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

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

Open PDF in Browser Download This Paper

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 )
Myron Taylor Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901
United States
607-255-0095 (Phone)
John Gastil
Pennsylvania State University ( email )
University Park, PA 16802
United States
Traci Feller
University of Washington ( email )
1410 NE Campus Parkway
Seattle, WA 98195
United States
Feedback to SSRN

Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 598
Downloads: 35

© 2016 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollobot1 in 0.188 seconds