Gastil on the Effect of the Zimmerman Verdict on Future Jurors

Professor Dr. John Gastil of Penn State University has posted Will the Zimmerman verdict inspire prospective jurors? at The Jury and Democracy.

Here are excerpts from the post:

The fun fact here is that, well, yes, one must answer the summons [to jury duty]. By law. […] the legal obligation merits note.

A reporter for a California paper called me yesterday and noted that fewer than 50% of the people called in his county were answering their summons. To him, that sounded low. From what I have read, it’s not a bad yield to get 40% of your summoned jurors to respond. If the Zimmerman verdict boosts that figure, all the better for the representativeness of the jury pool. Given that jury service inspires greater civic participation afterward, that boost in response may yield a civic bump, as well.

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