How well do jurors understand jury instructions? A field test using real juries and real trials in Wyoming.

Saxton, B. (1998). How well do jurors understand jury instructions? A field test using real juries and real trials in Wyoming. Land and Water Law Review, 33, 59-189.

Jurors estimated spending about one third of deliberation discussing instructions. Almost all
jurors confident they understood instructions. Mean comprehension score computed for relevant instruction items on objective test was 80% for criminal jurors and 58% for civil jurors. Juror confidence on individual test items unrelated to item performance. Instructed jurors performed 17% better on average than control (uninstructed) jurors. Judge-jury agreement on verdict was 76% for criminal trials and 50% for civil trials.

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