One lone juror made all the difference in the trial of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich – who was only convicted of one out of 24 charges. Consulting businesses have made a science of getting the right people on – or off – juries.
One lone juror made all the difference in the trial of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich – who was only convicted of one out of 24 charges. Two jurors voting against the majority meant life sentences – and not the death penalty – for the two men accused of killing Philadelphia police officer Stephen Liczbinsky.
Consulting businesses have made a science of getting the right people on – or off – juries.
Roy Futterman is Director of Trial Consulting for DOAR Litigation Consulting. He says he makes jury recommendations based on people’s demographic information – education, employment, marriage status – and also how they come across during question and answer sessions. Along with extensive pre-trial research, the info provides clues on how somebody might decide on a certain issue. He says hold-out jurors are unusual:
Futterman: That person has to be very very strong or confident in their view. The more the majority is on one side, the more likely it is the majority is going to win, that the other people get convinced, or sort of stand down at some point.
Roy Futterman says some “hold-out” jurors go against the grain because they are truly convinced that they are right.
Futterman: But often it’s a case of someone being concerned about making a final decision about somebody’s life. It’s very unusual to be a juror, and there are very few times in our life when we have the amount of responsibility on us as when we are a juror.
Futterman says he can usually determine who might become a leader or follower in a jury – but spotting a potential hold-out juror is very difficult.