATIONS, BUT MANY OF THOSE WHO DID INDICATED THAT NOTES OF OTHER JURORS WERE PERSUASIVE. WHILE TRIAL JUDGES SHOULD BE GIVEN THE OPTION OF PERMITTING JURORS TO TAKE NOTES, ALL JURORS SHOULD BE GIVEN EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES TO TAKE THEM. MOREOVER, JURORS SHOULD BE ASSURED THAT THEIR NOTES WILL BE CONFIDENTIAL, AND THEY SHOULD BE ADMONISHED TO BE AS TOLERANT OF NOTES AS THEY ARE OF ANOTHER'S INDEPENDENT RECOLLECTION. THEY SHOULD ALSO BE INSTRUCTED TO DESTROY THEIR NOTES WHEN THE TRIAL IS OVER. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED.
Index Term(s): Behavior patterns; Illinois; Juror characteristics; Jury decisionmaking; Testimony
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67224

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