Selected to Serve: An Analysis of Lifetime Jury Participation
Using a survey of a random sample of 1,380 Texas adults, we consider what factors distinguish those who have ever had an opportunity to serve on a jury from those who have not (“lifetime participation”). Residential stability and willingness to serve distinguished former jurors from those who had never been summoned or had never been questioned for a case. After controlling for age, neither race nor ethnicity accounted for participation, a finding replicated in data from another state. No factors differentiated former jurors from people who have been questioned but never selected. Our results strongly indicate that improvements to participation should focus on attrition that occurs before potential jurors reach the courtroom.
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