Trial by jury: Some empirical evidence on contested criminal cases in England.

Baldwin, J., & McConville, M. (1979). Trial by jury: Some empirical evidence on contested criminal cases in England. Law and Society Review, 13, 861-890.
[*713] Baldwin, J., & McConville, M. (1980). Does the composition of an English jury affect its verdict? Judicature, 64, 133-139.

The authors of this article attempt to examine jury performance by collating and comparing views on the jury’s verdicts drawn from other participants in the trial. This research is based on a study of jury trials heard in the Crown Court at Birmingham, England, together with additional material drawn from a sample of cases in London. It shows that doubts about both acquittals and convictions by jury were expressed with a surprising frequency. An examination of the remedies available to correct miscarriages of justice demonstrates the ineffectiveness of current appeals procedures. The authors conclude that it is necessary to evaluate the jury’s function within a political context. Surveys of trial judges, prosecutors, defense solicitors, and police officers–jury verdicts seen as primarily determined by evidence, but jury sentiment toward defendant and/or victim seen as most important factor in 25% of acquittals. No impact of juror age, gender, or social class on verdicts. Forepersons tended to be professional and male.

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