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How do you ascertain what influences a jury?

Discussion in 'GATE Self-Defense Forum' started by jack76590, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. jack76590


    Aug 15, 2004
    I am sure the title of my thread has been asked by lawyers quite often in many contexts.

    However, this question seems to come up frequently in regard to self defense, esp light triggers, reloads, distance, type of gun, gun modifications, etc, etc, etc.

    Those that take the position none of this matter, if the shooting was justified often state grandly, show me a case where x factor influenced a jury. My response to this is that a jury, unlike a judge does not write a formal decision explaining the rationale for the verdict. Plus jury discussions are not recorded so exactly what type of citation do you expect?

    Naturally, interviews of jurors who are willing to talk after the verdict is one good source. But then how often is this done, are they credible and are the interviews compiled in any type of data base. I suspect interviews are done infrequently, are generally credible, but only recorded in summary in a few articles, not a formal data base.

    And these points I would make to those who say no worries if a legitimate shooting, I can also make to those who take the opposite approach and say this or that can cause you problems big time.

    I don't mean to be confrontational on this, but what is your basis for saying various things can cause problems in an otherwise good self defense shooting? I realize you have debriefed jurors in some cases, but how often has this been done by you or others and have the results been compiled in any manner. Likewise I realize you have been in the courtroom during many self defense trials. I suppose you can get a sense of how various arguments are affecting jurors. But if you are an expert witness are you even allowed in the courtroom beyond your testimony?

    So my bottom line question is, if there exists a strong basis to make statements about what affects jurors in a self defense shooting. One way or the other.

    I do however agree with you that better to be safe then sorry, esp if adapting various practices do not affect your overall chances to survive. In this regard using factory ammo is a no brainer to me.

    Plus, I tend to agree with you based on my opinion of my fellow man and woman. Listening to people discuss the issues of the day while using public transportation, etc never engendered faith in the wisdom of my fellow citizens.
  2. Mas Ayoob

    Mas Ayoob KoolAidAntidote Moderator

    Nov 6, 2005
    We know these things are problems because prosecutors and plaintiffs' lawyers make them cornerstones of their cases. Do a Google search on some of the writing appellate lawyer Lisa Steele has done for other attorneys who handle such cases.


  3. jack76590


    Aug 15, 2004
    Thanks for the source. Ms. Steele has written some interesting stuff. I think article linked below most addresses my concerns. But as Ms. Steele says, "it depends."