Submission Date

7-22-2016

Document Type

Paper

Department

Politics

Faculty Mentor

Gerard Fitzpatrick

Comments

Presented during the 18th Annual Summer Fellows Symposium, July 22, 2016 at Ursinus College.

Project Description

Juries are often thought of as being fair and crucial to producing fair trials. Things such as scientific jury selection (SJS), peremptory challenges, jury size, and jury nullification skew jury verdicts by introducing biases that reflect the attitudes, characteristics, and behaviors of jurors. This paper demonstrates how bias is formed starting during the voir dire process and continuing until the rendering of a verdict. Each bias can lead to wrongful convictions such as conviction of the innocent or acquittal of the guilty. With a system that prides itself on the notion that justice is blind, the bias that is created during the entire process has life altering effects that prove there are flaws within the system.

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