Juror reactions to jury duty: perceptions of the system and potential stressors

Authors


  • A large number of people helped make this research possible. We are especially grateful for the assistance of Danielle Bertrand, Judd Choate, Ramzi Dewing, Debra Hope, Darcy King, Brenda Lindsay, Jessica Miles, Elizabeth Neeley, Denise Robeson, Alan Tomkins, Sara Zabawa, the Nebraska Minority & Justice Task Force, and the judges and bailiffs of the Lancaster County District and County Courts.

Abstract

Jurors were surveyed on their general perceptions of the court system and factors that may cause stress immediately after trial, after participating in a post-trial debriefing, and a month after trial. Jurors had an overall positive view of the court system but did report some perceived inequities. The two most stressful elements of jury duty were related to the complexity of the trial and the decision-making involved in the trial, although jurors reported low levels of stress overall. Women reported more stress than men, and trial characteristics such as trial length also affected stress levels. The debriefing intervention was perceived as helpful, but jurors' stress levels were similar at pre- and post-debriefing. Finally, although stress on some measures was lower at the 1 month follow-up, this reduction was not moderated by whether or not jurors received the debriefing. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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