Media production for jury selection

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Media production for jury selection

Jun 20, 2018

Kendall Howell | Student

The applicability of media production practices goes beyond the realm of movies and could be used to improve other fields, such as the jury selection process.

An important place to begin is scheduling. I think that having specific call times could potentially rectify the slow pace of the jury selection process. In a production, an assistant director creates a document called a call sheet that contains all of the pertinent and important information that is necessary for a day of shooting. Rather than having everyone on jury duty report to court to only sit and wait or be told to check in later, there should be clear schedule, similar to a call sheet. These call sheets should be prepared ahead of time and should only call the number of jurors that will most likely be needed during the given period of time.

For example, jurors who would like to claim an undue hardship before the court should have to submit a form online ahead of time clarifying their situation in detail. Depending on the number of claims, there should be a separate call time in the morning for the judge to individually discuss these claims with the juror. Meanwhile, the other jurors who have decided not to contest will be informed ahead of time so that they don't arrive until the main group's call time after the hardships.

Furthermore, I feel that the jury selection system should aim to resemble casting in even more ways and could do so by adapting casting's self-tape and reel practices. After jurors are processed out of the standby server and into the jury selection pool, they should have a preliminary individual interview. The court's jury department can develop a system devoted to obtaining the basic information and responses of potential jurors so that the judge does not have to individually. These interviews could be filmed like self-tapes and reels so that both the lawyers and the judges can review them, or receive coverage on them. Within these interviews, the juror will be asked the standard questions that a judge is required to ask for a jury selection and the interviewer will delve into the responses the way a judge would.

This is also a potential way to pre-screen undue hardship claims and receive uninfluenced answers by jurors. The interviewer will be able to gather the information about the hardship, send it to the judge, who could then inform the juror of the decision without them having to come in again. I believe this process will also expose the individuals who are just looking to get out of their jury duty service using any way possible.

Even though these principles stem from media production, I believe that if properly applied, they would greatly enhance the jury selection process.

Kendall Howell, a student in Jon Pfeiffer's Spring 2018 Media Law class at Pepperdine University, wrote the above essay in response being asked how her major, IMC, could improve the trial process.

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