Research / Themes / Communities / Jury participation

Jury selection breaks down into three stages: the early stage, concerned with list construction, collating, and updating; the middle stages, between sending out the summons for jury duty and the potential juror appearing for service at the courthouse; and the later stages based on completing the juror questionnaire and voir dire. This project, with funding from a Pennsylvania Supreme Court committee investigating potential racial and ethnic biases in jury selection in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, investigated connections between juror yield and racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and stability dimensions of the micro-neighborhood. Yield was defined as the proportion of summoned jurors appearing for service. Analyses of the locations of all summoned jurors in three Pennsylvania counties showed complex, contingent and sometimes unexpected connections between racial and ethnic compositions and potential juror yield. Results for Philadelphia have been published. In a separate but related project, a dissertation used sample survey data from Philadelphia residents to explore the contributions of individual and neighborhood factors to willingness to serve on juries. The project was able to control for attitudinal and experiential factors thought likely to strongly influence willingness to serve on juries.

Related faculty

Ralph Taylor

Jerry Ratcliffe

Selected publications

Taylor, R. B., Ratcliffe, J.H., Dote, L., and Lawton, B. (2007). Roles of neighborhood race and status in the middle stages of juror selection. Journal of Criminal Justice 35 (4) 391-403.

Lillian Dote, (2006). “Juror willingness to serve in Pennsylvania.” Doctoral Dissertation. Department of Criminal Justice, Temple University.