Monday, February 22, 2010

Should the Gov Hire Jury Consultants?

We've all used them, and not just for jury selection but for mock trials etc.

But what about in criminal proceedings, should the prosecutors also retain jury consultants?

David O. says no:

Several jurors blamed the mistrial on juror Angela Woods, the lone black juror who has refused to comment on the deliberations. Though Woods filled out an extensive questionnaire that has not been made public, prosecutors did not seek any follow-up during jury selection to the written answers they gave, as they did for about half of the other potential jurors.


Lawyers and academics disagree on whether a jury consultant would have helped prosecutors in the Riddle case or whether it's even appropriate for prosecutors to use them.

"The prosecutor's job isn't to win -- their job is to do justice," said Miami criminal defense attorney David Oscar Markus. "There's something that doesn't seem right about the government hiring jury consultants. That gets into winning, rather than how do we do justice in this case."


  1. Some of us marry them.

  2. Isn't it about "winning" for either side? Doesn't the defense want "justice" as much as the prosecution, or are David O's remarks just as biased as they sound?

  3. fake Professor BalkinFebruary 22, 2010 at 10:44 AM

    In deciding not to refer charges to state bar committees, Margolis does not tell us that Yoo and Bybee behaved admirably or according to the high standards that we should expect from Justice Department lawyers. Indeed, he says the opposite. Yoo and Bybee exercised poor judgment and let the Justice Department down. But Margolis argues that the Office of Professional Responsibility chose too high a standard to judge the professional responsibility of Yoo and Bybee. The OPR argued that Yoo and Bybee had "a duty to exercise independent legal judgment and to render thorough, objective, and candid legal advice." This standard, Margolis explained, is much too high a requirement and not one that Yoo and Bybee were previously warned was the standard to which they would be held.

    I know what you are probably saying: shouldn't every government lawyer have to live up to this standard? Of course, they should, but the point is that this is a disciplinary proceeding. It's not about what people should do, but about how badly they have to screw things up before they are subject to professional sanctions.

    Instead, Margolis argues that, judging by (among other things) a review of D.C. bar rules, the standard for attorney misconduct is set pretty damn low, and is only violated by lawyers who (here I put it colloquially) are the scum of the earth. Lawyers barely above the scum of the earth are therefore excused.

  4. As I have said many times before....


    The article reads like a bad joke, the premise being that something went wrong because there was a hung jury.

    Really, you really want the government to eliminate independent minded persons who will hold the government to its standard of proof? Wow!

    The reason there is no voir dire in federal court is because most jurors in that system are more ready to convict than the converses. God forbid that the defense would have an opportunity to discovery the jurors biased in favor of the government.


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  7. The national selection meeting will be held on Wednesday

  8. ep 1 and Rathore will not be considered as NRAI had made it clear that only shooters who appear in trials will be considered for selection.

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