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The Results of Deliberation

Maggie Wittlin

Columbia University - Law School

June 14, 2011

Social scientists have used mock juror studies to produce a vast body of literature showing how different variables influence juror decision-making. This paper presents a computer model that extrapolates findings about jurors to juries, showing how variables of interest affect the decisions not only of individuals but also of deliberative bodies. The computer model simulates jurors from a specified community, imputes initial votes to them conditional on a user-specified model, and uses Robert MacCoun’s new “social burden of proof” framework to predict the likelihood that the jury will come out for either side, given those initial votes. The paper then demonstrates the usefulness of the model by applying it to the Cultural Cognition Project’s study of the factors that influence the verdict in acquaintance rape cases. I argue that by extrapolating findings about jurors to juries, this model could prove useful to prosecutors, policy-makers, and legal scholars.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 67

Keywords: jury deliberation, cultural cognition, social influence, Monte Carlo, rape

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Date posted: June 15, 2011 ; Last revised: August 23, 2013

Suggested Citation

Wittlin, Maggie, The Results of Deliberation (June 14, 2011). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1865031 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1865031

Contact Information

Maggie Wittlin (Contact Author)
Columbia University - Law School ( email )
435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States
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