Essay about Investigating The Jury Decision Making Process

1199 Words Jul 15th, 2015 5 Pages
Criminal justice researchers use several methods to evaluate the jury decision-making process. The processes each have subtle differences. In some instances, they use the various methods to understand juror verdicts and in others to evaluate their competency. Criminal justice researchers have used these methods to evaluate such controversial cases as the Trayvon Martin case and the McDonald’s coffee case.

Juror Decision-making Processes

When the justice system brings a criminal case to trial, a defendant has a right to judgement by their peers, called jurors in the court system. Anyone accused of committing a crime is extended this right. The jurors cast a judgement called a verdict. Studying verdict outcomes is a prominent subject for criminal researchers.

Criminal justice investigators conduct extensive research about why jurors make their decisions. They have multiple reasons to conduct this research. Firstly, the largest post deliberation decision gauge is the verdict the jurors subscribe to initially. Secondly, researchers enjoy the challenge of studying group decision dynamics. Once it is time to cast their verdict, most jurors have already formed an opinion. This makes studying what factors influence jurors before they have cast a decision a worthwhile investigation, because understanding how a juror thinks can help prosecutors make educated guesses about how a juror will vote.

Studying jury decisions is a complex process. Criminal justice researchers need six…

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