This article is the first in a two-part series from Mastering Voir Dire and Jury Selection: Gain an Edge in Questioning and Selecting Your Jury, Third Edition, Chapter 3.
To evaluate potential jurors’ opinions and biases, it is important to be aware of what jurors are telling us beyond the answers they give to questions posed during the course of voir dire. As we shall see in Chapter 5, the way that voir dire is normally conducted inhibits candor and openness on the part of potential jurors. In addition, there is evidence that potential jurors may seek to deceive lawyers through their answers to questions posed to them. Thus, while the jury selection process places a premium on the information jurors provide, strict reliance on the content of jurors’ answers may not reveal the jurors’ true feelings and opinions.