Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2406141
 


 



Deliberative Democracy and the American Civil Jury


Valerie P. Hans


Cornell University - School of Law

John Gastil


Pennsylvania State University

Traci Feller


University of Washington

March 7, 2014


Abstract:     
Civil jury service should be a potent form of deliberative democracy, creating greater civic engagement. However, a 2010 seven-state study of jury service and voting records found no overall boost in civic engagement following service on civil juries, whereas jurors who served on criminal cases did show increased civic engagement following their jury service. This paper reports a project that augments the civil jury dataset with information about jury decision rule, jury size, defendant identity, and case type and examines whether specific types of civil jury service influence post-service voting. Taking into account pre-service voting, jurors who serve on a civil jury that is required to reach unanimity or a civil jury of size twelve are significantly more likely to vote after their service. Jurors who decide cases with organizational as opposed to individual defendants likewise show a boost in voting, as do jurors deciding contract or non-automotive torts cases compared to automobile torts. Limitations and implications for deliberative democracy theory and jury practice are discussed..

Number of Pages in PDF File: 33

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Date posted: March 7, 2014  

Suggested Citation

Hans, Valerie P. and Gastil, John and Feller, Traci, Deliberative Democracy and the American Civil Jury (March 7, 2014). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2406141 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2406141

Contact Information

Valerie P. Hans (Contact Author)
Cornell University - School of Law ( email )
524 College Ave
Myron Taylor Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States
607-255-0095 (Phone)
John Gastil
Pennsylvania State University ( email )
University Park, PA 16802
United States
Traci Feller
University of Washington
NE Colombia Rd.
Seattle, WA 98195
United States
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