The Optimal Jury Size When Jury Deliberation Follows a Random Walk
13 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2008 Last revised: 7 Oct 2008
Date Written: 2008
The existing literature does not agree on the optimal jury size. We demonstrate that the probability of type I and type II errors is not sensitive to the number of jurors under the following three conditions: jurors received independent signals about a defendant's guilt during the evidence stage of the trial; the jurors truthfully reveal their signal before deliberations in the first ballot via their vote; and the jury deliberation can be modeled as a random walk. Since the opportunity cost of jury service is positive, this implies the optimal number of jurors is one.
Keywords: Jury Deliberation, Jury Size
JEL Classification: K4, D7
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation