Sprain and Gastil: An Interpretative Account of Jurors’ Expressed Deliberative Rules and Premises

Professor Dr. Leah Sprain of Colorado State University and Professor Dr. John Gastil of Penn State University have published What Does It Mean to Deliberate? An Interpretative Account of Jurors’ Expressed Deliberative Rules and Premises, Communication Quarterly, 61(2), 151-171 (2013).

Here is the abstract:

To advance deliberative theory and practice, this study considers the experiences of trial jurors who engaged in deliberation. Conceptualized as a speech event, this article inductively explores the deliberative rules and premises articulated by jurors. Jurors believe deliberation should be rigorous and democratic, including speaking opportunities for all, open-minded consideration of different views, and respectful listening. Jurors actively consider information, but face-to-face deliberation is essential for thoroughly processing evidence. Although emotions should not influence the final verdict, participants report that emotions often reinforce deliberative norms. These results inform theory and deliberative experiences in and beyond the jury.

Professor Gastil describes the research in his recent post at Jury and Democracy Blog: New article shows how jurors decribe their service experience.

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