Standing Alone: Conformity, Coercion, and the Protection of the Holdout Juror

The holdout juror in felony criminal trials is a product of the near-universal decision rule in federal and state courts of a unanimous verdict. In recent years, courts have increasingly inquired into a jury’s deliberations when a holdout juror has been identified amid allegations of misconduct. This Article helps bridge the considerable gap between cognitive psychology and legal scholarship, analyzing the thought processes of the holdout juror through the application of empirical evidence and psychological modeling, to conclude that the improved protection of the holdout juror is a necessary and critical component to the preservation of a defendant’s right to a fair trial.