What a couple of months it’s been since publication of the last issue of The Jury Expert! Record heat (both outside and in the courtroom) as well as extreme drought. It’s been a summer of extremes. When last we published, Rod Blagojevich was still on trial (the second time around). And so was Casey Anthony. Flash forward two months and we have verdicts in both cases as well as countless media pundits pontificating on what happened, why the juries reached the verdicts they reached, and what should be done.
While Rod Blagojevich quickly faded in the blinding light of publicity generated by the Casey Anthony trial—such a quiet ending was not to be for Casey Anthony. We’re sure you’ve heard all the media pundits pontificate. But they are simply guessing. Richard Gabriel was the trial consultant for the Casey Anthony team for more than two years. And he is sharing a peek behind the trial planning and preparation curtain in this issue of The Jury Expert!
We also have an opinion piece on why the prosecution did so much better in the Blagojevich II trial. In The Ultimate Mock Trial, Alan Tuerkheimer offers his perspective on what the prosecution learned from Blagojevich I and shares lessons we can all benefit from as we listen to mock jurors in pretrial research.
We have research pieces on the corporate defendant and on the issues of moral guilt and moral anger in the courtroom with responses from trial consultants on each of those articles. And we have practice pieces generously shared by our trial consultant members on preparing anxious and depressed witnesses and on how to use Powerpoint effectively (and how to repair—and potentially avoid that mess you sometimes find when you plug in to present while on the road). We have an original research piece from a trial consultant on the relationship between juror race and capital sentencing and an evaluation of the new software application: The Jury Box.
It’s a lot crammed into a single issue. Our hope is you will sit down with us and a big (and cooling) liquid beverage and read and enjoy. Let us take you places you’ve never been before. Or as a mock juror told his peers in a recent project as they were filling out damages recommendations, “Let your mind take you to places you’ve never been before. Then double it.”
Rita R. Handrich, Ph.D. Editor, The Jury Expert