QuestionQuestion

A forensic psychologist is often hired by the defense or the prosecutor to assist with jury selection. Using the library, Internet, or any other available materials, discuss in detail the following:
What would this psychologist be looking for during voir dire and in investigations of the jury pool?
What, if any, different analysis techniques might a psychologist use when assisting the defense versus assisting the prosecution?
Why would the items being investigated be important to the defense or to the prosecution?
What specific area of forensics are you interested in, or what type of position are you interested in?

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Jury bias has always been an issue of concern especially in courtroom decisions. Social scientists play an important role in sense-making in courtroom decisions. Social sciences give a basis for studying human behavior, and their response under different situations. This helps in making sound and just judgments. The application of social sciences in the courtroom decision-making began in the 1950s. According to Hans, as societies changed, so did attitudes and thus lawyers and psychologists embarked on devising ways of applying scientific methods and knowhow in courtroom decision-making (1982). They began implementing methods that focused on the questions that were being used to select a fair jury. The result spawned up interest in the research of social sciences affecting jury selection. They acknowledged the fundamental fact that the juror’s characteristics influenced the decisions they made instead of relying on the evidence presented to determine the outcome. Due to different perceptions on matters, each member in the jury seemed to have a different interpretation of an event. Through social sciences, psychology in this case, it was possible to show the bias that jurors held that had previously not been disclosed before trial. Thorough research indicated that certain personal traits and beliefs showed inappropriate influence over the evidence (Penrod & Dexter, 1990). The couple, however, stated that it is very difficult to plot the relationship between a juror’s behavior and the decision they reach.
Jury selection takes place during the voir dire. This is the pretrial period where the judge and attorneys issue questions to potential jurors and select them depending on the responses they get from their questions....
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