Stories from the Jury Room: How Jurors Use Narrative to Process Evidence
Studies in Law, Politics, & Society, Vol. 49, p. 25, 2009
47 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2009 Last revised: 23 Nov 2009
This paper analyzes the ways in which jurors use everyday storytelling techniques in their deliberations. It begins by reviewing the literature on how jurors receive and process evidence, emphasizing narrative and storytelling. It then presents some new, qualitative linguistic data drawn from actual jury deliberations, which shed light on jurors' standards of evidence and proof, as well as on the persuasive tactics they use in dealing with each other. Although these data are limited, they provide an interesting basis for assessing existing ideas about jury evidence-processing and thinking more broadly about the strengths and weaknesses of the jury system.
Keywords: jury, jury deliberations, narrative, storytelling
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