Criminal Juries in the 21st Century Psychological Science and the Law

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Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2018-09-17
Publisher(s): Oxford University Press
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Summary

The jury is often hailed as one of the most important symbols of American democracy. Yet much has changed since the Sixth Amendment in 1791 first guaranteed all citizens the right to a jury trial in criminal prosecutions. Experts now have a much more nuanced understanding of the psychological implications of being a juror, and advances in technology and neuroscience make the work of rendering a decision in a criminal trial more complicated than ever before.

Criminal Juries in the 21st Century explores the increasingly wide gulf between criminal trial law, procedures, and policy, and what scientific findings have revealed about the human experience of serving as a juror. Readers will contemplate myriad legal issues that arise when jurors decide criminal cases as well as cutting-edge psychological research that can be used to not only understand the performance and experience of the contemporary criminal jury, but also to improve it. Chapter authors grapple with a number of key issues at the intersection of psychology and law, guiding readers to consider everything from the factors that influence the initial selection of the jury to how jurors cope with and reflect on their service after the trial ends. Together the chapters provide a unique view of criminal juries with the goal of increasing awareness of a broad range of current issues in great need of theoretical, empirical, and legal attention. Criminal Juries in the 21st Century will identify how social science research can inform law and policy relevant to improving justice within the jury system, and is an essential resource for those who directly study jury decision making as well as social scientists generally, attorneys, judges, students, and even future jurors.

Author Biography


Cynthia J. Najdowski is an Assistant Professor at the University at Albany. Her research explores how social psychological phenomena shape criminal justice interactions in ways that produce miscarriages of justice for minorities, women, and children. Her work has been recognized with several national grants and awards and published in the top-ranked journals in the field of psychology and law. She also co-edited Children as Victims, Witnesses, and Offenders: Psychological Science and the Law.

Margaret C. Stevenson is an Associate Professor at the University of Evansville. She has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters related to factors that shape juror decision making and the nature of jury deliberations. She also explores perceptions of marginalized individuals, including children and minorities, who enter the legal system, either as victims or as perpetrators of crime. Her research has received grants and awards from divisions of the American Psychological Association.

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