Washington State Jury Commission
Appendix 9: Juror Survey Results Executive Summary
JUROR SURVEY RESULTS, 1998-99
A Report to the Office of the Administrator for the Courts
David C. Brody
Nicholas P. Lovrich
Charles H. Sheldon
Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice Program
The backbone of the jury system is the citizen juror. In an effort to determine what areas of the Washington State jury system can be improved, 1,329 Superior Court jurors from nine courts were administered a survey dealing with various aspects of their experience serving on a jury. The results from this survey along with the jurors written comments are reported in the pages herein.
The results show that jurors have a very positive impression of the jury system. On a scale of one-to-ten, with ten being highest, jurors rated the functioning of the jury system at over an 8. Additionally, well over 90% of the jurors said they would report for jury service if summoned again in one year.
Jurors did report some problems encountered during their service. The most complaints were raised about the time they had to spend waiting, parking, and the act that jury service interfered with their work. On the other hand, very few jurors listed the amount they were compensated for jury service, childcare issues or personal safety as problems.
While most of the jurors missed work to serve on the jury, a majority of these jurors were paid by their employers and had his or her support for their jury service. Moreover, jurors who were paid and/or had their employer's support gave the jury system high ratings and were extremely likely to serve again when summoned.
Jurors also indicated that they prefer being active participants in the trial process than merely passive listeners. When given the chance, most jurors took nots and made use of written copies of jury instructions that were provided. Additionally, a majority of jurors would have posed questions to witnesses if permitted.
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