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The Jury Room (Keene Trial Consulting) – The Red Well

The Jury Room (Keene Trial Consulting)

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Which science is most “certain” according to the American public? 

April 7th, 2017|

When litigation cases rely on science or highly technical information, it is critical to help jurors understand the information underlying the case at a level that makes sense to them. If they do not understand your “science”, they will simply guess which party to vote for or “follow the crowd”. Here’s an example of what happened when scientists “followed the crowd” to see what fields of science were seen as most precise (and therefore reliable). You can see from the graphic illustrating this post that too many people are watching CSI shows on TV. When forensic science is more “certain”

Your Black client is much more likely to be wrongfully convicted

April 5th, 2017|

Those of us who’ve been around for a while have heard this repeatedly. But, lest you think times are changing, here’s some sobering data from a March, 2017 report co-edited by a Michigan State University College of Law Professor. From the beginning, this is a disturbing report. Here’s how it starts: African-Americans are only 13% of the American population but a majority of innocent defendants wrongfully convicted of crimes and later exonerated. They constitute 47% of the 1,900 exonerations listed in the National Registry of Exonerations (as of October 2016), and the great majority of more than 1,800 additional innocent

Criminal defense? Brain scans could show whether “they did it  on purpose”

April 3rd, 2017|

When my kids were younger, I used to talk to them about the difference between intent and impact as they struggled to understand the varying reactions of people to their behavior. Back in 2009, we posted on some new research showing that we reacted more indignantly when bad deeds were done “on purpose”. Here is some of what we wrote then and you may want to visit that post in full as well: This is an intriguing study because it speaks to the heart of telling the emotional story at trial.  You want jurors to have an emotional response—a connection

Simple Jury Persuasion: The SPOT (Spontaneous Preference  for Own Theories) effect 

March 20th, 2017|

It’s been a while since we’ve had a new cognitive bias to share with you. Previously we’ve blogged on many different biases and here are a handful of those posts. Today’s research paper combines three biases—two of which we’ve blogged about before: the better-than-average effect, confirmation bias and also, the endowment effect. The endowment effect is the “(irrational) added value” we place on things just because they belong to us and not to someone else. So, today’s research was described over at BPS Digest (a reliable source for accurate summaries), and it’s a bit odd. For the sake of brevity,

Don’t do this at work, beards, ear worms, narcissists, &  discarding advances in knowledge

March 17th, 2017|

Here’s another this-and-that post documenting things you need to know but that we don’t want to do a whole post about–so you get a plethora of factoids that will entertain your family and entrance your co-workers. Or at least be sort of fun to read and (probably) as awe-inspiring as the stack of vegetables and fruit illustrating the post. Just don’t do it: How bringing up politics ruins your workplace You probably know this already since many people say their Facebook feeds are a toxic combination of politics and rage these days. So. Bringing up politics up at work is

So…how do you see or hear “smart” in voir dire? 

March 15th, 2017|

After we published that “molecular genetics overlap” post showing curiosity is found in smart people—one of our readers asked exactly how you “see” smart during voir dire. The question was posed on Twitter but the answer is not exactly expressed in 140 characters—so we’re doing it here. Among other things, we made these comments in that post: All we need to do is look to see who is smart and we will then know we can select curious jurors (while considering whether our client’s case benefits from higher levels of intelligence and curiosity). And, as we often say to our

Identifying deception when the witness wears a face-covering veil

March 13th, 2017|

In 2014, we wrote about research investigating how people felt when a witness wore a veil such as some forms of a hijab or a niqab. Here were some of the findings we described in that research. We’ve written a number of times about bias against Muslims. But here’s a nice article with an easy to incorporate finding on how to reduce bias against your female client who wears a Muslim head-covering. (In case you have forgotten, we’ve already written about head-coverings for the Muslim man.) The graphic illustrating this post shows the variety of head-coverings Muslim women might wear

Facts [still] don’t matter: the 2017 edition 

March 10th, 2017|

When we began this blog in 2009, the reality that facts don’t matter was one of the first posts we wrote. We wrote again about this reality back in 2011. And we’ve written about it several times since then so…here we go again! In this new era of fake news and fake news allegations, we’ve seen a surge in the number of “fact checkers” employed by the media to verify accuracy of statements made by people in this country’s leadership. Some think the publicizing of fact checking can be effective against the spread of misinformation. New research (conducted during the

A secret weapon for voir dire: Smart people are more curious

March 8th, 2017|

Back in October of 2016, we wrote about a paper by the Cultural Cognition Project on assessing “scientific curiosity”. Here is some of what we said then about what Kahan and his colleagues found by measuring scientific curiosity: “What they found was that participants who scored higher on the curiosity scale were more likely to choose the story that would disconfirm their preexisting beliefs (that is, it would surprise them) and the participants enjoyed that process of surprise.” We concluded that 2016 post this way: From a litigation advocacy perspective, the challenge is to identify  jurors who are curious and

A changing USA—“Normal America is not a small town  of white people” and more…

March 6th, 2017|

When facing a panel of prospective jurors for voir dire and jury selection it is important that you update your perceptions of who these people are in 2017. It is hard to keep up with change and to replace our outdated ideas of “how North America is” but here is some data to help you do just that. These facts are wonderful perspective changers and we hope some of them will surprise you (since that will help you remember and update your perceptions of those potential jurors). “Normal America is not a small town of white people” The people over