CrimeCon Experience Series: Jury Selection

Every prosecutor will tell you that trials are usually won or lost in jury selection. Every true crime buff has opinions about the cases that capture their attention. And we’ve all felt the outrage of an obviously unjust verdict. It’s easy to believe that we, ourselves, would have rendered the “correct” judgment in embattled and high-profile cases. But only twelve people know what happens behind the doors of deliberations.

 In the CrimeCon Jury Experience, you’ll have a chance to put your ruling-rendering instincts to the test. You’ll discover the critical importance of selecting the best jurors for the case, the nuances of “reasonable doubt,” and the weight of the prosecution’s burden of proof.

 Let me describe the setting for your jury experience: it’s a courtroom. No, really. The room is decked out exactly like a courtroom from your legal procedural show favorites. The massive courtroom set will put you right into the mindset of a prospective juror.

 After breaking into nice, jury-sized groups, complete with a designated foreperson, the trial begins. In-character actors (they’re really good, too, guys) will present the evidence, call witnesses, and make arguments drawn from a real-life murder trial.

 After hearing arguments from the prosecution and defense, your jury group will deliberate and render a verdict. But the real fun comes when we all see if your jury’s verdict matches all of the others. And what about the original trial--did you rule the same way the original jury did?

 After the trial, Beth Karas (Editor-at-Large, LawNewz), will talk to jury members about the case and their verdict and lead a conversation about the real-life inspiration for the case everyone just heard.

 The best news is that this is a high capacity event, so there should be room for everyone who wants to participate!

 What you’ll learn:

  • How jury constitution affects the way evidence is heard and evaluated;
  • The role that the prosecution’s burden of proof plays in jury deliberations;
  • The sliding scale of reasonable doubt;
  • How hard it is to get 12 people to agree to anything.

 Sessions available:

  • Saturday, 9:00-10:45
  • Saturday, 12:00-1:45
  • Saturday, 3:00-4:45