Juror Yield and Community Micro-Neighborhood Fabric: Contextual Impacts of Race, Stability, and SES

Ralph B. Taylor, Temple University
Jerry Ratcliffe, Temple University
Lillian Dote, Temple University
Ron Costeck, Temple University

Are there connections between whether a summoned juror becomes a potential juror, and community fabric of his or her micro-neighborhood. We develop a contextual model of micro-neighborhood impacts of race, SES, and stability to predict if a summoned juror will become a potential juror. Working with a committee of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, we were able to obtain addresses or near addresses of 2001 summoned jurors in a representative sample of four Pennsylvania counties, where counties were selected based on their portion of the 1999 statewide African-American population (Philadelphia, Allegheny (Pittsburgh), Montgomery, and Lehigh Counties). The current paper looks at juror yield as the outcome of interest - whether the summoned juror actually was qualified and appeared on the day of service - in the largest the Philadelphia suburban county, Montgomery County. Predictors include location, 2000 census data on the juror's micro-neighborhood for age and race, and 1990 census data on the juror's micro-neighborhood for SES and stability variables. Logistic regression results show that successful yield is more likely for those living in micro-neighborhoods where there are fewer younger people 18-30, fewer elderly over 50, and a lower percentage of African-American population. The impact of race is relatively modest albeit in the expected direction and statistically significant. Most powerfully predictive is how far north the micro-neighborhood is located in the county. The full paper will complete comparable analyses for all four counties. In addition, we will model selection effects, controlling for selection as part of the excusal and ineligibility decisions that take place prior to the yield outcome and of course condition that outcome.

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Updated 05/20/2006