Justice demands that juries reach a consensus through a vigorous exchange of views and information, not as the result of heavy-handed social pressure. But is that how it works? Research shows that juries achieve unanimity not by one process or the other but by a combination of both. Research also shows that cer- tain factors can upset the delicate balance between informa- tional and normative influences. Social pressure is increased, for example, in juries that vote by a public roll call or show of hands and in deadlocked juries that are called back into the courtroom and urged by the judge to resolve their differences.
Several years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court addressed questions pertaining to the decision-making dynamics of the jury in two ways. In the following pages, we look at these important issues and what they mean.