Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 4 of 4

Full-Text Articles in Law

Jurors' Evaluations Of Expert Testimony: Judging The Messenger And The Message, Sanja Kutnjak Ivkovic, Valerie P. Hans Apr 2003

Jurors' Evaluations Of Expert Testimony: Judging The Messenger And The Message, Sanja Kutnjak Ivkovic, Valerie P. Hans

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Jurors are laypersons with no specific expert knowledge, yet they are routinely placed in situations in which they need to critically evaluate complex expert testimony. This paper examines jurors' reactions to experts who testify in civil trials and the factors jurors identify as important to expert credibility. Based on in-depth qualitative analysis of interviews with 55 jurors in 7 civil trials, we develop a comprehensive model of the key factors jurors incorporate into the process of evaluating expert witnesses and their testimony. Contrary to the frequent criticism that jurors primarily evaluate expert evidence in terms of its subjective characteristics, the ...


One Inspiring Jury, Phoebe C. Ellsworth Jan 2003

One Inspiring Jury, Phoebe C. Ellsworth

Reviews

Americans love to complain about the jury. They complain about being called for jury duty. They complain about jury verdicts in highly publicized cases. They are outraged by the failure to convict "obviously guilty" criminals, such as the police officers in the cases of Rodney King and Amadou Diallo, the Menendez brothers in their first trial, and of course O.J. Simpson. In civil cases, they are appalled when plaintiffs win huge damage awards in "obviously frivolous" lawsuits. Juries are ignorant and uneducated, juries are gullible, juries are swayed by passion and prejudice rather than reason. Criticizing jury verdicts allows ...


Some Steps Between Attitudes And Verdicts, Phoebe C. Ellsworth Jan 2003

Some Steps Between Attitudes And Verdicts, Phoebe C. Ellsworth

Book Chapters

Most research that has attempted to predict verdict preferences on the basis of stable juror characteristics, such as attitudes and personality traits, has found that individual differences among jurors are not very useful predictors, accounting for only a small proportion of the variance in verdict choices. Some commentators have therefore concluded that verdicts are overwhelmingly accounted for by "the weight of the evidence," and that differences among jurors have negligible effects. But there is a paradox here: In most cases the weight of the evidence is insufficient to produce firstballot unanimity in the jury (Hans & Vidmar, 1986; Hastie, Penrod, & Pennington, 1983; Kalven & Zeisel, 1966 ...


How Much Do We Really Know About Race And Juries? A Review Of Social Science Theory And Research, Samuel R. Sommers, Phoebe C. Ellsworth Jan 2003

How Much Do We Really Know About Race And Juries? A Review Of Social Science Theory And Research, Samuel R. Sommers, Phoebe C. Ellsworth

Articles

The past decade has witnessed numerous high-profile criminal trials in which controversial verdicts have been attributed to racethe race of the defendant, the racial composition of a jury, an attorney "playing the race card," and so on. A predominantly Black jury's acquittal of O.J. Simpson and White jurors' leniency in the police brutality cases of Rodney King and Amadou Diallo not only sparked public debate, but also led to rioting and violence. In the wake of trials such as these, many have questioned the viability of the American jury system.' More specific questions regarding the influence of race ...