With high profile trials, a huge part of the circus is the jury selection, where jury consultants conduct mock trials, focus groups, and extensive background checks, all with the idea to create a jury that is most favorable for each side. It's a very expensive process, one that is out of reach for most defendants. Well, suprisingly, automation has now hit the art of jury selection, with computer-aided jury picking, by JuryQuest. Using just seven attributes: age, sex, race, education, occupation, marital status, and prior jury service, the service guides trial lawyers towards selecting juries with the best chance of their victory. JuryQuest defendants are acquitted over 50% of the time, which is almost twice the average for defendants with retained lawyers (26%) and nearly three times higher than those with just public defenders (15%). It seems crazy that just seven attributes could have such an affect on the outcome of a trial, but the difference for publicly defended defendants is perhaps most shocking. If automated jury selection becomes more accessible for all defendants, will it be able to close the gap for the defendants that currently stand the most chance of being convicted?
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