Dateline: November, 2008, Issue 2

Does prior jury experience affect how a juror participates in deliberations?

In principle, all jurors are created equal. In practice, this equalitarian ethic is seldom realized. The fact of the matter is that dominance hierarchies develop and juries consist in predictable ways of leaders, participants and followers. Prior experience is one factor that affects these dominance hierarchies because it affects a juror's participation in deliberations.

Hastie and colleagues (1983) found that jurors who had previously served on a jury talked more in deliberations than those who had not.

Broeder (1965) interviewed jurors after their trials were completed and encountered several experienced jurors who had assumed the mantle of "experts" and tried to control the rest of the jury.

Kassin and Juhnke (1983) report that novice jurors participated less, made less persuasive comments, and conformed more with the majority than jurors without prior jury service.

Jurors with prior jury service are more likely to participate in and control deliberations.

Source Hastie, R., Penrod, S. D., & Pennington, N. (1983). Inside the jury. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Source Broeder, D. E. (1965). Voir dire examinations: An empirical study. Southern California Law Review, 38, pp. 503-528.

Source Kassin, S. M., & Juhnke, R. (1983). Juror experience and decision making. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44, pp. 1182-1191.