Over the past two decades, the United States has seen a dramatic increase in the number and magnitude of punitive damages verdicts rendered by juries in civil trials. In cases involving accidents, civil rights, and the environment, multimillion-dollar punitive awards have been a subject of intense controversy. But how do juries actually make decisions about punitive damages? To find out, this book presents the results of controlled experiments with more than 600 mock juries involving the responses of more than 8,000 jury-eligible citizens. Although juries tended to agree in their moral judgments about the defendant's conduct, they rendered erratic and unpredictable dollar awards. The experiments also showed that instead of moderating juror verdicts, the process of jury deliberation produced a striking “severity shift” toward ever-higher awards. Jurors also tended to ignore instructions from the judges; were influenced by whatever amount the plaintiff happened to request; showed “hindsight bias,” believing that what happened should have been foreseen; and penalized corporations that had based their decisions on careful cost-benefit analyses. While judges made many of the same errors, they performed better in some areas, suggesting that judges (or other specialists) may be better equipped than juries to decide punitive damages.