The primary purpose of having a jury is to do justice, to make the best decision possible and to provide the facts of the case about the law on the subject. Removing the defendant from the presence of the jury would be more than likely be unjust in many cases but it can also be fair for another. There is a lot of racial and ethnic biases that is present in our society and there are so many stereotypes placed upon certain racial and ethnic groups. Having a panel of jurors’ judge someone by their looks or nonverbal cues without looking at the evidence at hand would be a recipe for disaster to the defendant. It could be much fairer if the jury could not see or observe the defendant their appearance and demeanor because these things are subjective. Some people in the eyes of the society are perceived to be guilty and others innocent. Other people can manipulate others into believing them while they are guilty.
Evidence and facts about the case should be the determining factor in finding the people guilty or innocent (CBS,2010).
Jurors are tasked to encode the information presented, process it, reason and draw a logical conclusion then communicate this information among other jurors. Under, the law jurors are presumed to process relevant information rationally and without extraneous non-evidential influence (Gunnell & Ceci,2010).
According, to a study titled when emotionality trumps reason it was determined that changes were brought against less attractive defendant and the attractive defendants were convicted less often and when punished it was less severe (Gunnell & Ceci,2010).
The purpose of having an attorney in a jury trial is to persuade the jury to find in favor of their client. To persuade the attorney employs different strategies to influence the jury. The courtroom attorney, and the prosecution rely on verbal and nonverbal talents by utilizing logical arguments and the proof of facts of each case. However; on other aspects of the trial it might draw attention to the lawyer. The lawyer should always be aware of and learn to be able to control the effect of their nonverbal communication.
Nonverbal communication is a broad term that surrounds many different elements it includes things like facial expressions, some gestures, and different body movements, even touching, and vocal variation in the pitch, including speech rate (Remland, 1994).
In the courtroom, nonverbal communication affects the entire proceedings of a case and it is constantly present and being observed and assessed, yet the lawyer is often unaware of its existence. Some movements, thoughts, and feelings are expressed, transmitted or observed by every individual in the courtroom. In their opening statements the lawyers on both prosecution and defense mostly uses certain movements and eye contact to persuade the jury to either see their client as guilty or innocent. The judge at that time silently knowingly or not will communicate feelings about the case to the jury through posture and facial expressions. The defendant also unwillingly sends certain messages to the jury through their general appearance including the clothing they wear. Witnesses called on the stand are also under scrutiny of the jury, the judge, and the lawyers to try to get what message they are conveying. (Hoffman & Weiner,2015).