Are Juries Fair – Article Critique

In a research study titled “Are Juries Fair?” Cheryl (2010) focuses on the question of whether jury decision-formulation is just. Cheryl (2010) uses the question to guide his exploration of several jury fairness aspects, including exploring whether jurors are aware of how the internet-based media reports on own cases and the possible effects of the reporting on juries. Particularly, Cheryl (2010) seeks to determine whether juries constituted by Whites only discriminate against minority ethnic and Black defendants; whether jurors appreciate legal directions, are conscious of how the media, or do online research regarding the cases they handle; and if juries hardly ever convict on particular offenses or in particular courts. Cheryl (2010) finds rather limited proof of the unfairness of juries. Even then, Cheryl (2010) establishes that jurors require better instruments, or tools, to appreciate the typical jury process. He concludes that several criminal justice system elements should be strengthened to help jurors better.

Cheryl (2010) articulates the problem which the study focuses on clearly. He offers considerable proof to substantiate his position that the problem, or question, of whether jury decision-formulation is just should be addressed adequately. Especially, the proof relates to aspects such as jury decision-formulation fairness, racial and ethnic discrimination, jury ruling consistency and appreciation of legal instructions, jury misconduct, and the influences of the media on jury processes. Notably, Cheryl (2010) does not provide an explicit conceptual or theoretical framework to guide the research study. Ideally, every research study should be guided by a fitting conceptual or theoretical framework. There should be ample characterization of how the study fits into the framework and the appropriateness of the framework in addressing the problem being pursued.

By and large, Cheryl (2010) cites literature that is wholly relevant to and appropriate to the problem that his research study seeks to address. Even then, there are various articles and studies that he refers to that are out-of-date. Ideally, a research study should have its context founded on current literature. That makes the study current and ensures that the consumers of the study’s report are brought up to speed regarding the latest developments in the area of study. Another weakness in the study executed by Cheryl (2010) is that there are many articles that he refers to that have not been subjected to peer-review. One cannot vouch for such articles’ credibility when used in scholarly work. That means that Cheryl (2010) is not sufficiently judicious in how he selects citations for his works since the quality of the articles cannot be guaranteed.

All in all, the literature that Cheryl (2010) reviews presents an objective and clear approach to his research study’s subject. The study’s research questions flow effortlessly from the literature review. Besides, the questions are stated clearly. As noted earlier, the questions include whether juries constituted by Whites only discriminate against minority ethnic and Black defendants; whether jurors appreciate legal directions, are conscious of how the media, or do online research regarding the cases they handle; and if juries hardly ever convict on particular offenses or in particular courts. Others relate to whether defendants are stereotyped racially by jurors; whether jurors are well-briefed on how to address juror misconduct; and how the influences the trials executed by juries.

The research study by Cheryl (2010) is hinged on a multimethod design. Cheryl (2010) describes the study’s subjects sufficiently in line with clear inclusion, as well as exclusion, criterions, populations along with sampling approaches. Notably, he adopts inclusion, as well as exclusion, criterions, populations along with sampling approaches regarding the different methods that he adopts: large-scale verdict analysis, case simulation as well as post-verdict surveys. The samples relating to each of the methods come off as representing the corresponding populations adequately even though Cheryl (2010) does not provide proof that the sizes of the samples are big enough to guarantee sufficient statistical power or rigor. The case simulation and surveys that are conducted in the study are qualitative by their nature. Regarding the two, Cheryl (2010) describes the corresponding sampling approaches adequately. The approaches and the resulting samples come off as wholly justified.

Cheryl (2010) does not provide a statement, or evidence, that he obtained the relevant IRB authorizations before the study. Besides, he does not include the procedures he uses in safeguarding the rights of the study’s subjects. Even then, he describes how eh executes the study’s design so well that other researchers can easily follow it and replicate the research study sufficiently. The processes he uses for gathering and processing the case simulation data and the survey data are fittingly transparent. The activities executed by and roles of Cheryl (2010), the researcher, in the gathering of the relevant data and the setting up of the sites where the data is drawn from are adequately and more efficiently described in the research article.

Cheryl (2010) does not present the validity, as well as reliability, measures of the varied measurement instruments that he uses. Even then, the instruments are employed on populations and samples for which they were previously normed. From the article, it is clear that Cheryl (2010) makes a deliberate effort to guarantee that the samples used in the study are valid as well as reliable. The multimethod design used in the study is suitable for testing the study’s implied hypotheses and addressing the explicitly stated research questions. The survey and the large-scale verdict analysis conducted in the study are suitable since they deal with actual cases and juries. The case simulation is appropriate for examining the causal connections between given jury decisions and the corresponding jury factors. Cheryl (2010) assigns prospective subjects to given samples indiscriminately.

In the results section, Cheryl (2010) describes the significant attributes of the samples used in the research study amply. Cheryl (2010) describes the study’s subject participate rates and provides the principal statistics for every variable considered in the study. Cheryl (2010) links case simulation and surveys findings to the related research questions. When reads the research article, it is clear to him or her how Cheryl (2010) comes up with the case simulation and survey qualitative findings. The findings are clearly connected to the methodological approaches adopted by Cheryl (2010). All in all, the descriptions provided for the study’s findings are complementarily and holistically presented to address each of the study’s research questions.

Especially, the descriptions provided for the study’s case simulation findings relate to the questions of whether juries constituted by Whites only discriminate against minority ethnic and Black defendants, whether the defendants face racial discrimination from the jurors, and whether jurors appreciate given judicial directions. The descriptions provided for the study’s large-scale analysis findings relate to actual case rulings where minority ethnic and Black defendants are involved. As well, the descriptions provided for the study’s large-scale analysis findings relate to the question of jury verdict consistency. The descriptions provided for the study’s post-trial survey findings relate to the question of whether jurors recall how the media covers the cases they are handling and how they utilize internet resources. Cheryl (2010) utilizes figures, as well as tables, rather effectively for qualitative analyzes. Even, he does not utilize models when executing qualitative analyzes in the study. He reports almost all the p-values and effect-sizes for the resulting inferential outcomes or findings.

Cheryl (2010) discuses the study’s results within the research study’s context as provided in the literature appraisal section. Cheryl (2010) sufficiently the methodological limitations associated with the large-scale verdict analysis method. Notably, each case is unique, and thus, it is challenging to make out the factors that may occasion given jury rulings and extrapolate them further. Cheryl (2010) addresses that challenge by focusing on making out general jury verdict trends that are persistently linked to particular factors. He describes the study’s implication for additional research and the relevant practitioners, including the Office for Criminal Justice Reform, the judiciary, the Home Office, the Judicial Studies Board, local criminal justice boards, the Criminal Cases Review Commission, the police as well as the media. By and large, the significance of the study in the light of criminal justice inquiry continuums is clear. The researcher communicates varied personal reflections in the article.

As noted earlier, the research study’s strengths include that Cheryl (2010) articulates the problem which the study focuses on clearly, the literature that Cheryl (2010) reviews presents an objective and clear approach to his research study’s subject, and the descriptions provided for the study’s findings are complementarily and holistically presented to address each of the study’s research questions. The principle weakness of the study is that Cheryl (2010) does not provide a statement or evidence, that he obtained the relevant IRB authorizations before the study. The multimethod approach adopted ensures that the study is valid as well as reliable. I would include the study as a significant set of evidence in my study since it offers credible insights into how the jury element of the criminal justice system can have its effectiveness bolstered.


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