The Jury Selection Process

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What is a jury? A jury is group of persons summoned and sworn to decide on facts at issue (Meinhold and Neubauer). The Jury system is made mandatory by law, which calls on citizens to decide on disagreements, and matters in court. The jury is in fact one of the most important and critical aspects of the American legal system. All citizens are given the right to a fair jury trial, because the defendant is innocent until proven guilty. What if I said, there are studies that show that cases can be won or lost based on the jury selection, would you believe me? What if I said, that demographics about the jurors like their ethnicity, age, gender and other variables could determine the outcome of a trial, would you believe me? The purpose of a jury…show more content…
Prior to the mock jury trial we conducted in class, I really wasn’t interested in juries or the selection process. I found the jury selection process extremely interesting, because in some cases the attorney can predict the verdict based on the jurors that are selected. Gender, ethnicity, age and educational background have an effect on the juror’s behavior but it varies from case to case. The jurors’ ability to understand and comprehend the instructions and evidence being presented in trial had a direct effect on the verdict outcome. A confused jury is not a jury one would ideally wont. Discussions done before deliberation amongst jurors did not have an effect on the jury verdict outcome, it simply sped the process up my a few minutes. With regards to the verdict outcome, social status was not a factor. Mocks jurors proved to be valuable but unpredictable. Demographics do play a significant role when it comes to the juror being in favor of the plaintiff or defense, but it doesn’t mean the case is won or lost based on that. With this being said, I would like to conclude my research paper with a quote by Clarence Darrow. “Never forget, almost every case has been won or lost when the jury is…show more content…
Sheri Lynn Johnson and Paul Marcus. 2000. “Correcting Deadly Confusion: Responding to Jury Inquiries in Capital Cases.” Cornell Law Review 85:627-655. Hastie, Reid, David A. Schkade, and John W. Payne. A Study of Juror and Jury Judgments in Civil Cases: Deciding Liability for Punitive Damages.” Law and Human Behavior. 22:287-314. Neubauer, David W. and Meinhold Stephen S. “Judicial Process: Law, Courts, and Politics in the United States.” Belmont, California: Thomson-Wadsworth, 2004. Oppenheimer, David B. 2003. “Verdicts Matter: An Empirical Study of California Employment Discrimination and Wrongful Discharge Jury Verdicts Reveals Low Success Rates for Women and Minorities?” University of California Davis Law Review. 37:511-566. Taylor, Tanya S and Hosch, Harmon. 2004. “An Examination of Jury Verdicts for evidence of a Similarity-Leniency Effect, An Out-Group Punititiveness Effect or a Black Sheep Effect.” Law and Human Behavior, 28:587-598. Visher, C. A. 1987. Juror decision making: the importance of evidence. Law & Human Behavior, 11:1-17 York, Erin and Benjamin Cornwell. 2006. “Status on Trial: Social Characteristics and Influence in the Jury Room.” Social Forces.

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