One of the most important factors in any case, whether criminal, civil or corporate, is who is in the jury. Regardless of how compelling your arguments are or how accurate the evidence is, you could still lose your case if you have just one biased juror.
Whether the juror is aware of their bias or not, this bias could result in an unfavorable decision for you. This means that during the process of jury selection, attorneys need to create juror profiles before deciding who they want in the jury and who they don't.
What is a Juror's Profile?
A juror's profile is a brief representation of the type of person that they are and what this means in terms of you getting a favorable result. This means the attorney will need to look at the lifestyle, values, attitudes, and events in the juror's life to determine if something about them creates an unconscious bias.
Creating a juror profile isn't just about establishing whether or not they have a bias, it also helps to identify whether the juror is a leader or a follower. Regardless of what bias some jurors have, they may still decide unfavorably if they are "followers," and there are "leaders" in the jury that other jurors are more likely to follow.
How to Create a Juror Profile
A juror profile is created by finding out certain factors about the juror that may not be evident. In many courts, jurors can be asked to fill in a questionnaire, and this can provide information such as their marital status, which organizations they're members etc. In some cases, an oral examination can also be used to find out more about the juror.
The idea is to find out if there's anything about the juror that makes them good or bad for your case. For example, someone who has lost a case against an insurance company is likely to side with the victim in a road accident.
Are Juror Profiles Reliable?
Juror profiles are never 100% accurate. There is always the possibility that something will be overlooked or the wrong assumption made.
The accuracy of a juror profile is only as good as the person who created it. Someone with a lot of experience creating profiles will likely know what information to look for or what questions will get the most telling answers. Having juror profiles doesn't guarantee that you'll win your case, but it may prevent you from losing due to subconscious bias.