Does introducing lay people in criminal courts affect judicial decisions? Evidence from French reform

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

What is the effect of introducing jury members in criminal courts? While surveys regularly point out a demand by citizens for harsher punishment, the differences between surveys’ and real decisions’ conditions are large enough to cast a doubt on the results. The introduction of two jurors into a court composed of three professional judges in two French regions and for a subsample of crimes during sixteen months offers a good natural experiment. Difference-in-differences or triple-difference methods do not permit me to identify any major change in the probability of being convicted or in sentences given by a court including jurors. If some characteristics of the reform could partly explain those null results, they clearly go against the hypothesis of a major disagreement between professional judges and citizens when they have to make real decisions in criminal cases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Review of law and Economics
Volume52
Early online date13 Jul 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017

Structured keywords

  • ECON Applied Economics

Keywords

  • Crime
  • Jury members
  • sentencing

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