AuthorO'Connor, Maureen Ann, 1956-
AdvisorSales, Bruce D.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractPresenting jury instructions at the pretrial stage of a trial may have benefits for how jurors evaluate evidence and for juror satisfaction. It is not yet clear what effect such instructions have on juror bias. Instruction to the jury prior to trial might reduce the effects of juror bias on verdict decisions. But, instruction prior to jury selection might encourage potential jurors to mask biases, making it more difficult for attorneys to obtain information during voir dire. This paper reports a natural experiment which sheds some empirical light on the question. The judge in a homicide case gave the first group of prospective jurors only a brief orientation lecture. The second group received an additional 15-minute lecture that consisted of legal instructions on procedure and proof. The paper reports analyses comparing the two groups and suggests implications of voir dire instruction on bias in the jury pool.
Degree ProgramGraduate College