Runaway Jury Analysis

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Runaway Jury, a 2003 film based on a John Grisham (1996) novel, brings to light a myriad of real life judicial system applications. A widow, who lost her husband as a result of gun violence, files a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the gun used in her husband’s unlawful murder. In turn, Vicksburg Firearms, the gun manufacturer company, hires a top of the line jury consultant (Gene Hackman) so as to aid their defense as well as ensure their win in the case. However, the jury that the consultant had confidently picked is seemingly swayed by the flight risk known as Nick Easter (John Cusack). This thrilling drama not only followed the jury selection process closely, but it put a strong emphasis on the utilization of jury consultants as well.…show more content…
In short, yes, they do. The reason jury consultants ostensibly pervert the judicial system is that it eradicates the principle of fairness. “Very few trial consultants can come in and do any meaningful work for less than $50,000 to $100,000" (Strier 105). Because of the escalating costs, this makes the use of jury consultants will not benefit the indigent citizens. Moreover, the affluent individuals will find the expenditure beneficial as well as corporations and possibly the government in some instances. Strier had been quick to identify that “When only one party can afford jury selection experts, it puts into relief the imbalances created by a mismatch of client resources.” (105). Furthermore, the profession itself is unregulated. Strier recognizes that the profession lacks qualifications making it easy for anyone to self-identify as a trial consultant; the profession also lacks binding ethical restrictions. “Coupled with the unprovable relationship between trial consulting services and trial outcome, this conduces an environment for practitioners of questionable competence and ethics, since those practitioners without traditional credentials must, of necessity, be adroit at self-promotion. To this end, they often lay claim to a won-lost record in their advertising.” (Strier) This is an issue because there could be a possible…show more content…
If I were to be a defendant on trial, assuming the opposing side was without consult, I would not hire a consultant. Now, if the opposing side did take the extra step to hire a consultant then I would feel obligated to do the same- provided that I was able to verify their credentials. Ultimately, I believe it would depend on the nature of the crime as well as how strong of a case the opposition has.
In the final synopsis, Runaway Jury had been surprisingly truthful in its portrayal of the judicial system. It truthfully followed the Federal Judicial procedure of procuring a jury that could be used in a court of law. While the utilization of jury consultants had been dramatized, the film demonstrated the role of a jury consultant in such a way that glorifies its usage. There may be a time and place for the use of jury consultants; however, until the disadvantages of its utilizations are recognized and rectified, it will remain a perversion within the judicial

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