LSE Philosophy Assistant Professor Lewis Ross just published his new paper ‘The curious case of the jury-shaped hole: A plea for real jury research’ in The International Journal of Evidence & Proof
Abstract: Criminal juries make decisions of great importance. A key criticism of juries is that they are unreliable in a multitude of ways, from exhibiting racial or gendered biases, to misunderstanding their role, to engaging in impropriety such as internet research. Recently, some have even claimed that the use of juries creates injustice on a large scale, as a cause of low conviction rates for sexual criminality. Unfortunately, empirical research into jury deliberation is undermined by the fact that researchers are unable to study live juries. The indirect sources of evidence used by researchers suffer from various problems, the most important of which is dubious levels of ecological validity. Real jury research—studying live jury deliberation—is controversial. However, as I argue, the objections to it are unconvincing. There is in fact a moral imperative to facilitate real jury research.