br OF EYEWITNESS , LAWYERS , AND JURIES
Of all of the evidentiary possibilities a trial lawyer may face , the eye witness probably carries the greatest cachet Against a criminal defendant , the testimony of an eyewitness greatly increases the likelihood that a defendant will be convicted . One study showed that without an eyewitness , there was only an 18 percent chance of conviction with an eyewitness , this jumped to 77 percent . Juries believe that eyewitnesses are accurate and observant , and that they retain their memories of crimes without distortion . Scientific studies have found that [banner_entry_middle]
of these are true . Often , eyewitnesses are not accurate . The crime victim is often in a very poor mental state to observe accurately . The human capacity to perceive and retain data accurately is vastly over-rated . Most people are not aware of how much memories change over time . Juries tend to dismiss factors that might show the inaccuracy of eyewitness testimony , while assigning great importance to factors , such as the confidence with which a witness testifies or the range of details he imparts , that are largely irrelevant to the real accuracy of the testimony ( ’93Psychology and Law – Eyewitness Accuracy ’94 n .d
Many people go to curious lengths to avoid jury duty . One of the most common is to claim that their business duties do not allow them to serve on jury duties . Some states have adopted rules restricting the excuses a potential juror can use to avoid jury duty . States now use driver ’92s license records rather than voting roles to provide a more representative cross-section of the population involved in jury selection . Despite this , there is still a certain truth to the adage that a twelve person jury consists of five men drawing social security and seven women whose most daunting intellectual challenge in the typical week is reading the Soap Opera Digest ( ’93A Primer on Jury Advocacy ’94 2003
Nevertheless , studies have shown that much of the criticism of juries is not borne out in fact . Recent studies have shown that the jury process does work quite well , involving true Of Eyewitness , Lawyers and Juries Page deliberations in cases in which the jurors collectively feel that they are peers with one another , so that they share comparable levels of political and social sophistication (Gastil , Burkhalter Black , n .d ) While jurors work hard to discern the truth , trial lawyers often seem intent on muddling everything . A good trial lawyer is skilled in the arts of persuasion . Lawyers study techniques of persuasion , attending seminars and training programs , hiring coaches , and working to refine their skills ( See , e .g , ’93Persuasion ’94 2007 ’93Using Storytelling techniques ’94 2007 ’93Ulitmate Trial Tehcniques ’94 2007 ’93A Primer on Jury Advocacy ’94 2003 ) However , given that the lawyer ’92s job is the zealous representation of the client this does not always mean that the truth is being served . It can mean that the jury will hear some wonderfully entertaining presentations , but it does not mean that the focus… [banner_entry_footer]
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