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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77425 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Practicing Attorneys' Jury Selection Strategies
Author(s): S Penrod
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
National Science Foundation
Washington, DC 20550
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study focuses on determining the types of information to which attorneys are sensitive and how that information is combined to make judgments of juror bias, as employed in the juror selection process.
Abstract: The 19 subjects were a sample of attorneys from metropolitan Boston. Their ages ranged from 30 to 50 years, and the mean number of jury trials in which each had participated was 96. Attorneys were presented with juror profiles based on 11 juror characteristics, including gender, age, marital status, surname, attitude on whether few versus many defendants escape conviction on legal technicalities, liberal versus conservative political affiliation, high versus low status residential area, high versus low status of household occupation, intelligence, and appearance. The profiles included photographs as well as the information specified. Attorneys initially supplied information about their backgrounds, the juror characteristics that they looked for in voir dire, and questions they asked of prospective jurors. They were then presented the randomly ordered juror profiles and asked to sort the juror similarities. The similarity judgments were made with reference to a typical criminal trial. Attorneys then read a transcript from either a murder or rape case and rated each juror on a 7-point scale according to anticipated bias. Each attorney then rated the profiled jurors on six anchored bipolar scales according to perceived persuasiveness, leniency, friendliness, attractiveness, unintelligence, and closed-mindedness. Finally, each attorney was shown the photographs of eight jurors and was asked to recall as much as possible about each juror. Juror characteristics that attorneys mentioned they look for were tabulated. The most frequently mentioned characteristic was intelligence, which was named most often as a desirable trait for the defense. The questions most often asked during voir dire focused on general attitudes toward the crime in question and toward the police. The relationship between juror characteristics and attorney ratings was also examined. Results indicate that there is some agreement across attorneys regarding juror characteristics that indicate juror bias. There is a uniform tendency to emphasize only one or two characteristics when forming judgments of bias. With regard to attorney recall, the best remembered juror characteristic was occupation. A note, 5 tables, and 26 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Attorney-jury interaction; Behavior patterns; Discrimination; Juries; Juror characteristics; Jury decisionmaking; Jury selection
Note: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Montreal, Canada, 1980.
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