Scientific Jury Selection.

Discussion in 'Everything Else' started by Sigmund, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. Sigmund

    Sigmund Well-Known Member

    Good evening.

    What do you think about Scientific Jury Selection (SJS)?

    If you were selected as a juror in a high profile case and found out SJS was used to seat a jury, how do you think you would feel?

    Would it matter if it was the prosecutor or defense who utilized it?

    I would appreciate your thoughts/comments.

    Peace.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 9, 2014
  2. VultureLvr45

    VultureLvr45 Well-Known Member

    Peace Ms. Siggy,

    Perhaps my understanding is wrong, but isn't it essentially racial profiling to try to fit a jury to the criminal? Whether it is his or her thought process, racial background, socio economic level, upbringing, etc...?

    I have mixed feelings about this one. Frankly, I think a cross-section of society at large should be utilized in every case. A jury of ones peers, to me means, if I am a 47 year old woman, I should have a jury of 12 47 year old women. The fact I am married should not play into it, the fact I am caucasian shouldn't play into it. You will get women of different faiths, backgrounds, cultures, socio-economic backgrounds, but they would all be able to identify with being a 47 year old woman and could put their understanding forward.
     
  3. Jordan

    Jordan Webmaster-at-Large Administrator Moderator

    Depends if I were only J. Random Citizen or the person being prosecuted (and whether or not I had an adept attorney), to be honest.
     
  4. Lily Sawyer

    Lily Sawyer Merry meet

    Welllllllllll.....it seems, if I'm understanding the explanation of it correctly, that it really doesn't matter when it comes down to it. A jury, no matter how carefully selected and by any method used by either side of the case, will still respond to overwhelming evidence. The smart ones on the jury will recognize it as such and react to it, thereby swaying the other less-intelligent jurors' opinions and votes. The smart jurors probably haven't a clue that they're actually leading the rest of the jury to their decisions, but that's not at issue because the jury is sitting in a private deliberation room - and they're neither on trial nor are being "led" by an attorney or barrister while they're deliberating.

    It begs the question of just how scientific SJS really is at the end of the day.
     
  5. Grandpa

    Grandpa Well-Known Member

    About the best a very artful or very scientific jury selection process can do is try to shade the results in your favor. Because, remember, for every juror that you get to kick off in favor of someone seemingly more friendly, the other side can knock off one of your friendlies.

    Lawyers have all sorts of things calculated to give them advantages. Their style of presentation, of interrogation, the order of their witnesses, whether they're cooperative or combative with the process. What it comes down to is trying to establish advantage in close cases, or trying to hit the case where you run into a slanted jury that slants your way.

    In the end, unless the evidence is overwhelming, it's still a roll of the dice. Heck, sometimes it's a roll even when the evidence is overwhelming. But the alternative is to put trials in the hands of professional decision-makers, and our country has decided it doesn't want that.
     
  6. skimom2

    skimom2 Just moseyin' through...

    Eh. They have to pick them some way, and both sides have their 'gimmees'. Would it be better if a random selection of people were obligated to serve, no questions & no challenges? Maybe. Or maybe not, were you accused of a heinous crime or of an 'unpopular' demographic. Hard to say.
     
  7. GNTLGNT

    GNTLGNT Why Chew Through The Restraints?

    ...I'll never be selected for a jury, coz I'll holler out "kill em"! at the top of my lungs...
     
  8. Grandpa

    Grandpa Well-Known Member

    An interesting reaction if it's a civil suit.

    Judge: "This case involves an issue where the plaintiff alleges that he paid defendant $100,000 for delivery of product over time. The defendant responds that..."
    Juror: "Kill 'em! Kill 'em all!!"
    Judge: "Huh?"
     
  9. no bounce no play

    no bounce no play I am Borg

    Jury consultants have been used by the attorneys in most of the jury selections I've been part of. I think they serve a good purpose. Weeding out prospective jury members whose opinions are so strong, they're unlikely to make a thoughtful and fair decision is ok with me. The last time I was called for jury service, I asked a question the defense attorney didn't care for. I didn't ask it to get out of serving, I asked it cause I didn't understand why the defendant was being held responsible. When the defense attorney asked the group if they felt as I did, half of them raised their hands (most likely to get out of serving). That was the last time I got a jury summons and I had previously been called once a year lol.

