Time to Deliberate: Factors Influencing the Duration of Jury Deliberation

28 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2007

See all articles by Thomas L. Brunell

Thomas L. Brunell

University of Texas at Dallas - Department of Political Science

Chetan Dave

New York University

Nick Morgan

University of Texas at Dallas

Date Written: June 24, 2007

Abstract

The sixth amendment to the U.S. Constitution stipulates that individuals accused of violating the law by the state must be allowed a speedy and impartial trial by a set of jurors drawn from the community in which the alleged violation of the law took place. Most empirical research on the determinants of the time it takes a jury to render a verdict relies on data from the activities of mock juries. In this paper we analyze a unique and informative dataset on actual juries that mitigates the causal inference issues arising from the study of time to decision of mock juries. The empirical results indicate that 6 person juries are no quicker than 12 person juries; as cases become more complex and/or more severe, juries deliberate longer; non-unanimous decisions take longer to reach than unanimous ones; panels that saw many potential jurors excused during voir dire end up deliberating longer than panels with fewer challenges.

Keywords: Juries, decision making, length of deliberation, hazard models

JEL Classification: K00, D71, D73, D78

Suggested Citation

Brunell, Thomas L. and Dave, Chetan and Morgan, Nicholas C., Time to Deliberate: Factors Influencing the Duration of Jury Deliberation (June 24, 2007). 2nd Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=996426 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.996426

Thomas L. Brunell (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Dallas - Department of Political Science ( email )

Richardson, TX 75083
United States
972-883-4963 (Phone)

Chetan Dave

New York University ( email )

Department of Economics
19 W. 4th Street, 6FL
New York, NY 10012
United States

Nicholas C. Morgan

University of Texas at Dallas ( email )

Richardson, TX 75083
United States

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