Jury selection is the process whereby attorneys select the individuals who will serve on a jury. The selection process varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but usually includes some combination of randomly summoning citizens, interviewing potential jurors, and striking jurors for cause or peremptorily.
In the United States, jury selection research generally begins with what is called voir dire, in which attorneys question prospective jurors to determine their suitability to serve. Once a pool of qualified jurors has been identified, each side then has an opportunity to strike a certain number of jurors through a process known as peremptory strikes.
Peremptory strikes are used to remove jurors who the attorney believes may be biased or otherwise unsuitable to serve. In most jurisdictions, each side is allowed a limited number of peremptory strikes, and the reasons for striking a juror do not have to be disclosed.
Jury selection research typically involves studying how attorneys select jurors and whether certain methods are more effective than others. Researchers may also study how jury composition affects verdicts and whether certain types of jurors are more likely to find in favor of one side or the other.
Attorneys often make use of a focus group research company (such as John Zogby Strategies) to assist with this process, as they can provide a mock jury that will help the attorneys identify potential issues and areas of concern. This company can also provide feedback on which arguments and strategies are likely to be most effective with the selected jury.
Jury selection research is an important part of any trial, as it can mean the difference between a win and a loss. It is important to choose a reputable research company, such as John Zogby Strategies, that has experience with jury selection in order to ensure that you have the best chance of success.