The Optimal Jury Size When Jury Deliberation Follows a Random Walk

13 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2008 Last revised: 7 Oct 2008

See all articles by Eric Helland

Eric Helland

Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance; RAND

Yaron Raviv

Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

The existing literature does not agree on the optimal jury size. We demonstrate that the probability of type I and type II errors is not sensitive to the number of jurors under the following three conditions: jurors received independent signals about a defendant's guilt during the evidence stage of the trial; the jurors truthfully reveal their signal before deliberations in the first ballot via their vote; and the jury deliberation can be modeled as a random walk. Since the opportunity cost of jury service is positive, this implies the optimal number of jurors is one.

Keywords: Jury Deliberation, Jury Size

JEL Classification: K4, D7

Suggested Citation

Helland, Eric A. and Raviv, Yaron, The Optimal Jury Size When Jury Deliberation Follows a Random Walk (2008). Public Choice, Vol. 134, No. 3-4, 2008; Robert Day School of Economics and Finance Research Paper No. 2008-3. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=988538

Eric A. Helland (Contact Author)

Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance ( email )

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Yaron Raviv

Claremont McKenna College - Robert Day School of Economics and Finance ( email )

500 E. Ninth St.
Claremont, CA 91711-6420
United States
909-607-7305 (Phone)

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