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NCJ Number: 78318 Find in a Library
Title: Effect of a Jury's Size and Decision Rule on the Accuracy of Evidence Recall
Journal: Social Science Quarterly  Volume:62  Issue:2  Dated:(June 1981)  Pages:352-361
Author(s): R T Roper
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 10
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Findings are reported from a study that examined the effect of a jury's size and decision rule (unanimous or majority) on the accuracy of jurors' recall of evidence.
Abstract: The research hypotheses were that (1) the larger the operating size of the jury, the greater the accuracy of evidence recall; and (2) the greater the operating difficulty in terms of requirement for unanimous verdict, the greater the accuracy of evidence recall. Research subjects were selected by computer from the actual jury rolls in Fayette County, Ky., and were divided into five groups: five-member unanimous, six-member unanimous, six member two-thirds rule, 12-member unanimous, and 12-member two-thirds rule. The testimony of an actual criminal case was reenacted, videotaped, and condensed into an hour-and-a-half presentation; this allowed for sufficient evidence to permit variation in the extent of evidence recall. The simulated jury sessions were taped, and the jurors were told their verdict would be compared to that of the actual jury. At the end of the deliberations, each juror was asked to answer a set of 10 multiple-choice questions designed to test evidence recall. The findings suggested that neither the operating size nor the operating difficulty model explains the ability of jurors to recall evidence accurately. Possible interpretations of the findings are discussed, and future research is suggested. Thirteen references are listed, and tabular data are provided.
Index Term(s): Jury decisionmaking; Jury size changes; Jury unanimity
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