Before a jury starts its deliberations, the judge tells the jurors to answer 2 questions: What was the evidence, and what does the law say?
The jury’s first step
After it has started its deliberations, that group of 12 studies the evidence, with an effort at determining what it reveals about the facts. The judge has told the jurors how to analyze the witness statements and the other evidence.
The jury’s next step
Next the jury looks at how the details in the case relate to the law. Juries are supposed to base their decision on the law, and not on their emotions. Sometimes a jury might ask a judge to make a point of the law a bit clearer to that body of jurors.
Cases can have an emotional appeal
Even though the judge might tell the jury not to base their decision on the emotions, each case can have some level of emotional appeal. The jurors think about what their hopes would be, if any one of them had to face the situation that faces the plaintiff, at that point in time. Some cases present a situation that tugs on the jurors’ emotions more than other situations.
What sorts of situations have the greatest ability to sway the feelings of at least some members of the jury?
Those feelings could be stirred by a case where the plaintiff has a residual injury, one that was sustained during the course of an accident. Similar feelings would be expected from at least some of the jurors that had to hear the evidence for a wrongful death case.
If an accident had caused a child to become injured, then that might influence some of the jurors’ thinking, especially among those that had children. Obviously, the Injury lawyer in Ottawa for the defendant would hope to have few, if any, parents on the jury.
The display of some pictures of the plaintiff’s injury might act like an emotion-grabber. Yet the display of too many pictures could have the opposite effect. In other words, it could cause the jurors’ emotions to become sublimated. In the past, juries have been known to have a negative reaction to evidence that a defendant has lied about how an accident happened. That reaction emerges early in the deliberation process, when the evidence must be studied. Once it has emerged, it could build-up slowly, thus influencing the jury’s decision.
Some plaintiffs seem more pleasant than others. Any group of 12 jurors has at least one or 2 that find it hard to issue harsh verdict for a pleasant plaintiff. In other words, the plaintiff’s attitude towards all those in the courtroom does have the ability to sway some jurors’ feelings.