There are few that escape the call of jury duty. When the summons shows up in your mailbox, you then have to report on the appointed day and report each day of court after for as long as your term of service dictates. Only a select few are actually picked to be on the jury however. As you may or may not realize, both prosecutor and the defense attorney get to pick the jury. Depending on the case, dictates what the attorneys look for when the group of people are ushered in the court room to answer a panel of questions. There are however, some basic character traits that attorneys consider that will help or hinder their argument. At this time, we at Kajioka & Associates, Attorneys at Law would like to talk about jury selection.
Jury Selection Questions
As they ask their questions, attorneys get to the jury selection by using keen observation, stereotyping, and intense questioning to decide who would hurt their case. Demographics and personality can improve a lawyer’s chance of predicting a juror’s stance on a verdict by 15%. Below are a few examples of what attorneys take into consideration.
1) Leadership skills. Pivotal in a verdict are the leaders, independent thinkers, and contrarians. Optimal for the plaintiff or the prosecutor, people that have the potential to rally the rest of the group behind a unanimous decision is ideal. However, good for the defense though, they are also worried about that individual disagreeing with everyone else, resulting in a hung jury. Attorneys note the leadership and how assertive you are in your past.
2) Attire. Clothing alone isn’t enough to make a decision, but many attorneys will use superficial judgments about your character based on the clothes, including the shoes, you wear. The clothes and shoes people wear speak volumes on the different personalities often indicated by them.
3) Hair. Much like clothing and shoes, attorneys can potentially discern personality and receptiveness considering the type of hair style and how they are wearing it as well as facial hair.
4) Body Language. What you are thinking can be highly cued in by non-verbal behavior. Posture, positioning of your hands, and of course facial expressions can be an indication of your feelings concerning the facts.
5) Relationships. Relationships can form biased opinions. For example, in a criminal case, those that have close relatives or loved ones in law enforcement may be partial to the prosecutor’s argument. Depending on the facts of the case, those relationships can impact the weight of the case and attorneys consider that.
6) Law Experience. Personal experience with the court systems, attorneys, or even law enforcement officers can also have you form biased opinions. Attorneys do not want you to make up your mind regarding the current circumstances based on how you may have been treated in prior experiences similar to the surrounding case.
7) Attitude. You increase your chances of staying on as a juror if you come into jury duty with positivism. Most attorneys do not want a negative person directing their anger and hostility towards the case.