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The New Face Of [Jury Selection]
So, the New York Times
had an interesting article
on the evolution of voir dire
in modern trials, accompanied by an interactive simulator
developed with the help of a jury consultant.
(The quiz is worth running through now - it won't take long, and the results you get will be worth considering.)
The things that stood out for me:
One, the focus on a questionnaire over in person analysis. I think that this is because a prospective juror might feel they have to answer as they think the court wants in person, as opposed to answering how they actually feel. There's also the aspect of catching a prospective juror in a discrepancy between the questionnaire and in person statements.
Two, the focus not just on how a prospective juror leans, but also on how influential they would be in the jury. Several of the questions in the quiz served to "intensify" bias, shifting the "weight" of my assumed leaning based on how influential they thought I would be.
Third, and probably most interesting, is how imprecise the process is. According to the quiz, I would be struck by the plaintiff, for being overly biased towards the defense. Yet considering the scenario presented (a trial over fiduciary misconduct by an investment bank), I would more naturally lean towards the plaintiff. The assumptions that drive these questions might work in broad strokes, but they really don't feel granular enough.
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