Memory and Jury Deliberation

William Hirst, Alin Coman and Charles B. Stone

in Memory and Law

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199920754
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199950133 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Series in Neuroscience, Law, and Philosophy

Memory and Jury Deliberation

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Although psychology has intensely studied both eyewitness testimony and jury decision-making, there has only been minimal research on the efforts jury members make during deliberation to collectively and collaboratively remember the testimony they heard during a trial. This chapter reviews the Court’s instructions to juries about the reliability of their memories and the burgeoning laboratory-based literature on collaborative remembering and the ways collaborative efforts shape subsequent memory, particularly, the collective memory of a jury. Although this research does not specifically examine the memories emerging from jury deliberation, it is suggestive. While the Courts urge jurors to trust their collective memories over their notes or written transcripts, the laboratory-based research indicates that group dynamics during conversational interactions may not only lead to selective remembering, but may substantially alter what jurors remember and forget about a trial. The collective memories of juries may not be a reliable recollection of courtroom testimony.

Keywords: collective memory; retrieval-induced forgetting; collaborative remembering; jury decision-making; juror’s memory; social aspects of memory

Chapter.  10313 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuropsychology

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