ERIC Number: ED202057
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The Impact of Voir Dire and the Deliberation Process on Jury Verdicts.
Taylor, K. Phillip; Buchanan, Raymond W.
Recent social scientific interest in juror selection has advanced the "voir dire" (jury selection) process beyond Clarence Darrow's formula for choosing a jury likely to be sympathetic to his client. From a communication perspective, generalization to different cases in different sections of the country and under different conditions suggests inferential caution. Each situation contains a unique combination of variables: the crime, victim, defendant, geographic region, and jury composition. Research on mock jury deliberations, the repeated use of mock juries by plaintiff lawyers to prepare for an antitrust case, and the admitted importance of the deliberation process in the trial of John Mitchell and Maurice Stans lead to the same conclusion. "Voir dire" selects the cast for the drama staged in the deliberation room, but neither the prosecution nor the defense counsels can write the script of that drama. "Voir dire" identifies who will enter the deliberation room. Social science techniques and the lawyer's experience can reveal what attitudes jurors take with them, but it is the deliberation process itself that remains the crucial element. (RL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Communication Association (Pittsburgh, PA, April 24-26, 1981).