Designing Optimal Juries

32 Pages Posted: 25 May 2017 Last revised: 5 Mar 2018

See all articles by Alice Guerra

Alice Guerra

University of Bologna - Department of Economics

Barbara Luppi

University of St. Thomas School of Law; Università degli studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia (UNIMORE) - Faculty of Business and Economics

Francesco Parisi

University of Minnesota - Law School; University of Bologna

Date Written: March 24, 2018

Abstract

Juries are a fundamental element of the criminal justice system. In this paper, we model jury decision-making as a function of three institutional variables: jury size, voting requirement, and the applicable standard of proof. Changes in jury size, voting requirements, and standards of proof affect the accuracy and cost of criminal adjudication. Our framework helps appraise some U.S. Supreme Court decisions and legal reforms on jury design. We find that the use of smaller or non-unanimous juries, if combined with a high standard of proof, may be superior to alternative jury structures. The results apply not only to juries, but also to other collective decision-making bodies such as court panels, corporate boards, and management teams.

Keywords: jury size, voting requirement, standard of proof, criminal trial

JEL Classification: K0, K4

Suggested Citation

Guerra, Alice and Luppi, Barbara and Parisi, Francesco, Designing Optimal Juries (March 24, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2973943 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2973943

Alice Guerra

University of Bologna - Department of Economics ( email )

Bologna
Italy

Barbara Luppi

University of St. Thomas School of Law

2115 Summit Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55105
United States

Università degli studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia (UNIMORE) - Faculty of Business and Economics ( email )

Viale Berengario 51
41100 Modena, Modena 41100
Italy

Francesco Parisi (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - Law School ( email )

229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

University of Bologna ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 1
40126 Bologna, fc 47100
Italy

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