Jury Selection, Trial and Deliberations

Resource Guide

Jury trial innovations, such as allowing jurors to take notes or providing them with written instructions, are designed to help jurors understand the trial better and improve juror comprehension, performance, and satisfaction.  These innovations, while not mandatory, allow jurors to recall the evidence better during deliberations and therefore administer more confident verdicts, enhancing their overall satisfaction with the jury process and increasing public trust and confidence with the judicial system as a whole.

Links to related online resources are listed below. Non-digitized publications may be borrowed from the NCSC Library; call numbers are provided.

Featured Links

Hannaford, Paula. Jurors & New Media Curriculum. (2015). This curriculum is designed to teach trial judges about juror use of new media including how to discourage jurors from using these technologies inappropriately during trial and how to respond to allegations of Internet-related juror misconduct. 
Jury Trial Waiver Requirements to Obtain a Bench Trial. (2014).

The link above will open into an Excel spreadsheet and contains information on who must consent for a defendant in a general jurisdiction court to obtain a bench trial.  I most states, the court and the prosecution must both consent to the waiver.

Strickland, Shauna M. Beyond the Vanishing Trial: A Look at the Composition of State Court Dispositions. (2005). Future Trends in State Courts.

The composition of case dispositions in the nation’s state courts is changing. As the use of trials declines, knowledge of the use of non-trial dispositions becomes increasingly important as a means of maintaining public trust and confidence in the courts.

Center for Jury Studies.

The Center for Jury Studies is dedicated to facilitating the ability of citizens to fulfill their role within the justice system and enhancing their confidence and satisfaction with jury service by helping judges and court staff improve jury management. To do so, the Center engages in cutting-edge research to identify practices that:

- promote broad participation by the community in the jury system
- respect jurors' contributions to the justice system
- utilize jurors' time effectively and make reasonable accommodations for their comfort and privacy, and
- provide jurors with the decision-making tools necessary to make informed and fair judgments in the cases submitted to them.

See the website to learn more.

Jur-E Bulletin.

Weekly electronic newsletter published by the Center for Jury Studies.

Jury Trial Management: Focusing on Jury Selection and Jury Deliberations.

This curriculum was prepared to assist judicial educators to develop and present programs that ultimately improve the management of jury trials in their home jurisdictions.

Recipient of First G. Thomas Munsterman Award for Jury Innovation.

The Munsterman Award recognizes states, local courts, organizations, or individuals who have made significant improvements or innovations in jury procedures, operations, and practices.

Paula L. Hannaford-Agor and Nicole L. Waters. Tripping Over Our Own Feet: Two Steps Are One Too Many in Jury Operations. . (2010). National Center for State Courts, Future Trends in State Courts 2010.

Most state courts still use a two-step process to qualify and summon jurors.  But courts looking to expend less money and administrative effort may want to convert to a sone-step process.

Anonymous Juries and Juror Privacy

McAree, Dee. Anonymous Juries Raise Concern; Secrecy Grows More Common. (December 2002). National Law Journal
Hannaford, Paula. Making the Case for Juror Privacy: A New Framework for Court Policies and Procedures. (2001). Williamsburg, VA: National Center for State Courts
Secret Justice: Anonymous Juries. (Fall 2000). Includes a survey of the law in federal and state courts.

Citizen Education Programs

Juror Guide . Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts is engaged in promoting jury service and reform in Pennsylvania through its Juror Guide.

CSI Effect

Shelton, Donald E. et al. A Study of Juror Expectations and Demands Concerning Scientific Evidence: Does the <i>CSI Effect</i> Exist?. (2006). Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law 9, no. 2: 331

Decision Making

Nicole L. Waters, et. al. A Jury of One: Opinion Formation, Conformity, and Dissent on Juries. (2008). This article aims to shed an empirical light on the process of opinion formation and change in juries, using questionnaire data and case information collected as part of a National Center for State Courts project on hung juries.
Solomon, Samuel H. How Jurors Make Decisions: A Practical and Systematic Approach to Understanding Jury Behavior. (May 2002). New York: DOAR: Litigation Consulting.
Juries In-depth: Jury Decision Making. (2004). Chicago: AJS Examines research on decision making, hung juries, juror misconduct, and alternate jurors. Includes links to other resources on the AJS and other sites.


Dann, Michael B., et al. Can Jury Trial Innovations Improve Juror Understanding of DNA Evidence?. (October 2006). This is a mock jury study and was published in the National Institute of Justice.  It examines juror note taking, juror questions and juror notebooks and how these innovations affect juror comprehension of Mitochondrial DNA evidence.
Munsterman, G. Thomas et al. Jury Trial Innovations. (2006). Williamsburg, VA: National Center for State Courts A classic work that summarizes jury trial innovations, including note-taking, orientation, and other practices aimed at improving jury service. 
Mize, Gregory E., and Christopher J. Connelly. Jury Trial Innovations: Charting a Rising Tide. (Spring 2004). Court Review 41, no. 1: 4 This article highlights efforts around the U.S. and explains the National Program to Increase Citizen Participation in Jury Service through Jury Innovations.   
Dann, B. Michael, and Valerie P. Hans. Recent Evaluative Research on Jury Trial Innovations. (Spring 2004). Court Review 41, no. 1: 12 Empirical studies in the form of mock juries, field experiments, and non-experimental studies on note-taking, juror questions, and other innovations are summarized.

