We have reached one of my favorite topics in forensic psychology – jury selection! (I know they’re all my favorite but truly this one is one of my favorites). This week, respond to the following:
1) Now that you all have gotten to really understand who was part of the infamous sentencings (or lack thereof) of Casey Anthony and OJ Simpson, how do you feel? The jurors were "regular people," but also ones that had been pinned down pretty well by forensic psychologists. Would you be so easy to read? Would you have been so easily swayed?
1a) If you were on trial, would you want a forensic psychologist to advise your lawyers on who to pick for a jury? Why or why not?
2) After the release of Bernie in 2011, Bernie Tiede was temporarily released in 2014 for a re-sentencing that took place in 2016 (under the guidance that the original prosecutor said the original sentence of 99 years was too harsh). This appeal/re-sentencing was unsuccessful and Bernie was, once again, sentenced to 99 years in prison. He is now up for parole in 2029.
Now that you’ve had a chance to see the movie, play your own juror. Where would you have stood as a juror in the town where the crime took place? What about in the townwhere Bernie ended up being prosecuted?
2a) How does Bernie’s case compare to the Boston Bomber case? What makes these two cases unique? (Hint: revisit the YouTube link on the Boston Bomber and remember the old adage that a case requires a "jury of your peers"…)
3) Because social media plays such an enormous role in peoples’ lives, oftentimes even the most passive juror can find out information about a case they may potentially serve on in a matter of seconds. Should we take social media use into account during voir dire? Would this ensure a jury is more impartial, or even more homogenous?
4) Go over the recommendations at the end of the PowerPoint and consider which would be the easiest to implement, and which would be the most difficult. If you were a judge committed to impartial juries, what would you do first? Do you have any other suggestions?
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