Traci Feller


Serving on a jury is a unique and memorable communicative experience. Once deliberations begin, jurors—who have purportedly not yet spoken about the trial—are responsible for the enormous task of making sense of all the information they heard during the trial and attempt to reach agreement. As research suggests, personal stories help us process and make sense of complex information and bond as a group, yet jurors are not supposed to bring their own experiences to the decision process. This essay explores how jurors use storytelling during deliberation: who tells stories, who those stories are about, and what those stories represent in the trial. From this research, we can better understand the role storytelling plays in jury deliberations.