CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Farrell & Givelber on Why Judges and Juries Disagree about Guilt

Amy S. Farrell and Daniel Givelber (Northeastern University and Northeastern University School of Law) have posted Liberation Reconsidered: Understanding Why Judges and Juries Disagree about Guilt (The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Vol. 100, No. 4, pp. 1549-1586, Fall 2010) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Data collected in four jurisdictions by the National Center for State Courts allows us to examine the question of judge and jury disagreement about guilt through a consideration of the views of jurors as well as judges. Using this data, we test in a modern context the hypothesis that the jury's embrace of values -- as opposed to its different assessment of the evidence -- explains why juries acquit when judges would convict. We find that legal and extralegal factors affect both judge and jury decisions about guilt, that both sets of factors predict disagreement in different contexts, and the pattern of agreement versus disagreement is more complex than suggested by the liberation hypothesis.

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