January 18, 2010

Juries and Narrative

Robin H. Conley, UCLA Department of Anthropology, and John M. Conley, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill School of Law, have published "Stories from the Jury Room: How Jurors Use Narrative to Process Evidence," at 49 Studies in Law 25 (2009). Here is the abstract.

This paper analyzes the ways in which jurors use everyday storytelling
techniques in their deliberations. It begins by reviewing the literature on
jurors receive and process evidence, emphasizing narrative and
storytelling. It
then presents some new, qualitative linguistic data drawn
from actual jury
deliberations, which shed light on jurors' standards of
evidence and proof, as
well as on the persuasive tactics they use in dealing
with each other. Although
these data are limited, they provide an
interesting basis for assessing existing
ideas about jury
evidence-processing and thinking more broadly about the
strengths and
weaknesses of the jury system.

Download the Article from SSRN at the link.

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