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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 67924 Find in a Library
Title: JURY DECISION MAKING - AN EMPIRICAL STUDY BASED ON ACTUAL FELONY TRIALS
Journal: JOURNAL OF APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY  Volume:64  Issue:2  Dated:(APRIL 1979)  Pages:91-98
Author(s): D L BRIDGEMAN; D MARLOWE
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: University of California, Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: FOLLOWING THE COMPLETION OF 10 FELONY TRIALS, 65 OF THE JURORS WERE INTERVIEWED IN AN ATTEMPT TO MAP THE JURORS' ACCOUNT OF THE POSTTRIAL DELIBERATIONS; EMPHASIS WAS ON JURORS' PERCEPTIONS OF THE TRIAL PROCESS.
Abstract: SINCE THE 60-ITEM QUESTIONNAIRE AND INTERVIEW FORMAT USED IN THE STUDY INVOLVE SELF-REPORT INFORMATION, QUESTIONS WERE REPEATED WITH VARIED WORDING TO CHECK FOR INTERNAL CONSISTENCY (WHICH WAS SHOWN TO BE STRONG). INFORMATION OF THE DEMOGRAPHIC TYPE WAS SOUGHT, ALONG WITH PERCEPTIONS OF LAWYERS' AND JUDGES' EFFECTIVENESS, JUROR ACTIVITY LEVEL, AND THE JURORS' ABILITY TO UNDERSTAND THE PROCEEDINGS AND THE LAW. THE FINDINGS THAT JURORS RELY ON EVIDENCE AND TAKE THEIR ROLE SERIOUSLY INDICATE THAT JURORS ARE REASONABLE AND SENSITIVE. RESULTS CONCERNING JUROR PERCEPTIONS SUGGEST THAT JURORS ARE CONCERNED WITH BEING FAIR AND JUST (A FINDING CONTRARY TO THAT OF CRITICS OF THE JURY SYSTEM WHO FEAR THAT JURORS ARE FREQUENTLY BIASED OR INCOMPETENT). JURORS APPEARED NOT TO BE INFLUENCED BY SUBTLE SOCIOPERSONAL CONSIDERATIONS SUCH AS THE DEFENDANT'S OR ATTORNEY'S PERSONAL STYLE OR APPEARANCE. OVERALL, THEY VIEWED THEIR PARTICIPATION AS A CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY, CONCLUDED THEIR WORK WITH A SENSE OF PRIDE AND GRATIFICATION, AND POSSESSED AN ABILITY TO EMBODY THE COLLECTIVE WISDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY OF THE LARGER COMMUNITY THEY REPRESENT. THESE FINDINGS APPEAR TO BE IN CONFLICT WITH RESEARCH THAT USES MOCK JURORS AND SIMULATIONS. PERHAPS MOCK JURORS ATTEND TO MISLEADING, EXTRANEOUS VARIABLES BECAUSE THE OVERRIDING CONCERNS WITH JUSTICE AND RESPONSIBILITY TO THE COMMUNITY ARE NOT PRESENT AS THEY ARE WITH ACTUAL JURORS. THUS, THIS STUDY OF REAL JURORS IS OFFERED AS A FIRST APPROACH TO UNDERSTANDING ACTUAL JUROR BEHAVIOR. TWELVE REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Behavior patterns; Juror characteristics; Jury decisionmaking
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67924

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