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NCJ Number: 99407 Find in a Library
Title: Impact of Case Characteristics and Prior Jury Experience on Jury Verdicts
Journal: Journal of Applied Social Psychology  Volume:15  Issue:5  Dated:(1985)  Pages:409-427
Author(s): C M Werner; M J Strube; A M Cole; D K Kagehiro
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 19
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of the impact of case characteristics and prior jury experience on jury verdicts found that case-related variables were better predictors of verdict than were the juror-related indices of prior experience.
Abstract: Data were obtained from the Salt Lake County (Utah) clerk's records for an 18-month period in 1977 and 1978. The sample represented 6 groups of jurors with a total pool of 6,000 registered voters. All criminal trials were sampled, resulting in 206 trials involving 1,320 different jurors (22 percent of the possible pool). The dependent variable was the verdict, and independent variables pertained to case characteristics, case quality, jury experience, and the number of jurors previously exposed to trial participation. Multiple regression analysis was used to examine the impact of the independent variables on jury verdicts. Several of the case variables correlated with jury verdicts. The number of defense witnesses and the defendant's testifying were associated with acquittals. Although more than half of the juries contained experienced jurors, juror experience had little influence on verdicts in either major or subsidiary analyses. There was a slight tendency, however, for small juries with large proportions of experienced jurors to convict. This result is consistent with data from Kentucky. These results have implications for the determination of jury size. Future research should examine the possibility that increasing jury size may reduce the influence of individual juror bias by providing a balance of jurors with no or offsetting biases. Tabular data and 60 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Juror characteristics; Jury decisionmaking; Jury size changes; Utah
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