Lehmann, Jee-Yeon and Smith, Jeremy (2011): Attorney empowerment in Voir Dire and the racial composition of juries.
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Giving attorneys more power in the voir dire (jury selection) process may allow them to 1) find grounds for dismissal of jurors whom they wish to strike on a priori grounds; 2) acquire information that enables them to identify favorably-inclined jurors more precisely; or both. Attorneys who are more skilled can better use such increased power to retain the jurors they prefer. We show theoretically that, because defense attorneys prefer non-white jurors a priori, the interaction of empowerment and defense attorney skill should produce juries with a greater proportion of non-whites if only the first mechanism is operative, but need not have this effect if the second is operative. We then examine these issues using a detailed dataset on all non-capital felony trials in four large and diverse counties over a two-year period. We find that skilled and empowered attorneys can indeed stack juries by retaining jurors predisposed to their side at a greater rate, and that the distribution of relative attorney skill in our data is such that defendants benefit on average. However, we find that empowerment has a small and insignificant impact on the racial composition of the seated jury, regardless of attorney skill.
|Item Type:||MPRA Paper|
|Original Title:||Attorney empowerment in Voir Dire and the racial composition of juries|
|Keywords:||Discrimination, Voir Dire, Jury, Attorney Empowerment, Race|
|Subjects:||K - Law and Economics > K0 - General
D - Microeconomics > D8 - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty > D81 - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C7 - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory > C73 - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games; Repeated Games
|Depositing User:||Jee-Yeon K. Lehmann|
|Date Deposited:||01. Feb 2012 21:43|
|Last Modified:||21. Feb 2013 07:10|
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