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NCJ Number: 69462 Find in a Library
Title: IN THE VALLEY OF THE BLIND - JURY SELECTION IN A CRIMINAL CASE
Journal: NEW YORK STATE BAR JOURNAL  Volume:52  Dated:(APRIL 1980)  Pages:197-199,233-244
Author(s): H P FAHRINGER
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 15
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A LAWYER ANALYZES THE JURY SELECTION SYSTEM IN CRIMINAL COURT CASES, GIVING PITFALLS, HINTS, AND QUESTIONS IN CHOOSING A JUROR SYMPATHETIC TO THE DEFENDANT.
Abstract: IN THIS ARTICLE, JUROR IMPARTIALITY IS DEEMED A MYTH, ALTHOUGH THE WORK OF SOCIAL SCIENTISTS AND PSYCHOLOGISTS, HAS MADE THE SELECTION PROCESS MORE SCIENTIFIC. LAWYERS MUST RECOGNIZE THAT JURY CHOICE REQUIRES GUILE. ULTIMATELY LAWYERS WANT PARTISAN JURORS, SYMPATHETIC TO THEIR CLIENT. JURORS USUALLY ANSWER QUESTIONS THE WAY THEY BELIEVE THE JUDGE OR LAWYER WANTS RATHER THAN AS THEY HONESTLY FEEL. HIDDEN PREJUDICES MUST BE UNMASKED IN THE SELECTION PROCESS. EFFECTIVE JURY SELECTION MUST BE SYSTEMATIC: COUNSEL MUST DEVELOP A PROFILE OF THE KIND OF JURY DESIRED FOR THE CASE, LOOKING FOR PROMISING ETHNIC BACKGROUNDS, RACE, OCCUPATIONS, ETC. THE VOIR DIRE, OR JUROR INTERVIEW, IS IMPORTANT TO GAIN KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE JUROR AND EXPLAIN LEGAL CONCEPTS AS WELL AS GET ASSURANCES OF FAIRNESS FROM THEM. THE LAWYER SHOULD USE A CHECKLIST TO INCLUDE ALL RELEVANT TOPICS (E.G., FAMILY STATUS, EDUCATION, RESIDENCE, OCCUPATION, PRIOR JURY SERVICE, ETC.) BY USING OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS, COUNSEL CAN GET A BETTER FEEL FOR THE JUROR'S PERSONALITY AND HIDDEN BIASES. WATCHING A JUROR'S FACE AND MOVEMENTS CAN GIVE MORE INFORMATION THAN THE ANSWER TO A QUESTION. INQUIRIES ABOUT HOBBIES CAN GIVE INSIGHT INTO A JUROR'S TRUE PERSONALITY. THE LAWYER SHOULD LOOK FOR THE JUROR WITH HIGH LEADERSHIP QUALITIES OR THE 'ALPHA' FACTOR. SUCH PEOPLE CAN BE A HELP OR HINDERANCE TO THE CASE. IF NOTHING ELSE, COUNSEL SHOULD USE INSTINCT WHEN ACCEPTING OR CHALLENGING A JUROR. REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Attorney competence; Juries; Juror characteristics; Jury selection; Voir dire
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=69462

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