Faith in the jury system is the keystone of any legal system. The faith is that the juries in question encompass solid, decent, law-abiding individuals with common sense and the willpower to come to a fair verdict. Whether or not the juries actually live up to the high expectations depends on only one thing: The methodology applied by judges in the selection process. Here are some three vital tips to that end:
You primary goal is understanding every juror’s mind-set. Based on their background, experiences, and thoughts, how does one view the world, how will they interpret the arguments and evidence in your case? Several approaches can help you elicit information from jurors:
- As questions that give the jurors an opportunity to talk, like what they do at work, their interests, or spare-time activities. These questions will not only provide key information, but help jurors open up to the selection process as well.
- Ask open-ended questions to allow jurors to put their answers in their own words.
- Pay careful attention to jurors’ answers as they can reflect subtle differences in opinions.
Developing a Rapport with Jurors
Establishing a positive relationship with jurors brings about major benefits. To start with, jurors become more open and direct in their answers. Secondly, your positive impression fostered by rapport boosts your persuasiveness at trial.
To develop a positive relationship:
- Pay attention to your jurors and give them respect.
- Ensure jurors are comfortable during the interrogative process.
- Assume a non-judgemental attitude towards jurors.
Build a positive relationship with your jurors and understand their concerns. Hence, you should consider developing questions that give jurors a chance to talk about themselves as well as their views.
It is imperative that you educate jurors on vital issues and decision-making criteria. Often times, jurors come to court with misconstructions about what their role as jurors will be as well as what the law stipulates.
As such, education helps recognize how jurors process information. If they’ve misconceptions about important issues, they’ll certainly filter information during the trial based on these misconceptions. Thus, you need to correct these misconceptions early, to avoid erroneous conclusions by jurors.
Jury selection may sound like a daunting process, but all you need is the right strategy. If you pay attention to these three tips, you’ll make the most of the jury selection and seat the best jury.
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