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78 Chi.-Kent L. Rev. 1179 (2003)
Avoid Bald Men and People with Green Socks - Other Ways to Improve the Voir Dire Process in Jury Selection

handle is hein.journals/chknt78 and id is 1205 raw text is: AVOID BALD MEN AND PEOPLE WITH GREEN SOCKS?
OTHER WAYS TO IMPROVE THE VOIR DIRE PROCESS IN
JURY SELECTION*
VALERIE P. HANS** AND ALAYNA JEHLE***
INTRODUCTION: THE PROBLEM OF JUROR BIAS
The detection of juror bias is a serious challenge in contemporary
jury trials.  Prospective jurors have a host of attitudes, relevant
experiences, and potential biases that merit full exploration during
the voir dire questioning period in jury selection. Some attorneys,
deeply concerned about possible juror bias but unable to examine it
adequately during voir dire, have relied on demographic characteris-
tics and stereotypes only slightly less preposterous than the avoidance
of bald men and people with green socks. This Article reviews what
we know about the voir dire process, concludes that typical voir dire
is often ineffective in detecting juror bias, and recommends specific
changes in voir dire practice.
A. Juror Bias in Criminal Trials
Traditionally, there has been great concern about the problem of
juror bias and the need for searching voir dire in criminal cases. In
criminal trials, jurors make decisions that may profoundly affect
defendants. The legal system must ensure that these critical decision
makers are able to make fair and impartial decisions. Peremptory
challenges and challenges for cause are the legal tools used to remove
biased jurors or jurors who give the appearance of bias. However,
* This Article was invited for a special issue of the Chicago-Kent Law Review devoted to
the jury, edited by Professor Nancy Marder. Portions of this article are based on Valerie P.
Hans, Improving the Voir Dire Process in Civil Trials (2001), a report funded by the Roscoe
Pound Foundation, the Delaware Trial Lawyers Association, and the Delaware Chapter of the
American Board of Trial Advocates.
** Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice, University of Delaware.
B.A. (2003), Criminal Justice and Psychology, University of Delaware.

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