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Achieving Diversity on the Jury: Jury Size and the Peremptory Challenge

August 2009

From the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies:

Diversity on the jury promotes the perceived fairness of the jury system. Analyzing the jury selection and composition in 277 civil jury trials, we examine how the jury selection process and jury size, two contested features of the jury system, affect diversity. We show that while peremptory challenges were systematically related to juror race/ethnicity, the opposing challenges cancelled each other out, producing no overall effect on the makeup of the jury. In contrast, jury size had a substantial effect on minority representation. We conclude that diversity is most effectively promoted by restoring the 12-member jury.