Business Review - Policy Decisions

Jun 10, 2021

Jason Aimone and his colleagues made a surprising discovery when researching juror donation cards in Texas courtrooms. 

Click the title above to read along.

A TEXAS POLICY SAYS THAT ALL JURORS ARE REQUIRED TO RECEIVE A DONATION CARD WHERE THEY MAY CHOOSE TO DONATE THEIR JURY PAY TO A CRIME VICTIMS FUND.  A STUDY CONDUCTED BY JASON AIMONE, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS, CHARLES NORTH AND LUCAS RENTSCHLER, MADE AN INTERESTING DISCOVERY.

“And we explored whether that process of receiving a donation card prior to sitting on the case could be biasing the jurors in Texas. We did see an increase in the rates that jurors who were males convicted the people who were on trial in the lab and for females, we saw a decrease in the conviction rates. That echoed what we had seen in the real-world data from Texas court cases. There seems to be something different going on in the minds of the men and the women in the study. So we don't know, what that is yet.”

WHILE THE STUDY DEMONSTRATES A NEED FOR DEEPER RESEARCH, FINDINGS SUGGEST THAT RECEIVING A DONATION CARD PRIOR TO SITTING ON A JURY, CAN LEAD TO BIASED JUDGEMENT DECISIONS.

“This is an issue that affects the criminal justice system, not only in Texas, but in United States as a whole.  And that leads to a simple policy fix of just providing that donation card at the end.”

AIMONE SAYS, THIS RESEARCH HAS GIVEN INSIGHT INTO HUMAN NATURE AND FITS IN VERY WELL TO THE MISSION OF BUSINESS.

“A lot of what business and economics deals with is how people think and how they make their decisions and how incentives play a role.”

THE BUSINESS REVIEW IS A PRODUCTION OF LIVINGSTON & MCKAY AND THE HANKAMER SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY.