Friday, September 13, 2019
Psychologists and Jury Selection Term Paper Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 words
Psychologists and Jury Selection - Term Paper Example The researcher states that in case such as Bruno Hauptmann, there could be strong public mood against the accused which could influence the jury to convict the innocent. Here, the juristsÃ¢â¬â¢ personality characteristics and traits might play an important role. In a media intensity society, it is particularly true as it often wages psychological wars to mobilize public opinion over what it considers as truth. The trial of O. J. Simpson was characterized by Ã¢â¬Ëcontinued media interest and public fascination with his actions and statements. The belief that Ã¢â¬Å"he got away with murderÃ¢â¬ even led to proposals to reform and restrict the jury systemÃ¢â¬â¢. The certainty necessary to punish nay accused could be accumulated by the jurists based on their prejudices and worldview. Most importantly, according to Greene et.al, Ã¢â¬Ëtruth is elusive, and in the legal system, all truth seekers are subject to human error, even though the system seems to assume that they approach infallibility. The failure to achieve perfection in our decision making will become evident as the steps in the trial process are reviewedÃ¢â¬â¢. Jury sentiments are directly a product of juristsÃ¢â¬â¢ opinions, attitudes and beliefs. Attorneys have two options for selecting new juries. First of all, a panel of prospective jurors need to be identified which is known as venire. Secondly, Ã¢â¬Ëa process known as voir dire is employed to question and select the eventual jurorsÃ¢â¬â¢. It involves every jurist telling truth about himself/herself. This process naturally involves elimination as the jurists who hold biases over a particular case are dismissed from the trial. Only the ones who hold a free mind and free from limitations are selected. There is a difference between judgesÃ¢â¬â¢ decisions and JuriesÃ¢â¬â¢ decisions. It has been found that Ã¢â¬Å"citizens believe a jury decision offers more procedural fairness (greater thoroughness, better representation of the commun ity, fewer personal biases affecting decisions) than a decision by a judgeÃ¢â¬ . Jury sentiments are the major cause for the discrepancies in the judicial verdicts. In their famous survey, Ã¢â¬ËKalven and Zeisel, after reviewing the multitude of discrepancies, used this term to cover all trials in which, in the judgeÃ¢â¬â¢s view, the juryÃ¢â¬â¢s verdict was detrimentally determined by factors beyond the evidence and the lawÃ¢â¬â¢. Especially in victimless crimes, there could a stronger tendency for sentiments towards the culprit. In some cases, if the case gets more social importance through media intervention, the number of jurists may be relatively high. It is very difficult even to keep the jury selection procedure just as it would involve discrimination against minority religions, races, nationalities and other cognizable groups.