informing such judicial economy by analyzing the determinants of how long ittakes a jury to reach a verdict.
From an empirical legal point of view, much has been written on the subjectof individual juror perception of evidence as presented during trial, jurorcomprehension of the evidence, and the individual processing of information.
The process of deliberation has also undergone scrutiny with several models of decision-making presented.
Much of this research has been conducted using mock juries. Since mock juries typically have built-in time constraints, they cannot be used as a measurement of actual jury time to a decision point. Devineet al.
discuss another important aspect of deliberations, the notion of deliberation quality and its concomitant effect on verdicts. Our analysiscomplements these previous empirical legal findings. Further, Devine et al.
provide compelling arguments and evidence in favor of analyzing actual versusmock juries. In the present analysis, data from actual juries are examined,mitigating the causal inference issues present in analyzing mock juries. Our mainresults suggest that 6-person juries are no quicker than 12-person juries; as casesbecome more complex and/or more severe, juries deliberate longer; non-unanimous decisions take longer to reach than unanimous ones and panels thatsaw many potential jurors excused during
end up deliberating longerthan panels with fewer challenges. The remainder of this paper is structured as follows. Section 2 provides aliterature review that motivates in detail the various process questions that canbe asked of the data. In Section 3 the data are discussed followed by adiscussion of the empirical hypotheses. In Section 4 the empirical results arepresented and discussed, followed in Section 5 with concluding comments.
2. MOTIVATING LITERATURE
Given the difficulty of gathering data on or observing real juries, legal scholarsoften rely on mock juries to better understand jury behavior and the process by which they reach (or fail to reach) a collective decision. Clearly, “using actualjuries provides the most appropriate source of research information becausejury simulations cannot fully enact important variables or environmentalfeatures found in actual trials decided by real juries”
(Diamond and Rose, 2005)
.More specifically with respect to the variable of interest in this paper,
Critics of the jury system contend that trial by jury is a costly relic, consuming vast humanresources and government expenditures, see Kassin and Wrightsman (1988) and Hans and Vidmar (2001).
See for example, Ellsworth (1989) and Strodtbeck et al. (1957).
See Winship (2000).
Factors Affecting the Length of Time a Jury Deliberates / 557http://www.bepress.com/rle/vol5/iss1/art23DOI: 10.2202/1555-5879.1334