Becoming first among equals: Moral considerations in jury foreman selection.

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Contends that regular juries tend to favor as foremen fellow jurors who have had previous jury service. This bias, reported by D. Broeder (1965), was absent in the one relevant student-jury experiment available (S. M. Kassin and R. Juhnke; see record 1984-01346-001) but was present in 160 experimental civil juries using regular jurors studied by the present authors. Although juror seat position (at head of table) and prior experience were persistent biases, they were not related to criteria of superior functioning. The persistent bias that was functionally salient was SES. This finding supports a social organizational inference from Durkheim that collective sanctions proceed more smoothly when ceremonially appropriate group members are in charge. Integrated analysis of data from Chicago Jury Project. Foreperson selection a function of seat position (end of table), status (high = socioeconomic status occupation), and past experience as a juror (93% of variance). Juries with high-socioeconomic status forepersons less likely to hang.
Participation decreased as faction size increased.
No unique findings.
Forepersons accounted for 25% of speaking acts, tended to be male, tended to have high status, and were first to mention need to fill role. Most often selected via nomination followed
by quick confirmation. Men and high-status jurors tended to participate more; top 3 participants
accounted for 82% of speaking acts. Men asked more questions and attempted to provide more answers during deliberation; women tended to give more positive reactions.