A Jury of One: Opinion Formation, Conformity, and Dissent on Juries
40 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2008 Last revised: 27 Nov 2008
Date Written: November 7, 2008
Approximately 6% of criminal juries hang. But, how many dissenters carry the jury, hang the jury, or conform to the majority's wishes? We examine the role of the dissenter, using felony data of nearly 3,500 jurors. Jurors were asked, If it were entirely up to you as a one-person jury, what would your verdict have been in this case? Over one-third of jurors privately would have voted against their jury's decision. These data identify jurors who dissent and distinguish dissenters who hang the jury and dissenters who acquiesce. Jurors' role expectations, evidentiary views, sense of fairness, and deliberation procedures affected the likelihood for dissent.
Keywords: jury, decision making, criminal, deliberations
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