Scientific Jury Selection

Scientific jury selection (SJS) is the use of a survey to decide which jurors to favor in a trial. Prior to the 1970s, jury selection was done by attorneys based on their hunches. The new quantitative method was welcomed enthusiastically by trial attorneys. Social scientists were more reserved. SJS led to the employment of social scientists as trial consultants. This entry describes traditional jury selection as conducted by attorneys, reviews the origin of SJS, presents an example of a 2003 survey used in Florida to implement SJS, and examines evidence on the utility of SJS.

Voir dire is the process at the beginning of a trial when prospective jurors, called venirepersons, are examined verbally to determine their fitness for service as jurors in a particular trial. ...

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