It is often suggested that requiring juries to reach a unanimous verdict reduces the probabilityof acquitting a guilty defendant. We construct a model that demonstrates how strategic voting by jurors undermines this basic intuition. We show that the unanimity rule may lead to a high probability of both kinds of error and that the probability of convicting an innocent defendant may actually increase with the size of the jury. Finally, we demonstrate that a wide variety of voting rules, including simple majority rule, lead to much lower probabilities of both kinds of error.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations