New Juror Video on Understanding and Countering Bias

The North Carolina Judicial College has created a video for jurors explaining the effects of bias on decision-making and suggesting how jurors may minimize the role of bias in their consideration of evidence presented at trial. The video was inspired by a juror orientation video on this topic produced by the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, which has been shown to jurors as part of juror orientation in several criminal superior court cases in North Carolina.

The Judicial College video is shorter than the Washington video and features voices from some North Carolinians you may recognize. A party who wishes to have the video displayed during juror orientation may file a motion with the court requesting that be done. Senior resident superior court judges might also adopt an administrative order directing that the video be shown. Both approaches have previously been used by North Carolina judges to order the display of the Washington video.

If you have feedback about the video or questions about how to access its content, please feel free to email me directly at denning@sog.unc.edu.

One of the first examples in the video of bias is that a basketball fan might not be the right juror for a case involve the coach of his or her favorite basketball team or one of the players on the team. That example resonates particularly well for me today, the day of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship.

So I’ll sign off by acknowledging my basketball bias:  Go Heels!