    When all is said and done (at least in my experience), the most charismatic attorney is going to win no matter what :(
     
    doowopgirl, GNTLGNT and Autumn Gust like this.
  10. Grandpa

    Grandpa Well-Known Member

    I did get called up once. I made the cut. Served on the jury. They even made me the foreman. I guess in the line of "yay, me" accomplishments of one's life, that accounts for... something? I dunno.

    It was an interesting process. We were a bunch of carefully listening, thoughtful people who took our job seriously. We stayed within the bounds of the law that the judge told us we should. We dissected the evidence dispassionately and made our own decisions about the credibility of witnesses. We thought that one lawyer was a little too arrogant, another was a little too tentative, but we simply focused on what the evidence said rather than the style of presentation.

    I don't know if our ultimate decision was right in the cosmic, ultimate-truth sense, but we were comfortable that we made the best decision that we could based on what was presented to us. And actually, the experience was kinda reaffirming to me.

    No bounce, my understanding, at least in these here parts, is that calling for jury duty is a random process generated by a mix of drivers' licenses, elector rolls, and maybe some other things that establish age and residency of the citizens in the jurisdiction. At least here, I don't believe that judges or lawyers have the ability to have someone removed from the selection process. Me, I got called once in the late '80s, when I served, and again just this year, when I called in and was told that all the cases had settled, so I was done for the year.
     
  11. Lily Sawyer

    Lily Sawyer Merry meet

    There are people who *live* to be a juror on a juicy/salacious/scandalous trial.

    I am not one of those people. I don't shirk jury duty - and haven't been chosen for one (yet) - but it's something I don't look forward to in the least.
     
  12. Dana Jean

    Dana Jean Beta Tester/Moderator Moderator

    i got called for jury duty. right before we were getting ready to go into the court to go through the selection process, the defendant accepted a plea deal. The judge came in to our room to thank us for our time and asked if there were any questions. I asked what would have been the case we would have decided if chosen and he said it was a "Live Perversion" case. (as opposed to Dead Perversion WTF?) Anyway, it was about this old man exposing himself to little boys in a men's bathroom. I would have fried the guy. I had two young boys. Hell hath no fury like a mom throwing the switch on a child molester.
     
  13. Out of Order

    Out of Order What Christmas is All About

    Plea deals for pervs...........

    Got to love it. :facepalm_smiley:
     
  14. Grandpa

    Grandpa Well-Known Member

    Well, that's the thing that sometimes gets overlooked.... alleged child molester. And the jury doesn't do the frying. If there's a conviction, the judge sets the punishment.

    I'm personally aware of a case, not in my close circle, thank goodness, where a guy was on trial for sexual assault on a child. About the only evidence against him was the child's testimony. He was acquitted, and it turned out after the fact that the child was, shall we say, dysfunctional and made the accusation for the attention, so thank goodness for the acquittal and a life not quite ruined by the accusation (although set back quite a few thousand dollars).

    I'm not defending perverts. I'm saying that the state has to bear its burden of actually proving the allegations. That's why we have juries, so we don't have everything weighted the state's way.
     
  15. Dana Jean

    Dana Jean Beta Tester/Moderator Moderator

    true, true. In this case, a cop caught him in a sting.
     
  16. Grandpa

    Grandpa Well-Known Member

    You know what's good about the judge coming in and talking to you like that. The jury actually gets to hear the executive summary of the case and not what has to get through the filter of admissibility. Count yourself lucky. Any number of judges would simply say, "Thank you, you're dismissed, now go away," and pretty much leave it at that.

    And the thing about plea deals. Anytime a prosecutor goes to trial, there is a certain cost and a certain risk. Plus the fact that there are not nearly enough prosecutors and judges to take everything to trial in the speedy-trial time frame that the Constitution requires. So in order to make it affordable, reduce risk of acquittal, and to keep all kinds of cases from being summarily dismissed due to lack of speedy trial, plea deals are essential to the system. Essential.

    Of course, the prosecutors tend to compensate for all the plea deals by overcharging anyway.

    Whatta system.
     
  17. skimom2

    skimom2 Just moseyin' through...

    I've never been called up for jury duty, but The Man gets a notice just about every year! Don't know how they pick em, or which one of us is the lucky one (lol)
     
  18. fushingfeef

    fushingfeef Uber-in-waiting

    I'd rather they're selected than purely random.
     
  19. GNTLGNT

    GNTLGNT Why Chew Through The Restraints?

    ...I rest my case your honor...it's a one size fits all verbal spew...
     
  20. hossenpepper

    hossenpepper Keeper of Octopus Volcano

    The feds have strict and harsh sentencing for marijuana and NONE for child molestation.
     

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