In search of the fair jury : does extended voir dire remedy the effects of pretrial publicity?
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
First Advisor's Name
Brian L. Cutler
First Advisor's Committee Title
Second Advisor's Name
Third Advisor's Name
Fourth Advisor's Name
Fifth Advisor's Name
Sixth Advisor's Name
Jury selection -- United States, Fair trial -- United States, Free press and fair trial -- United States
Date of Defense
The present study asked two important questions: Does prejudicial pretrial publicity produce bias which may impair juror objectivity and, if it does, can voir dire remedy its untoward effects? Subjects were 68 college undergraduates whose political attitudes had been assessed and who had or had not read case-specific pretrial publicity one week before viewing a murder trial. Trial proceedings took place at the University of Miami law school. Voir dire, trial viewing, and deliberations were conducted in UM's moot courtroom. As predicted, analyses revealed main effects for both voir dire and pretrial publicity such that pretrial publicity increased conviction rate and the extended voir dire decreased conviction rate, but the extended voir dire failed to reduce the specific prejudicial effect of pretrial publicity. These findings suggest that prejudgment of a general nature (e.g., confusion about legal concepts) may be neutralized by an extended voir dire but that prejudice specifically created by exposure to inflammatory news stories is not offset by an extended voir dire format. There is reason to believe, however, that with more time spent explaining case facts and with greater attention to individual jurors, voir dire could eliminate even the specific prejudice created by pretrial publicity.
Dexter, Hedy Red, "In search of the fair jury : does extended voir dire remedy the effects of pretrial publicity?" (1990). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2787.
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