Monday, April 29, 2013

Statement Analysis and Jury Selection

Statement Analysis, specifically, the SCAN technique, should be used in jury selection, by the prosecution, in the interviewing process.

Prosecution needs to weed out, quite specifically, certain personality aspects from this case. Opinions about the death penalty are a given, as this is a standard part of the initial interviewing of potential jurors.

Open-Ended Questions

This is not something we often hear about in jury selection but it the single best way to interview a potential juror when seeking justice.  Rather than "How do you feel about the death penalty?" and "Have you ever experienced..." and "What are your thoughts on pornography?", (which are all important questions), we will learn more about the subject from open-ended questions such as:

1.  Who are you?
2.  Tell us about yourself.
3.  Tell us about you, growing up.

It is critical to use Analytical Interviewing where we note:

a.  Where the subject begins the answer
b.  The specific language used by the subject is employed in follow up questions.
c.  Avoid, if possible, introducing new language or wording.  Putting 'words in the mouth' of the subject teaches them what attorneys are looking for, rather than gaining information.

Domestic Violence

*Dunn may be portrayed as a victim of domestic violence by her attorney.  Even though this will be rebutted by prosecution showing how many times Dunn was afforded this excuse, and how often they got her alone, and promised her safety, only to learn that she not only did not fear Adkins, but lied for him.

Jury selection should carefully learn which potential jurors have been victims of Domestic Violence.
In uncovering D/V victims:

1.  Did the victim escape?
2.  Were children exposed to violence?
3.  Were children exposed to violence leading to the removal of children from juror?

A victim of domestic violence can serve on the jury, but they must learn her position:

Is she a no-excuse protective mother who took deliberate steps to keep her children safe?

Or, would she have empathy with Billie Dunn' attorney description of her as victim?

Child Abuse

There are questions to pose to potential jurors in which the interviewer may learn:

1.  Was this potential juror abused in childhood?
2.  What is the victim's emotional intelligence in regard to the perpetration?  This is critical in learning how the potential juror views Hailey's upbringing.
3.  Was the victim made safe?  Or, was the victim left to the abuser?   What is the impact?
4.  Is he/she now an advocate for children' safety because of her own upbringing?

Everything in our background comes with us when we view and make decisions in life.  There is much on the line when one must make a decision for justice which may end the life of another.

Prosecution needs to be very careful in jury selection and must seek, quickly, and "on the fly", as much information possible, from each and every potential juror.

The Analytical Interview process is their best tool. It gleans the most information in the least intrusive manner.


John Mc Gowan said...

Another great post Peter.

I just had a thought Peter.When they begin,or are about to select the jury/Voir Dire,will you be sending this article to whoever is on the Prosecution team?


pointhunter said...
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Katie said...


Would you please explain what this means?

2. What is the victim's emotional intelligence in regard to the perpetration? This is critical in learning how the potential juror views Hailey's upbringing.

John Mc Gowan said...


There are many other things to look for in Jury selection, here is a few.

pointhunter said...

Thanks John,

That was a good read.

Anonymous said...

There isn't enough money to pay me to sit on a jury. This is because I know how the attys and judges operate. It is a game between them, may the best man (or woman) win, based on who owes who the biggest favor. It is a rare case when honesty and facts are actually presented before a reasonable jury. In many cases, it is NOT about justice for the victim, or liberty for the innocent.

I've seen and I know first hand how it operates in civil matters of law, been there, done that. I know in observing how conniving it is among the powers that be in criminal matters, beginning with jury selection. The Anthony trial is merely one good example of failed justice. It was never intended that Casey would be found guilty, or her parents punished for their many lies and perjuries.

Many of these cases are plotted over cocktails, resolved amongst themselves, and the strategy laid out in the mahogany paneled conference room of da judge before the proceedings ever get underway.

It would make your head swim to watch these b'stards in action, when you KNOW the truth of what happened and how the innocent got waylaid, and observe how the guilty pulled off their crimes with the judge looking on, pretending his disdain, and patting his fav lawyer on the back, and on and on it goes, while they all look so innocent and god-fearing in front of the court.

God help us. Of the several times I've been requested for jury duty? My response; will not perform for religious reasons, will not judge another man, let the courts judge their own. And I won't, because so much is based on twisted lies and deciet by the attys and judges involved, that the law-abiding unsuspecting citizen never knows the truth (ALL of the truth), and thinks they are operating in good faith. It is so sickening to watch them in operation when you already know the facts. I just won't do it.

Anon 1

pointhunter said...
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John Mc Gowan said...

Pointhunter,i would pay good money to see that.:-)

Deejay said...

Trouble is- the most intelligent jurors, those that can think things through, are eliminated. Then we get OJ and Casey Anthony...

Vita said...


To leave one's emotional feelings at bay. What they hear at trial they would not " intermix" their own happenings, memories, consequences, occurrences, within their life to compare it to: what is considered evidence, the testimonies heard

If the juror is a single parent - can she be objective? leave out her own life in comparison to Billie's life as a single parent.

Not to judge, not to compare, not to allow emotions to feed into her "conclusion". What is presented in all trials, all is as weak and or as strong, based upon the Jurors, their own perception.

For one/few not to sway others, god forbid have a alpha personality in the bunch, who is not able to be objective. Lied to be part of the " show" to be seated for profiteering purposes. As I do believe happened within Casey Anthony's trial. They to come to the conclusion it was not all that entertaining to sit day after day, after day. Let's get it over with -100percent acquit.

To what degree is the concern- emotions. Can they step back and
" hear/see/conclude" without bias, based upon their own childhood, life as it is, as they know.

