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Politics in the Courtroom: Political Ideology and Jury Decision Making

dc.contributor.author Anwar, S
dc.contributor.author Hjalmarsson, R
dc.contributor.author Bayer, P
dc.date.accessioned 2016-12-07T15:18:23Z
dc.date.available 2016-12-07T15:18:23Z
dc.date.issued 2015-04-01
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10161/13239
dc.description.abstract This paper uses data from the Gothenburg District Court in Sweden and a research design that exploits the random assignment of politically appointed jurors (termed nämndemän) to make three contributions to the literature on jury decision-making: (i) an assessment of whether systematic biases exist in the Swedish nämndemän system, (ii) causal evidence on the impact of juror political party on verdicts, and (iii) an empirical examination of the role of peer effects in jury decision-making. The results reveal a number of systematic biases: convictions for young defendants and those with distinctly Arabic sounding names increase substantially when they are randomly assigned jurors from the far-right (nationalist) Swedish Democrat party, while convictions in cases with a female victim increase markedly when they are assigned jurors from the far-left (feminist) Vänster party. The results also indicate the presence of peer effects, with jurors from both the far-left and far-right parties drawing the votes of their more centrist peers towards their positions. Peer effects take the form of both sway effects, where jurors influence the opinions of their closest peers in a way that can impact trial outcomes, and dissent aversion, where jurors switch non-pivotal votes so that the decision is unanimous.
dc.format.extent 60 pages
dc.publisher Oxford University Press (OUP)
dc.relation.ispartof Economic Research Initiatives at Duke (ERID)
dc.title Politics in the Courtroom: Political Ideology and Jury Decision Making
dc.type Journal article
pubs.issue 187
pubs.organisational-group Duke
pubs.organisational-group Duke Population Research Center
pubs.organisational-group Duke Population Research Institute
pubs.organisational-group Economics
pubs.organisational-group Sanford School of Public Policy
pubs.organisational-group Trinity College of Arts & Sciences


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