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Exposing the myths of jury service

by Cheryl Thomas
Criminal Law Review ()

Abstract

Assumptions about the representative nature of jury service have become entrenched in this country, influencing reviews of the jury system and policy development in this area. Most of these assumptions paint a picture of unrepresentative jurors and widespread avoidance of jury service. However, no research had been conducted to prove or disprove any of these beliefs for over 15 years. This article reports the findings of the first study of the representative nature of jurors since the Crown Court Study in 1992, and the first empirical study ever undertaken in this country on the influence of race on jury decision-making. The results show that most current thinking about jury representation and race is based on myth not reality.

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