Jury Selection (With Help from Carl Rogers)

These are jury selection thoughts thoughts based on Carl Rogers, On Becoming a Person (1961).

In my relationships with persons I have found that it does not help… to act as though I were something that I am not.”

The first step in becoming one with the jury is to be real. Being real is being honest. Honest about the bad as well as the good.  We discuss the essence of our case especially the bad facts and problem areas. When this is done we reveal how we  feel. Jurors intuitively recognize this and respond by revealing feelings.

“I have found it of enormous value when I can permit myself to understand another person.”

Carl Rogers reveals the essence of  jury selection with this quote. We bound with jurors by listening and accepting. Listening and accepting leads to bonding. Understanding must be unconditional-even when we do not agree. We can understand without agreement. When we have understanding we have a bound.

“I have found it highly rewarding when I accept another person.”

Here Rogers tells us we benefit by accepting unconditionally the members of the jury panel. The panel has bounded to some extent before we meet in jury selection. They have accepted each other at various levels. They know when we accept them. And when we accept them when we are not in agreement they will more readily accept us when they are not initially in agreement. In essence they accept the possibility we may be right. We may be the exception to their initial reaction. Every rule has an exception.

“The facts are friendly.”

Stated another way the truth is friendly. We never forget this maxim in jury selection. The truth rings with authenticity, and jurors know it. Jurors understand problems and bad facts when we deal with them openly seeking their input. We have bonded and we have to accomplish fairness together. To accomplish fairness we must together face the hurdles.

“Life at its best, is a flowing, changing process in which nothing is fixed.”

To relax and be fluid is essential, as we can flow with the jury panel. To do this nothing can be fixed. To set anything in concrete is to have an agenda and this will kill us. We must be our natural self. We must move with the natural dynamic of the jury panel. When we do this by way of the Carl Rogers maxims we will be in jury selection at its best. The panel will likely respond favorably.

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