Committee Chair

Ross, David

Committee Member

Metzger, Richard; Weathington, Bart

Department

Dept. of Psychology

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Publisher

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)

Abstract

Under the United States Constitution, a defendant has the right to a trial by jury composed of his or her peers. The intent is for the chosen jurors to be representative of the defendant‟s community. This study examined whether the jury panels in State Court in Hamilton County, Tennessee are representative of the community. A sample of 375 citizens who appeared for jury duty were given a questionnaire that measures the same demographic characteristics that appear in the United States 2010 Census. The results show that compared with the Census, the jury panels are not representative of the citizens who live in Hamilton County. Namely, the jury panels consist of a higher percentage of Whites, males, and citizens with higher levels of education and income. Similar results were found in a sample collected nearly a decade ago when compared with the U. S. Census. The findings from the present study indicate that jury panels may not be demographically representative, and therefore, not composed of a fair cross section of the community. This is the first known study to examine the representativeness of juries. The legal implications and suggestions for future research will be discussed.

Degree

M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.

Date

5-2010

Subject

Jury -- Tennessee

Discipline

Psychology

Document Type

Masters theses

Extent

v, 32 leaves

Language

English

Rights

Under copyright.

License

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

Included in

Psychology Commons

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