Jury Size and Decision Rule

Both the size of the jury and the number of jurors who must be in agreement for a verdict to be concluded (the group's “social decision rule”) have been the subject of litigation at the U.S. Supreme Court as well as a subject of research by psychologists and other social and behavioral scientists. The number of jurors and the minimum proportion of them who must be in agreement are set by formal legal rules (e.g., state statutes, federal rules of civil procedure), and those rules are in turn subject to constitutional requirements. The Supreme Court has framed its analysis of jury size and decision rule questions in terms of the effects of those variables on jury behavior. Thus, the findings of research on group ...

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