Jury's Still Out: 3 Ways Technology Is Trying to Aid in Jury Selection

There are some new developments in technology aimed at helping attorneys maneuver through voir dire. They're not all particularly helpful.

, Legaltech News

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There are some new developments in technology aimed at helping attorneys maneuver through voir dire. They're not all particularly helpful.

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  • Sarah Murray

    What makes something science is that it is based on clearly stated theories and hypotheses that can be tested and verified, and those tests can be reliably repeated. The first hurdle a program like the one you describe must pass is showing that it is able to unambiguously and correctly interpret the meaning of jurors‘ facial expressions - no mean feat given that there is still significant scientific disagreement about whether facial expressions have universal meanings and interpretations. Once past that hurdle, I‘m unaware of any extant theories or research that explain how juror facial expressions in jury selection might relate to ultimate verdict preferences and verdict outcomes. Research to test the application of "emotional recognition" software would have to be done on mock jurors, and would need to include having "struck" jurors deliberate on a mock jury to a verdict to assess how accurately the consultant‘s judgment, using the software, matched what the juror actually said and did in a deliberation. To be truly scientific, any such research would need to made available to the social scientific community for peer review.

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