Scientific Jury Selection

Dominic Willmott, Miriam Oostinga

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    Working from the assumption that particular demographics, attitudes, and broad personality characteristics can predispose jurors towards preferred verdict decisions, social scientists seek to assist justice systems in their selection of jurors at trial. This process commonly known as Scientific Jury Selection involves trying to identify what views are likely to be held by the individuals comprised on a jury and eliminating those people thought to be undesirable to the evidence in the case. In theory, such jury selection procedures were designed to remove biased jurors from criminal trials, who are considered to be incapable of making fair and impartial decisions (Fulero & Wrightsman, 2009). However, in practice, trial consultants typically advise defence lawyers which jurors are most likely to favour their explanation of the evidence, whether considered to be unfairly biased or not (Lieberman & Olson, 2009). This has led many to question the ethics behind scientific jury selection, particularly when considering that the high trial consultancy costs often means only the wealthiest of defendants can afford to make use of their services.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationFactbook: Psychology and Law
    EditorsBianca Baker, Rashid Minuhas, Lauren Wilson
    PublisherEuropean Association of Psychology and Law
    ISBN (Print)9781326989651
    Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2017


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