‘Stealth Jurors’ Seek Seats in Headline-Grabbing Trials


Are “stealth jurors” infiltrating jury pools, lying on questionnaires and during voir dire to land seats on high-profile cases for bragging rights? At least one jury consultant thinks so, according to the American Bar Association Journal. When two jurors were removed in late March from the federal corruption trial of former Illinois Gov. George Ryan, Los Angeles jury consultant Phil Anthony made such an argument, calling stealth jurors an “accelerating trend.”

Several other jury experts agree that jurors sometimes lie or omit key information, but they say most do so for other, more innocent reasons. The jurors are embarrassed and don't want to speak up about sensitive issues in a room full of strangers. But Anthony says his research shows that between 15 percent and 18 percent of potential jurors have a distinctly biased mindset, one that views jury service as a way to comment on or influence the outcomes of trials. This is a stark contrast from the traditional view of jury service as a civic responsibility, Anthony says. “It's almost like a sense of entitlement,” says Anthony, who adds that for these individuals, the “trial is not really about civic duty, but an opportunity to make a statement or influence society.”

Link: http://www.abanet.org/journal/redesign/a14stealth.html

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