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Telling Tales: Exploring Narratives of Life and Law within the (Mock) Jury Room

journal contribution
posted on 09.11.2015, 10:38 by Vanessa E. Munro, L. E. Ellison
Based on a findings of a simulation study in which 160 members of the public observed a mini rape trial re-enactment and were then asked to deliberate in jury groups towards a unanimous verdict, this paper explores the extent to which participants were able, and willing, to understand and apply judicial directions, and the legal tests or criteria contained therein. More specifically, it reflects on whether the additional provision of written directions in the jury room influenced the tone or direction of jurors' discussions, and illustrates the limited recourse made by participants to their contents, as well as their tendency to misinterpret or misapply them when they were relied upon. Having done so, this paper moves on to explore the reasons behind this limited impact, suggesting that fundamental tensions may exist between legal and lay imaginaries, such that jurors are reluctant to jettison their more natural inclinations to reach individual and collective verdicts on the basis of narrative constructions grounded in ‘common sense’ and ‘personal experience’.

History

Citation

Legal Studies, 2014, 35 (2), pp. 201-225

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCES, ARTS AND HUMANITIES/School of Law

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Legal Studies

Publisher

Wiley

issn

0261-3875

eissn

1748-121X

Copyright date

2014

Available date

28/04/2016

Publisher version

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/lest.12051/abstract

Notes

The file associated with this record is under a 24-month embargo from publication in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy, available at http://olabout.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-820227.html. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.

Language

en

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