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DISCUSSION CONTENT AND PERCEPTION OF DELIBERATION IN WESTERN EUROPEAN VERSUS AMERICAN JURIES

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Abstract:

Jury research has dealt almost exclusively with the American system wherein 6-12 laypersons decide verdicts under a unanimity or non-unanimity rule. However, most Western European countries follow the escabinado system, in which laypersons and judges together decide verdict and sentence, under a non-unanimous rule. We experimentally compared the processes and outcomes of both types of juries. Under the guise of a Student Judicial panel, seven undergraduate students in Spain comprised 10 juries, whereas five undergraduates and two fifth-year Law students comprised 10 escabinado juries. We assessed pre- and post-discussion verdict, penalty, and confidence, discussion content, and subjective reactions to the discussion and outcome. Escabinado jury deliberations were driven by the imbalance of power between trained and lay jurors. Escabinado and lay juries differed in their perception of the deliberation but not in their outcomes. Implications for the impact of cultural differences and task requirements in jury decision-making are drawn.

Keywords: Cultural differences; Factions; Groups; Influence processes; Juries; Status

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/1068316021000038786

Affiliations: 1: Departamento de Psicología Social, Facultad de Psicología Universidad de La Laguna, Campus de Guajara 38205 La Laguna 2: California State University Northridge, at Channel Islands, Bell Tower Building One University Drive 93012 CA

Publication date: 2003-01-01

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