A Fair and Impartial Jury? The Role of Age in Jury Selection and Trial Outcomes

26 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2012

See all articles by Shamena Anwar

Shamena Anwar

Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management

Patrick J. Bayer

Duke University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Randi Hjalmarsson

University of Gothenburg; Queen Mary, University of London

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 1, 2012

Abstract

This paper uses data from over 700 felony trials in Sarasota and Lake Counties in Florida from 2000-2010 to examine the role of age in jury selection and trial outcomes. The results of the analysis imply that prosecutors are more likely to use their peremptory challenges to exclude younger members of the jury pool, while defense attorneys exclude older potential jurors. Having established that age has an important role in jury selection, the paper employs a research design that isolates the effect of the random variation in the age composition of the pool of eligible jurors called for jury duty to examine the causal impact of age on trial outcomes. Consistent with the jury selection patterns, the empirical evidence implies that older jurors are indeed more likely to convict. These results are robust to the inclusion of a broad set of controls for the racial and gender composition of the jury and a series of county, time, and judge fixed effects; almost identical effects are estimated separately for each county. These findings have implications for the role that the institution of peremptory challenges has on a defendant’s right to a fair trial and to an eligible citizen’s rights to serve on a jury.

Suggested Citation

Anwar, Shamena and Bayer, Patrick J. and Hjalmarsson, Randi, A Fair and Impartial Jury? The Role of Age in Jury Selection and Trial Outcomes (February 1, 2012). Economic Research Initiatives at Duke (ERID) Working Paper No. 125. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2014963 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2014963

Shamena Anwar

Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States

Patrick J. Bayer (Contact Author)

Duke University - Department of Economics ( email )

213 Social Sciences Building
Box 90097
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Randi Hjalmarsson

University of Gothenburg ( email )

Box 640
Vasagatan 1, E-building, floor 5 & 6
Göteborg, 40530
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://economics.handels.gu.se/english/staff/professors/randi-hjalmarsson

Queen Mary, University of London ( email )

Mile End Road
London, London E1 4NS
United Kingdom

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