There’s no such thing as an experienced juror.
The random selection process ensures that a single person will serve jury duty a handful of times at most. When jurors come to trial, they’re in an unfamiliar setting. Some of them will experience court for the first time, with its formal, argumentative, and time consuming processes.
Are the jurors engaged during the trial? Maybe. But some of them will be tired. Others will be distracted by thoughts of the job and family they’re missing. And what’s their motivation to wrestle with the specifics of the case? There’s no performance bonus, no metrics, no benchmarks. Sometimes the ideal of justice loses out to the pressing realities of life.
And then there’s the deliberation room.
Video courtesy of the Foundation of the IADC
In addition to downloading the complexity of the case, jurors must work together to make a decision. There’s no guide, no protocol, just personalities. One person wants to wrap it up quickly. Another wants to be in charge, so he needles his fellow jurors, trying to sway them to his opinion. A third wants to flip a coin and go home. Verdicts have been decided on this basis. There’s nothing stopping them from making a random choice.