We gratefully acknowledge the support of the American Bar Foundation, as well as the court administrators, judges, and supervisory attorneys who generously assisted with data collection.
Judging Bias: Juror Confidence and Judicial Rulings on Challenges for Cause
Version of Record online: 2 SEP 2008
© 2008 by The Law and Society Association. All rights reserved
Law & Society Review
Volume 42, Issue 3, pages 513–549, September 2008
How to Cite
Rose, M. R. and Diamond, S. S. (2008), Judging Bias: Juror Confidence and Judicial Rulings on Challenges for Cause. Law & Society Review, 42: 513–549. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-5893.2008.00350.x
- Issue online: 2 SEP 2008
- Version of Record online: 2 SEP 2008
The judge in a jury trial is charged with excusing prospective jurors who will not be impartial. To assess impartiality, prospective jurors are typically asked whether they can be fair. Using an experimental paradigm, we found that small changes in jurors' self-reported confidence in their ability to be fair affected judges' decisions about bias but did not affect the judgments of either attorneys or jurors. We suggest why a judge's role and unique relationship with jurors is likely to foster a decision strategy based on reported juror confidence, and we discuss the implications of our analysis for current legal debates over jury selection practices. Unexpected patterns in our results also highlight the ways in which perceptions of impartiality are affected, in part, by the social characteristics of the observer.