Author

Owen P. Terry

Date of Award

5-2014

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

Communication Studies

First Advisor

Lawrence Hosman, Ph.D.

Advisor Department

Communication Studies

Abstract

The trial jury is one of the most basic elements of our court system and is vital for ensuring a fair trial for all parties involved in a case. This research was concerned with the final stage of the jury selection process in which attorneys are able to select, through various challenges, the jurors who are most well suited for service. Particularly, the goal of this research was to determine whether certain juror communicator characteristics, namely interpersonal communication competence and its derivatives, had effects upon jury selection. A sample of potential jurors completed questionnaires related to these characteristics, and the court indicated to the researcher which jurors were empanelled for and excused from service. The communicator characteristics of these two groups were compared, but no statistically significant results were returned. A lack of significant results indicates that such juror characteristics do not bias jury selection; however, the same results may suggest other potential problems within the trial jury system.

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