In the end, we must accept there are flaws in jury processes. But finding alternatives has proved difficult, hence the reluctance of governments to abandon the status quo.
The dangers of allowing extraneous “research” are twofold. First, such evidence is not subject to the rules of admissibility. Second, it isn’t subject to the rigours of cross-examination.
Finding out what goes on behind jury decisions and the biases that influence them is hugely important if the criminal justice system is to work properly.
In Atlanta, Ga., one person’s sign reflects the actual verdicts that had just been delivered in the Derek Chauvin trial.
Megan Varner/Getty Images
How does pretrial publicity affect jury verdicts? What kind of verdicts are made when the jury is racially diverse? An expert on juries answers questions raised in the wake of the Chauvin verdicts.
How might a house that comes on the market today affect what you think of this one?
fstop123/E+ via Getty Images
Cognitive scientists are investigating the ways relative factors like new options and the order they’re presented influence your choices and beliefs.
In March jury trials in England and Wales were suspended in response to COVID-19. Here’s how remote criminal trial might work – and what might not.
The appeal may lead to a loss of public confidence in the jury system, but that’s how the justice process works.
Will justice be done?
If existing trials are halted, it may not be as simple as picking up where they left off.
The jury at the Weinstein trial will have to check their biases about consent.
As the Harvey Weinstein trials start, a psychology scholar explains why jurors may be biased on the question of consent. While the situations examined in these studies are not equivalent to sexual assault, they illustrate a pervasive psychological bias.
Juries force lawyers to talk in a language the lay person understands.
A hung jury does not necessarily undermine a verdict in a subsequent trial – it more likely means some of the jurors from the first trial agreed with the final verdict.
To avoid miscarriages of justice, we need a jury direction process that leads to maximum juror understanding.
Because judges have a secondary audience when issuing jury directions - appeal court judges - the language used has become too wordy and confusing. It needs to change.
A history of how jurors have faced trial themselves for getting it wrong, or slipping up in court.
Gerald Stanley enters the courthouse in Battleford, Sask., in February 2018 during his trial in the death of Colten Boushie, an Indigenous man. The use by Stanley’s defence team of peremptory challenges produced an all-white jury in his trial.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards
The Canadian government’s criminal justice bill would abolish what are known as peremptory challenges. Here’s why that’s long overdue.
As an extra-legal factor stereotypes can undermine fairness.
UQx Crime101x The Psychology of Criminal Justice
Stereotypes can undermine the fairness of criminal trials, but research can help us understand and counter the effect of stereotypes through law reform.
Canadians may spend days or weeks serving as jurors, but most provinces offer scant compensation.
A Canadian federal report recommends paying jurors at least $120 daily. Provinces should take action.
Full-body projection of a witness on glass.
Augmented reality and holographic projections could hold benefits for victims testifying against sexual assault.
Some can serve, some can’t.
A recent Australian high court case has highlighted a problem that also exists in UK and Ireland.
Using a robotic video camera to digitally recreate a crime scene could give juries greater insight without the logistical nightmare and potential bias of a physical visit.
A debate has erupted over the recent sentencing in the Stanford sexual assault case, with questions being asked over the judge’s bias, but could the same be said of jurors in other rape cases?