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Ask And What Shall Ye Receive? A Guide For Using And Interpreting What Jurors Tell Us, Phoebe C. Ellsworth, Barbara O'Brien, Samuel R. Sommers Jan 2011

Ask And What Shall Ye Receive? A Guide For Using And Interpreting What Jurors Tell Us, Phoebe C. Ellsworth, Barbara O'Brien, Samuel R. Sommers

Articles

We review the extensive body of studies relying on jurors' self-reports in interviews or questionnaires, with a focus on potential threats to validity for researchers seeking to answer particularly provocative questions such as the influence of race in jury decision-making. We then offer a more focused case study comparison of interview and questionnaire data with behavioral data in the domain of race and juror decision-making. Our review suggests that the utility of data obtained from juror interviews and questionnaire responses varies considerably depending on the question under investigation. We close with an evaluation of the types of empirical questions most ...


Sticks And Stones, Phoebe C. Ellsworth Jan 1999

Sticks And Stones, Phoebe C. Ellsworth

Articles

I believe that research should be refuted by research. More and more of our scarce journal space is being taken up by attacks, rebuttals, and rebuttals to the rebuttals, often ending with a whimper of recognition that the adversaries were not so very far apart to begin with, and that the only way (if possible) to resolve the disagreement is through empirical research. Communication of scientific disagreement does not require a published article. Grant proposals and manuscripts submitted to refereed journals like this one are sent out to reviewers, who provide written evaluations that are communicated to the author. Papers ...


Jury Reform At The End Of The Century: Real Agreement, Real Changes, Phoebe C. Ellsworth Jan 1999

Jury Reform At The End Of The Century: Real Agreement, Real Changes, Phoebe C. Ellsworth

Articles

Complaints about the jury system and calls for its reform are nothing new-they have probably existed as long as the jury system itself. Warren Burger called for the reform of the civil jury in 1971'; in 1905 William Howard Taft decried the contemporary tendency "to exalt the jury's power beyond anything which is wise or prudent .... ,2 Judges complain to judges, lawyers complain to lawyers, legal academics write articles about the jury for other legal academics, social scientists report their research on juries to other social scientists, and the jurors themselves go home and express their exasperation to their ...


Asymmetrical Peremptories Defended: A Reply, Richard D. Friedman Jan 1995

Asymmetrical Peremptories Defended: A Reply, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

Three years ago, with the publication of his article ''An Asymmetrical Approach to the Problem of Peremptories" in this journal, Professor Friedman initiated a debate on the subject that was taken up in 1994 by three prosecutors who offered a rebuttal that was also printed in these pages. Professor Friedman continues the debate.


Are Twelve Heads Better Than One?, Phoebe C. Ellsworth Jan 1995

Are Twelve Heads Better Than One?, Phoebe C. Ellsworth

Articles

The jury's competence, unlike that of the judge, rests partly on its ability to reflect the perspectives, experiences, and values of the ordinary people in the community - not just the most common or typical community perspective, but the whole range of viewpoints.


Settling For A Judge: A Comment On Clermont And Eisenberg, Samuel R. Gross Jan 1992

Settling For A Judge: A Comment On Clermont And Eisenberg, Samuel R. Gross

Articles

Trial by Jury or Judge: Transcending Empiricism,1 by Kevin Clermont and Theodore Eisenberg, is not only an important article, it is unique. To most Americans, trial means trial by jury. In fact, over half of all federal trials are conducted without juries2 (including 31% of trials in cases in which the parties have the right to choose a jury3), and the proportion of bench trials in state courts is even higher.4 And yet, while there is a large literature on the outcomes of jury trials and the factors that affect them,5 nobody else has systematically compared trials ...


An Asymmetrical Approach To The Problem Of Peremptories?, Richard D. Friedman Jan 1992

An Asymmetrical Approach To The Problem Of Peremptories?, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

The Supreme Court's decision in Batson v. Kentucky, and the extension of Batson to parties other than prosecutors, may be expected to put pressure on the institution of peremptory challenges. After a brief review of the history of peremptories, this article contends that peremptories for criminal defendants serve important values of our criminal justice system. It then argues that peremptories for prosecutors are not as important, and that it may no longer be worthwhile to maintain them in light of the administrative complexities inevitable in a system of peremptories consistent with Batson. The article concludes that the asymmetry of ...


Expert Evidence, Samuel R. Gross Jan 1991

Expert Evidence, Samuel R. Gross

Articles

It seems that the use of expert witnesses in common law courts has always been troublesome. In his Treatise on the Law of Evidence, first published in 1848, Judge John Pitt Taylor describes several classes of witnesses whose testimony should be viewed with caution, including: enslaved people (which accounts for "the lamentable neglect of truth, which is evinced by most of the nations of India, by the subjects of the Czar, and by many of the peasantry in Ireland"); women (because they are more susceptible to "an innate vain love of the marvelous"); and "foreigners and others ... living out of ...


Are Twelve Heads Better Than One?, Phoebe C. Ellsworth Jan 1989

Are Twelve Heads Better Than One?, Phoebe C. Ellsworth

Articles

Few advocates of the jury system would argue that the average juror is as competent a tribunal as the averagejudge. Whatever competence the jury has is a function of two of its attributes: its number and its interaction. The fact that a jury must be composed of at least six people,' with different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives, provides some protection against decisions based on an idiosyncratic view of the facts. Not only must the jury include at least six people, but they must be chosen in a manner that conforms to the ideal of the jury as representative of community ...


The Inefficiency Of The American Jury, Edson R. Sunderland Jan 1915

The Inefficiency Of The American Jury, Edson R. Sunderland

Articles

What is proposed in the present article is to show that in attempting to preserve the independence of the jury in its exclusive juris- diction over questions of fact, the people and the courts in most American jurisdictions have departed from the common law practice and have introduced a principle calculated to undermine the very institution which they wish to strengthen. That is to say, through the rules prohibiting judges from commenting on the weight of the evidence, juries tend to become irresponsible, verdicts tend to become matters of chance, and the intricacy of procedure, with its cost, delay and ...