Assignment: Jury selection process
Assignment: Jury selection process
For this Assignment, you are to write a 1–2-page paper that addresses the following:
- Describe the role the psychologist serves as a consultant in the jury selection process. Provide three examples of psychological concepts and describe how they are applied to the selection of juries.
- Address at least one common ethical obligation or issue facing psychologists in each of the following areas.
- Law enforcement
- Courts System
- Explain how each ethical obligation is overcome and/or mitigated by psychologists by providing specific examples of policies, programs, laws, or regulations that are in place in each area of focus.
Be sure to support your answers with material from the Reading and outside research (at least two outside sources from scholarly journal articles, Internet sources, the textbook articles from the Kaplan Online Library, and other course material.)
The paper should contain a cover page and a list of references in APA style. All internal citation of outside sources plus the listing of all references should also adhere to APA style. Click the Directions icon below for additional details on formatting your paper.
When a case is called for trial, a randomly selected panel of potential jurors (called a venire) is seated in the courtroom.
The trial judge begins voir dire by asking the prospective jurors questions to ensure that are they are legally qualified to serve on a jury and that jury service would not them cause undue hardship. For example, most states allow a student who might miss critical exams, a person who has an upcoming surgery scheduled, or someone who serves as sole caretaker of an ill or elderly family member to be excused from jury service for undue hardship.
Next, the lawyers for each side question the potential jurors about their biases and backgrounds, as well as any pre-existing knowledge they might have about the case. The attorneys can also ask questions designed to uncover characteristics or experiences that might cause potential jurors to favor either the prosecution or the defense. But the lawyers aren’t allowed to ask overly personal questions, and they aren’t allowed ask the jurors how they would decide the case in advance.
Challenges to the Venire
After they have completed questioning, the lawyers begin removing potential jurors from the venire by making challenges for cause and peremptory challenges.
Challenges for Cause
Challenges for cause are made when voir dire reveals that a juror is not qualified, able, or fit to serve in a particular case. Lawyers generally have an unlimited number of “for cause” challenges available.
In order to serve as a juror, a person must be a U.S. citizen, over the age of 18, live in the court’s jurisdiction, and have the right to vote. Also, each person must be able to physically sit through the entire trial as well as hear and understand the trial testimony. Jurors must also be mentally aware enough to comprehend and apply the judge’s legal instructions. Any person who doesn’t meet these criteria will be dismissed “for cause.”
Judges will also dismiss jurors who can’t put aside their feelings and apply the law impartially—that is, without actual or implied bias.
Actual Bias. Actual bias arises when potential jurors admit that they wouldn’t be able to be impartial. For example, a juror who states that she would never vote for a guilty verdict in any case because her religious beliefs prevent her from sitting in judgment of another would be excused for cause.