Hans, V. P., Hannaford, P. L., & Munsterman, G. T. (1999). The Arizona jury reform permitting civil jury trial discussions: The views of trial participants, judges, and jurors. University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, 32, 349-377.
In 1995, the Arizona Supreme Court reformed the jury trial process by allowing civil jurors to discuss the evidence presented during trial prior to their formal deliberations. This Article examines the theoretical, legal, and policy issues raised by this reform and presents the early results of a field experiment that tested the impact of trial discussions. Jurors, judges, attorneys, and litigants in civil jury trials in Arizona were questioned regarding their observations, experiences, and reactions during trial as well as what they perceived to be the benefits and drawback of juror discussions. The data revealed that the majority of judges and jurors support juror discussions during trial while attorneys and litigants are divided in their views of this reform. The study also revealed that experience with the reform appears to increase support for it. Although the impact of the reform on the jury decision making process remains unclear, these early findings provide some insight into the effects of reforming the juror deliberation process.
70% of jurors allowed to discuss case with other jurors while trial was in session did so. Jurors who discussed ongoing trial were very positive and felt
the activity to be helpful to their understanding of the instructions and evidence. Judges were fairly positive; attorneys and litigants had mixed reactions.