A Jury of Her Peers: The Impact of the First Female Jurors on Criminal Convictions
This paper uses an original data set of more than 3000 cases from 1918 to 1926 in the Central Criminal Courts of London to study the effect of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act of 1919. Implemented in 1921, this Act made females eligible to serve on English juries, providing a novel setting for studying the impact of female representation on jury verdicts. Results based on a pre-post research design imply that the inclusion of females had little effect on overall conviction rates but resulted in a large and significant increase in convictions for sex offenses and on the conviction rate differential between violent crime cases with female versus male victims. The inclusion of women also increased the likelihood of juries being discharged without reaching a verdict on all charges and the average time taken to reach a verdict. A complementary analysis of cases in which the jury was carried over from a previous trial also implies that the inclusion of female jurors on the seated jury sharply increased conviction rates for violent crimes against women versus men.
This paper would not have been possible without the tremendous efforts of our Research Assistant Michael Bekele in transcribing the original court records and without the financial support of Foundation for Economic Research in West Sweden, and Vetenskapsrådet, The Swedish Research Council, Grants for Distinguished Young Researchers. Corresponding author: Randi Hjalmarsson, Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg, Email: email@example.com The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
- Inclusion of women on juries was followed by large changes in conviction rates for sex offenses and violent crimes against women...
Shamena Anwar & Patrick Bayer & Randi Hjalmarsson, 2019. "A Jury of Peers: The Impact of the First Female Jurors on Criminal Convictions," The Economic Journal, vol 129(618), pages 603-650. citation courtesy of