A Jury of Her Peers: The Impact of the First Female Jurors on Criminal Convictions

49 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2016  

Shamena Anwar

RAND Corporation

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 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 10, 2016

Abstract

This paper uses an original data set of more than 3000 cases from 1918 to 1926 in the Central Criminal Courts of London to study the effect of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act of 1919. Implemented in 1921, this Act made females eligible to serve on English juries, providing a novel setting for studying the impact of female representation on jury verdicts. Results based on a pre-post research design imply that the inclusion of females had little effect on overall conviction rates but resulted in a large and significant increase in convictions for sex offenses and on the conviction rate differential between violent crime cases with female versus male victims. The inclusion of women also increased the likelihood of juries being discharged without reaching a verdict on all charges and the average time taken to reach a verdict. A complementary analysis of cases in which the jury was carried over from a previous trial also implies that the inclusion of female jurors on the seated jury sharply increased conviction rates for violent crimes against women versus men.

Suggested Citation

Anwar, Shamena and Bayer, Patrick J. and Hjalmarsson, Randi, A Jury of Her Peers: The Impact of the First Female Jurors on Criminal Convictions (February 10, 2016). Economic Research Initiatives at Duke (ERID) Working Paper No. 205. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2730889 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2730889

Shamena Anwar

RAND Corporation ( email )

1776 Main Street
P.O. Box 2138
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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)

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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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