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NCJ Number: 48159 Find in a Library
Title: CASE AGAINST THE USE OF PUBLIC OPINION POLLS AS AN AID IN JURY SELECTION
Journal: RUTGERS JOURNAL OF COMPUTERS AND THE LAW  Volume:6  Issue:2  Dated:(1978)  Pages:177-195
Author(s): D SILVER
Corporate Author: Rutgers University
School of Law
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: Rutgers Journal of Computers Technology and the Law
Newark, NJ 07102
Rutgers University
Newark, NJ 07102
UMI Dissertation Services
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
Sale Source: UMI Dissertation Services
300 North Zeeb Road
P.O. Box 1346
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
United States of America

Rutgers Journal of Computers Technology and the Law
Rutgers Law School
15 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07102
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE PROCESS OF QUESTIONING POTENTIAL JURORS IN THE COURSE OF A TRIAL TO DETERMINE BIAS IS EXAMINED IN RELATION TO JURY SURVEYS SLANTED TO DETERMINE ATTITUDES OF PERSONS WITH CERTAIN DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS.
Abstract: JURY SURVEYS ARE THOSE SURVEYS CONDUCTED PRIOR TO THE TRIALS OF PERSONS WHO LIVE IN THE JURISDICTIONS FROM WHICH JURORS ARE TO BE DRAWN. WITH THE AID OF A COMPUTER THE ATTITUDINAL RESPONSES INDICATED IN THE SURVEY ARE CORRELATED WITH DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS IN ORDER TO FIND OUT HOW PERSONS WITH CERTAIN DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS VIEW IMPORTANT TRIAL ISSUES. BY RATING EACH SIGNIFICANT DEMOGRAPHIC VARIABLE OF POTENTIAL JURORS DURING THE VOIR DIRE (PERIOD DURING WHICH ATTORNEYS OR JUDGES QUESTION POTENTIAL JURORS TO DETERMINE ANY BIAS), A DETERMINATION CAN BE MADE OF WHETHER A GIVEN PERSON IS LIKELY TO REACT FAVORABLY OR UNFAVORABLY TO A GIVEN DEFENDANT. THIS DETERMINATION CAN BE MADE WITHOUT ASKING QUESTIONS THAT MIGHT BE DISALLOWED BY THE TRIAL JUDGE. THUS, JURY SURVEYS BECOME A MEANS FOR CIRCUMVENTING THE RESTRICTIONS OF VOIR DIRE. THERE IS A 70 PERCENT CERTAINTY THAT SOCIETAL SCIENTISTS CAN CIRCUMVENT THE RESTRICTIONS OF VOIR DIRE WITH ANY GIVEN JUROR. IT IS UP TO THE COURTS TO DECIDE WHETHER TO RECOGNIZE JURY SURVEYS AS ACCURATE INDICATORS OF A JUROR'S STATE OF MIND AND HOW THE VOIR DIRE SYSTEM CAN FUNCTIONALLY COEXIST WITH JURY SURVEYS. POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS INCLUDE: A FURTHER CURTAILMENT OF VOIR DIRE TO PREVENT EVEN A SUFFICIENT NUMBER OF QUESTIONS TO DETERMINE A POTENTIAL JUROR'S ATTITUDES IN DETAIL; REQUIREMENT THAT A GIVEN SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE BE CLEARED WITH THE TRIAL JUDGE; OR A COMPLETE PROHIBITION OF JURY SURVEYS. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Jury selection; Surveys
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=48159

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