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NCJ Number: 111740 Find in a Library
Title: Covert Advocacy: Reflections on the Use of Psychological Persuasion Techniques in the Courtroom
Journal: North Carolina Law Review  Volume:65  Issue:3  Dated:(March 1987)  Pages:481-515
Author(s): V Gold
Date Published: 1987
Page Count: 35
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The increased use of modern psychological techniques in trial advocacythreatens the legitimacy of both jury and adversary system by attempting to influence jury decisiomaking based on nonlegal factors.
Abstract: Trial practitioner journals often refer to psychological techniques aimed at inducing the jury to base its decision on extralegal factors and to influence the jury toward an illogical assessment of the evidence. 'Covert advocacy,' which attempts to persuade juries to decide a certain way based on subconscious influences, threatens to deprive the jury of its capacity to assess evidence critically and reflect community values reliably in its verdict. A number of reforms could help the jury resist covert advocacy appeals to extralegal matters, bias, and illogic. The most radical reform would involve changing the jury's role from one of almost complete passivity to one of greater involvement in the conduct of the trial. A second reform would consist of providing the jury with certain information early in the trial that might assist the jury in resisting some covert advocacy technique. A third category of reforms would involve changing the character of the jury itself, such that the educational level and sophistication of jurors would be upgraded to help juries resist attorney appeals to illogic and bias. This could be facilitated by increasing the amenities associated with jury service. 184 footnotes.
Main Term(s): Jury decisionmaking
Index Term(s): Attorneys; Juror characteristics; Psychological manipulation
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