Jury Instructions

Paula L. Hannaford, et. al. Contemporary Pattern Jury Instruction Committees: A Snapshot of Current Operations and Possible Future Directions. (2008). This report is based on a survey that gathered information about state and federal PJI committees. It consisted of 45 questions drafted to provide information pertaining to committee composition and scope, institutional support and sponsorship, committee operations, pattern jury instruction publication and distribution, and operational and procedural challenges.
Judge Jeannine Turgeon, et al. Crafting Model Jury Instructions for Evaluating Eyewitness Testimony. (2014).

This article addresses the “importance of accurate, precise and understandable for evaluating eyewitness testimony and their appropriate expression in plain English.”  This is an important issue because research has demonstrated that eyewitness testimony can be unreliable, making it a leading cause of wrongful convictions. 

Wallace, Anne Juries and Social Media. (2013).

This Australian report contains a literature review of existing research and studies that discuss the use of social media by empanelled jurors and the problems associated with said use.  It also reviews policies and procedures implemented in other countries to address this problem and it contains specific recommendations changes in current practices.

Tiersma, Peter M. Jury Instructions in the New Millennium. (Summer 1999). Court Review 36, no 2: 28 Offers linguistic analysis and suggests improvements to increase juror comprehension of instructions.
Chief Judge Donald E. Shelton. "No Googling- No Texting" Jury Instruction Video. (2010).

The embedded video shows Chief Judge Donald E. Shelton of the Washtenaw Trial Court in Ann Arbor, Michigan delivering a “no googling, no texting” instruction to jurors.  It is an excellent illustration of how to give this type of instruction in a way that is comprehensible and dignified for the jury.  Click on the arrow below to view the video.

Bissett, Jan, and Margi Heinen. What Is the Law? Finding Jury Instructions. (2000). Law Library Resource Xchange

Juror Note Taking

Note Taking by Jurors: Final Report. (August 2008). This report on juror note taking is from Pennsylvania and it clarifies the current position in that state concerning this issue.

Juror Privacy

Paula L. Hannaford Safeguarding Juror Privacy. (2001). This article was originally published in Judicature and it discusses the issues surrounding juror privacy.

Juror Questions

Diamond, Shari Seidman, Mary R. Rose, and Beth Murphy. Jurors` Unanswered Questions. (Spring 2004). Court Review 41, no. 1: 20 The authors examine advantages and disadvantages of juror questions; the Arizona filming project; types of questions submitted by jurors; types of questions disallowed; and juror reactions to disallowed questions.
Anderson, Leland. Practice Tips for Handling Juror Questions. (June 2004). This is a list of suggestions for judges on fielding juror questions, based on the available research.

Juror Stress

Hannaford, Paula L. A New Option for Addressing Juror Stress?. (2012).

Most courts have only limited resources to offer jurors in terms of post-trial assistance, but the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offered to federal government employees by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services may provide a useful model for state courts to emulate.

Hannaford, Paula L. Safeguarding Juror Privacy: A New Framework for Court Policies and Procedures.

This describes the policies and procedures that courts should employee to ensure that jurors and juror information is appropriately safeguarded.

Casey, Pamela. Through the Eyes of the Juror: A Manual for Addressing Juror Stress. (1998). Williamsburg, VA: National Center for State Courts Outlines stressors connected to various aspects of jury duty, from summons to post-trial debriefing. Includes handy checklist to help courts assist jurors during each stage.

Preemptory Challenges

Johnson, Eric C. Public Law Research Institute Report: Proposed Reforms to the Criminal Justice System as a Reaction to the Simpson Verdict. (1994). Public Law Research Institute Provides brief discussion of notorious trials and list of suggested reforms, including eliminating peremptory challenges.
Report of the Special Supreme Court Committee on Peremptory Challenges and Jury Voir Dire. (2005). Trenton, NJ: Committee Recommendations cover standards, voir dire, challenges for cause, training, etc.

Voir Dire

Approved Standards for Jury Selection. (2006). Trenton, NJ: Office of Trial Court Services Selection standards include model voir dire questions for civil and criminal cases.
Mize, Gregory E. On Better Jury Selection -- Spotting UFO Jurors Before They Enter the Jury Room. (Spring 1999). Court Review 31, no. 1: 10
Donahue, Honorable Gary. Voir Dire Demonstration. (September 2005). Ninth National Court Technology Conference, Seattle, Washington Voir Dire instructions for potential jurors.