What Juries Can’t Do Well: The Jury’s Performance as a Risk Manager

Can juries handle complex cases? One way to frame this question in behavioral
science terms is to ask: What tasks can juries perform well and what tasks will
they perform poorly? Our basic precept is that the legal system should ask juries
to perform tasks that they are good at performing and should not require juries to
carry out tasks that they cannot perform well. A second guiding theme in our
approach to the issue of jury competency is that the most relevant, most useful
analyses of jury performance are based on empirical observations and data, not on
rational analyses of hypothetical ideal situations.