Dateline: August, 2007, Issue 4

Which jurors get empanelled and which excused?

Jurors who speak up and are opinionated are more likely to be excused than jurors who speak little or in a less opinionated manner.

Wigley (1999) had 640 jurors in actual cases, of whom 225 were ultimately excused, complete psychological tests before going through voir dire. These psychological tests measured how verbally aggressive, dominant and contentious they were; how disclosive, open and relaxed they were; their self-image (positive, negative); and how much they managed the impressions they made on others.

Jurors who were excused for cause or struck by a party had higher levels of verbal aggressiveness, dominance and contentiousness than empanelled jurors.

Source Wigley, C. J. (1999). Verbal aggressiveness and communicator style characteristics of summoned jurors as predictors of actual jury selection. Communication Monographs, 66, pp. 266-275.