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Jury deliberation begins when a trial ends and the jury moves to a secluded location to discuss the evidence and arrive at a decision. Understanding how juries reach their decisions is a prerequisite for answering the question of how well they serve their function in a democratic society. Jury deliberation has been studied empirically by social science researchers for more than 50 years now, but direct access to the jury room has been always greatly limited due to a concern that any

“external” presence in the deliberation room could influence the jury's decision. As a result, researchers have relied on two other methodologies to study jury deliberation: experimental studies with mock juries and posttrial reconstructions of actual deliberation via surveys of and/or interviews with former jurors.

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