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The Role of Age in Jury Selection and Trial Outcomes

Author

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  • Shamena Anwar
  • Patrick Bayer
  • Randi Hjalmarsson

Abstract

This paper uses data from 700 felony trials in Sarasota and Lake Counties in Florida from 2000-2010 to examine the role of age in jury selection and trial outcomes. The results imply that prosecutors are more likely to use their peremptory challenges to exclude younger members of the jury pool, while defense attorneys exclude older potential jurors. To examine the causal impact of age on trial outcomes, the paper employs a research design that isolates the effect of the random variation in the age composition of the pool of eligible jurors called for jury duty. Consistent with the jury selection patterns, the empirical evidence implies that older jurors are significantly more likely to convict. Results are robust to the inclusion of broad set of controls including county, time, and judge fixed effects. These findings imply that many cases are decided differently for reasons that are completely independent of the true nature of the evidence in the case – i.e., that there is substantial randomness in the application of criminal justice.

Suggested Citation

  • Shamena Anwar & Patrick Bayer & Randi Hjalmarsson, 2013. "The Role of Age in Jury Selection and Trial Outcomes," Working Papers 13-8, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:duk:dukeec:13-8
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jeffrey R. Kling, 2006. "Incarceration Length, Employment, and Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 863-876, June.
    2. Shamena Anwar & Patrick Bayer & Randi Hjalmarsson, 2012. "The Impact of Jury Race in Criminal Trials," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(2), pages 1017-1055.
    3. David S. Abrams & Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2012. "Do Judges Vary in Their Treatment of Race?," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 347-383.
    4. Richard W. Johnson & David Neumark, 1997. "Age Discrimination, Job Separations, and Employment Status of Older Workers: Evidence from Self-Reports," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(4), pages 779-811.
    5. David Neumark & Wendy A. Stock, 1999. "Age Discrimination Laws and Labor Market Efficiency," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(5), pages 1081-1110, October.
    6. Eisenberg, Theodore & Garvey, Stephen P & Wells, Martin T, 2001. "Forecasting Life and Death: Juror Race, Religion, and Attitude toward the Death Penalty," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 277-311, Part I Ju.
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    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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    Cited by:

    1. Shamena Anwar & Patrick Bayer & Randi Hjalmarsson, 2015. "Politics in the Courtroom: Political Ideology and Jury Decision Making," NBER Working Papers 21145, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Anwar, Shamena & Bayer, Patrick & Hjalmarsson, Randi, 2016. "A Jury of Her Peers: The Impact of the First Female Jurors on Criminal Convictions," Working Papers in Economics 646, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    3. Bindler, Anna & Hjalmarsson, Randi, 2016. "The Fall of Capital Punishment and the Rise of Prisons: How Punishment Severity Affects Jury Verdicts," Working Papers in Economics 674, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    4. repec:eee:irlaec:v:52:y:2017:i:c:p:1-15 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Martén, Linna, 2015. "Political Bias in Court? Lay Judges and Asylum Appeals," Working Paper Series 2015:2, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    6. Philippe, Arnaud, 2017. "Do jurors and professional judges differ in their treatment of crime?: Evidence from French reform," TSE Working Papers 17-763, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    7. Bindler, Anna & Hjalmarsson, Randi, 2018. "Path Dependency in Jury Decision-Making," CEPR Discussion Papers 13012, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. repec:oup:econjl:v:129:y:2019:i:618:p:603-650. is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Mark Schweizer, 2013. "The civil standard of proof – what is it, actually?," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2013_12, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • K0 - Law and Economics - - General
    • K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law
    • K4 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior
    • K41 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Litigation Process

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