Available On Demand Webinars
Juries and Religion
(2018 ASTC Conference Video)
Presented by: Brian Bornstein, PhD, Professor of Psychology and Courtesy Professor of Law, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
American religious life is unique among Western democracies: It is unusually diverse, and it currently contains seemingly paradoxical trends toward both growing fundamentalism and increasing non-belief. Unlike other demographic characteristics (e.g., race/ethnicity, gender), jurors’ religion is generally “fair game” during voir dire. This talk will provide an overview of the legal, psychological, and practical aspects of jurors’ religion in the trial context. From a legal perspective, which aspects (if any) of a juror’s religion can be used as a basis for peremptory challenges? From a psychological perspective, which aspects (if any) of jurors’ religion predict their verdict preferences, how strong is the relationship, and to what extent does it vary as a function of variables like case type? And from a practical perspective, how can religion be measured most effectively? The talk will provide a broad overview of these questions with selected empirical data.