Manipulating Jury Biases

The top google link for the phrase "Overcoming Bias", other than links associated with this forum, is to a book length pdf called "Overcoming Jury Bias."  This is a well written guide to lawyers on how to get a jury to agree with them.   It does show how to overcome jury bias when that would help you, but it also shows how to enhance jury bias when that would help you:

A woman who claims to be the victim of a sexual assault must appear in court as a "victim". If the woman appears before the jury wearing tight clothing, ostentatious jewelry, overdone cosmetics and a wild hair style, this will create an incongruence in the minds of the juror of this woman as a "victim". …

Your first witness should be very carefully selected with the goal of helping the jurors to perceive, understand and adopt your model of the case as their own. … a trustworthy, unimpeachable storyteller …

The attorney needs to get the jurors to set aside their belief that "doctors don’t make mistakes" solely for the course of this trial, solely for this doctor and solely for this patient in this surgery. … As soon as this medical negligence trial is over, it is fine for the jurors to revert to their previously held view that "doctors don’t make mistakes."  … You have told them it is all right to believe that doctors do not make mistakes….

There can be no doubt about it, we like people like ourselves. We want to be with others who are similar to us. … if a lawyer tries a case in Florida where other lawyers dress more casual, then he too should dress more casual.  During voir dire ask jurors about their hobbies. If a juror has a hobby and you know something about the subject matter, let the juror know that you have the same hobby. It is all efforts to raise feelings of similarity on the conscious level.  Feelings of similarity help create "liking" on a conscious and unconscious level. … if a juror enjoys bowling, we may at some point in addressing the jury utilize the metaphor about "rolling a strike" …

Unfortunately, people probably suspect we have the same motives here, to twist other people’s biases to our advantage.   Let us try hard to avoid the fact or impression of such motives, but honestly, a good way to overcome our own biases is to read about the ways professionals manipulate our biases to their advantage. 
 

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