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Memory and Law$
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Lynn Nadel and Walter P. Sinnott-Armstrong

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199920754

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199920754.001.0001

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Memory and Jury Deliberation

Memory and Jury Deliberation

The Benefits and Costs of Collective Remembering

(p.161) 7 Memory and Jury Deliberation
Memory and Law

William Hirst

Alin Coman

Charles B. Stone

Oxford University Press

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

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