A 13 yr old murdered -the mother, the boyfriend indicted for her murder, added the accelerant of the illegal materials found in possession, add aggravated charges on top of (which could be countless and or of few that will stick no matter what?)whatever comes out, is within the indictments, the D.A. and Defense are not going to be looking forward to choosing a jury. They will have to play devils advocate with interviewing, as this case is so entangled, Hailey the Only Victim.

How long will it take for them to discern a jury pool? in Hailey's case. That it won't be a IN and OUT upon 2 questions asked, you are excused, how many will be mailed you have been chosen to appear on date. Cannot recall how many for Casey Anthony, it was in the hundreds.

Casey Anthony Jury selection was live streamed, the potential jurors not shown, only audio of them. Some to say outright, I believe, " She, Anthony, killed her Daughter" - Your excused. Many to be seated for seconds, your excused...Thank you, you are excused..,,, next
Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups.

Dawn said...

Pointhunter, you would immediately be sent home. Witnesses can't be on the jury and I'm sure you will be called as a witness and raked over the coals. I feel your shoulders will be strong enough to stand up to their scrutiny.

Anonymous said...

Well Pointhunter, so would I. So would I. But I know going in that I'd never hear all the many snarls that were questioned and presented in depositions before (in some cases) United State Marshals who will haul your a$$ out of there if you raise your voice the slightest or don't answer one single question; yet THOSE depositions never see the light of day and are withheld before the courts, so why bother in the first place?

I also know that cockroach John Young is already somebody's fair haired boy, otherwise he would not have gotten away with his OWN dangerous felonies and would have already been seated behind bars in a Texas prison and disbarred by the Texas Bar Assn. So you see? He's got friends in high places. He will not be presenting truthfulness before the court and he will get away with it since he already has!

But for you; yes yes yes! I'd LOVE to see you on that jury! You would DEFINITELY give them a run for their money. Anon 1

Dee said...

pointhunter said...
I would love to be called for this jury selection, just to see the look on the attornys face when he learned who I was.

The cost for a court employee to prepare a juror notice - $16.00/hr

The cost for postage to mail the juror notice - $.46

The look on John Young's face when he realizes who that potential juror is - Priceless.

Listener said...

Anon 1 said:
I also know that cockroach John Young is already somebody's fair haired boy, otherwise he would not have gotten away with his OWN dangerous felonies and would have already been seated behind bars in a Texas prison and disbarred by the Texas Bar Assn.
I have thought about that ever since it happened!! What lawyer doesn't get disbarred for that?! Very, very disturbing. Is that the best we can do these days? Do JY and Billie have a few things in common?

Dee said...

@ Pointhunter ... Curtis, I want to take a minute to thank you for finding Hailey. I know it's not what you set out to do that day, it's not the find you wanted to make. Thank you for notifying LE promptly and for observing their request to not say anything beyond what they said you could. I'm glad that someone with honor and integrity found her. Thank you for putting up with our skepticism, sometimes pointed and sometimes silly questions without becoming angry or defensive.
I hope that you stay and continue to contribute to the blog on Hailey's case as it moves along and on other topics also.

Sus said...

I recently served on Federal jury duty for a month, but was never selected for an actual case. I drove 160 miles several times through the month, was grilled through the mornings, sent home, and paid an ungodly amount of money.

I wanted to serve. It was obvious the court was not interested in a person with life experience, but instead a blank slate.

Local anon said...

Sucessful attornies very often win their cases due to their jury selection skills. I have spoken to many attorneys about this. Defense attorneys look for jurors who will apply emotion rather than logic. I am a scientist and have never been picked. The defense attornies I know say it would be a rare case for them to pick a scientist.

If the trial is in Mitchell County there will not be a lot of educated people to pick from. I don't see how the trial could be held in Mitchell, Howard or Scurry County. People there have been following this case closely and most believe Shawn and Billie are guilty.

Local anon said...

Excellent read John! These are some of the things attornies have told me regarding jury selection.

Katie said...

Thank you. So, both sides would want someone with a high Emotional Intelligence? And Defense would like a high EQ with empathy towards the perpetrator too and the DA would like a high EQ but with empathy for the victim?

pointhunter said...
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Local anon said...

Thanks pointhunter that is good to know

My Take said...

Any and all offenses will be prosecuted in Travis County.

Anonymous said...

Why Travis County which is Austin?

Anonymous said...

Has anything been said about if/when charges will be brought, about an investigation?

I know we are chomping at the bit and have been since Hailey went missing but are we jumping the gun, too? I do not want to consider that as a possibility; when I start to, I have to stop because it is too much for me to process and handle, both emotionally and mentally.

Anonymous said...

I thought of this song when the formal announcement came that the remains were Hailey's; I picture in my mind the painting of 'The Lady of Shalott', a beautiful young lady, peacefully on a river, free to consider whatever young thoughts are dancing through her head.

Hailey should be free to run by rivers and dangle her feet in, maybe swing across on a rope in the summer's setting sun, not due to be set in her final resting place as just small bits and pieces of her, into a hard, harsh Texas earth while the rest of her remains lost forever.

Anonymous said...

My educational background immediately disqualifies me for jury duty; one job I can do with my background and have been offered before is to work as a jury consultant.

Am I remembering correctly that with the Casey Anthony trial some jurors who stated they thought she was or might be guilty were asked if they would be/were open to evidence and considering her innocence? Or am I confusing this with jurors being asked if they had heard of the case, formed an opinion of the case, and felt they could keep an open mind about it? (so similar-ish)?

My brain is addled today; please forgive what I feel is a daft question.

My Take said...

Anonymous said...
Why Travis County which is Austin?

Just my opinion.