Eligible Jurors' Knowledge, Information Sources, and Attitudes About the Jury System

Melinda Roberts, Washington State University - Spokane
Jacinta M. Gau, Washington State University - Spokane
David C. Brody, Washington State University - Spokane

ABSTRACT
Over the last decade the petit jury has been the target of increased denigration. Complaints about "irrational" verdicts in criminal trials and excessive damage awards in civil actions have been routinely heard in the media and throughout the society. The present study, using data collected from a survey of 400 residents of Spokane County, Washington, examines the relationship between citizens' attitudes toward the jury system, their knowledge about the role juries play in the justice system, and the source of this knowledge. Results from multivariate analysis controlling for relevant demographic factors are presented and policy implications are discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006