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NCJ Number: 47930 Find in a Library
Title: JUROR SELECTION (FROM JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONS, 1978, BY NORMAN JOHNSTON AND LEONARD D SAVITZ - SEE NCJ-47922)
Author(s): M FRIED; K J KAPLAN; K W KLEIN
Corporate Author: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A PSYCHOLOGICAL MODEL IS DEVELOPED REGARDING THE SELECTION AND INFLUENCE OF JURORS DURING THE VOIR DIRE OF A CRIMINAL TRIAL.
Abstract: VOIR DIRE HAS THREE MAJOR PURPOSES. FIRST, IT IS USED AS AN INFORMATION GATHERING TECHNIQUE UPON WHICH TO BASE JURY SELECTION. SECOND, IT ENABLES BOTH THE PROSECUTOR AND THE DEFENSE COUNSEL TO DEVELOP RAPPORT WITH THE JURORS IN AN EFFORT TO FACILITATE COMMUNICATION. FINALLY, IT GIVES BOTH ATTORNEYS AN OPPORTUNITY TO INFLUENCE JURORS REGARDING THEIR ATTITUDES AND VALUES AND TO AFFECT THE WAY IN WHICH THEY WILL PROCESS THE EVIDENCE THEY WILL HEAR. THE DIFFERENTIAL AIMS OF THE PROSECUTOR AND THE DEFENSE COUNSEL IN THE SELECTION AND INFLUENCE OF JURORS ARE COMPARED. THEY ARE DIFFERENTIATED IN TERMS OF JUROR SUSCEPTIBILITY TO CONFORMITY PRESSURE, JUROR PREDISPOSITION TO SIDE WITH AUTHORITY FIGURES, JUROR OPENNESS OF COGNITIVE SET, JUROR ESTIMATE OF GUILT, AND JUROR CRITERION FOR CONVICTION. THE FIRST THREE TERMS ARE DISCUSSED IN SOCIAL-PSYCHOLOGICAL TERMS AND THE LATTER TWO ARE INVESTIGATED BY USE OF A STATISTICAL DECISION-THEORY MODEL. REGARDING JUROR SUSCEPTIBILITY TO CONFROMITY PRESSURE, IT IS ARGUED THAT THE PROSECUTOR WILL STRIVE FOR GREATER INTERJUROR CONFORMITY, WHILE THE DEFENSE WILL SELECT JURORS PREDISPOSED TO INDIVIDUAL DISSENT. TWO TYPES OF CONFORMITY HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED BY SOCIOLOGISTS: TRUE CONFORMITY AND SUGGESTIBILITY. TRUE CONFORMITY INVOLVES YIELDING TO AUTHORITY EVEN IN THE ABSENCE OF PERSUASIVE ARGUMENTS, AND SUGGESTIBILITY INVOLVES YIELDING TO THE PERSUASIVE MESSAGE OF A SOURCE, AS OPPOSED TO AGGREEMENT SIMPLY BECAUSE THE SOURCE IS A RESPECTED AUTHORITY. WITH RESPECT TO A PREDISPOSITION TO SIDE WITH AUTHORITY, IT IS ARGUED THAT THIS FACTOR BECOMES IMPORTANT TO THE EXTENT THAT PROSECUTORS REPRESENT THEMSELVES AS THE VOICE OF SOCIETY. PROSECUTORS WILL TEND TO FAVOR AUTHORITARIAN JURORS (E.G., MEN, REPUBLICANS, MEMBERS OF TEUTONIC ETHNIC GROUPS), WHILE THE DEFENSE WILL TEND TO SELECT EGALITARIAN JURORS (E.G., WOMEN, SOCIAL SCIENTISTS, MINORITY RACIAL OR ETHNIC GROUPS). THE THIRD ASSUMPTION IS THAT BOTH ATTORNEYS HAVE CONFLICTING AIMS IN CHOOSING JURORS WHO ARE PREDISPOSED TO CERTAIN COGNITIVE STYLES. IT IS ARGUED THAT PROSECUTORS SELECT JURORS WITH A CLOSED OR RIGID COGNITIVE SET, WHILE THE DEFENSE PREFERS JURORS WILLING TO CONSIDER CONFLICTING INFORMATION. THE LAST TWO FACTORS -- JUROR ESTIMATE OF GUILT AND JUROR CRITERION FOR CONVICTION -- RELATE TO THE ULTIMATE GOALS OF THE ATTORNEYS AND DEPEND IN GREAT MEASURE ON THE ATTORNEYS' INDIVIDUAL SUCCESS DURING THE FOREGOING SELECTION PROCESS. AS FOR CRITERION FOR CONVICTION, PROSECUTORS ATTEMPT TO ESTABLISH LOW CRITERION AND DEFENSE COUNSEL HIGH CRITERION FOR CONVICTION. REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED. (KBL)
Index Term(s): Attitudes; Defense counsel; Jury selection; Prosecutors
Note: REPRINTED FROM 'JUROR SELECTION - AN ANALYSIS OF VOIR DIRE IN RITA JAMES SIMON (EDITOR) THE JURY SYSTEM IN AMERICA, V 4, 1975
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=47930

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