This week on the “Coale Mind” podcast, I had top-flight jury consultant Jason Bloom as a special guest; in the episode we touch on the many pervasive effects that 2020 will have on jurors and jury selection, including:
– A surprising eagerness of people to show up and serve on juries, in part driven by widespread feelings of frustration after months of shutdown;
– Concern about what Jason calls the “massive exercise in confirmation bias” that potential jurors bring to the courthouse with them, depending on how restricted a juror’s information sources may be;
– The once-obscure psychological terms “ultracrepidarian” and “pareidolia” (you have to listen to the podcast to explore those terms’ meaning ;
– Remembering that 2020 changed potential jurors not only because of COVID, but because of Black Lives Matter, the Biden-Trump election and its aftermath, etc.
– And a reminder that jury service—unlike the similar civic-engagement exercise of voting—forces jurors to form a consensus among their different beliefs; and
– Why 1-page written questionnaires for potential jurors may be particularly useful now in light of the above issues.