Deciders of fate: The psychology that goes into choosing a jury

Doctor Phil made his name as a trial consultant who helped attorneys pick jurors. But what exactly goes into it and how do different cases vary?

We took those questions to an expert as we close in on the trial for Mark Sievers, the man accused of orchestrating his wife’s murder.

Next month, Sievers is expected to start his trial. Twelve people will sit in the jury box and decide his fate.

“I would imagine, in terms of demographic makeup, it’s probably going to be pretty similar to the Jimmy Rodgers trial,” said former jury consultant and FGCU jury expert, Erica Baer.

She says especially for Sievers’ high-profile trial, there will be one major question for potential jurors.

“For the most part, you’re gonna ask if you’ve heard about it. Do you know the attorneys? Do you know the judge; if you know the people that are gonna be witnesses,” said Baer.

Getting rid of potential bias on either side is important, of course, in any trial.

“You’re definitely gonna want jurors that are willing to be open-minded,” said.

But even moreso in a case like this one with so much attention and the defendant potentially facing the death penalty.

“If both sides do their job correctly, you are going to lose all the people that have a bias,” said Baer.

Whoever sits in the jury box has a major decision on their hands.

Reporter:Brooke Shafer
Writer:Briana Harvath
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