Jury Selection (Guides to Best Practices for Forensic Mental Health Assessme)

By in Jury on February 26, 2013

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Forensic mental health assessment (FMHA) has grown into a specialization informed by research and professional guidelines. This series presents up-to-date information on the most important and frequently conducted forms of FMHA. The 19 topical volumes address best approaches to practice for particular types of evaluation in the criminal, civil and juvenile/family areas. Each volume contains a thorough discussion of the relevant legal and psychological concepts, followed by a step-by-step description of the assessment process from preparing for the evaluation to writing the report and testifying in court.

Volumes include the following helpful features:

- Boxes that zero in on important information for use in evaluations

- Tips for best practice and cautions against common pitfalls

- Highlighting of relevant case law and statutes

- Separate list of assessment tools for easy reference

- Helpful glossary of key terms for the particular topic

In making recommendations for best practice, authors consider empirical support, legal relevance, and consistency with ethical and professional standards. These volumes offer invaluable guidance for anyone involved in conducting or using forensic evaluations.

Jury selection is the process by which attorneys remove people from the jury pool whom they judge to be undesirable, presumably because they fear that the potential juror would be biased against their side. In Jury Selection, Kovera and Cutler review the law governing attorneys’ decisions to remove potential jurors from jury service, including laws prohibiting the systematic removal of particular categories of people from the jury. The book provides an overview of standardized tools for assessing personality traits and attitudes that may be related to jurors’ verdicts as well as the research establishing the validity of these measures. The authors review the studies that evaluate the effectiveness of both traditional and scientific methods of jury selection, including the methods used to conduct a community survey to guide a change of venue motion and the selection of potential jurors to excuse. Kovera and Cutler also discuss the ethical principles to be followed when assisting attorneys with jury selection issues.

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