Berg defines a jury questionnaire as a written set of questions that prospective jurors answer in writing. Answering of the questions is usually done under the oat which ensures that the jurors provide the most appropriate responses that are not characterized by biases. The civil case of O.J. Simpson has raised consciousness of jury questionnaires. In high profile cases that involve the issues of celebrity, race, and domestic violence, prospective jurymen and jurywomen have been required to complete a questionnaire. Questionnaires are designed with numerous questions based on experience as a witness or victim to crime, education, military service, interest in sports, and mathematics and science courses taken just to mention a few. Supplemental juror questionnaires have been found to be very effective while dealing with civil cases, because through the questionnaires, more information regarding the prospective jurors will be learned . Learning more about the prospective jurymen and jurywomen will increase the efficaciousness of voir dire. Irrelevance of some questions in the supplemental juror questionnaire that was used in the 1994 O.J. Simpson criminal trial will be considered in this discussion.
Some of the questions in the supplemental juror questionnaire, especially the demographic questions are irrelevant. Demographic questions have been considered as the least valuable in anticipating the predispositions or biases of the jurors. Among the questions in the supplemental juror questionnaire that was used during the criminal trial of O.J. Simpson, question number five and question number six, regarding the family history and background, seem to be irrelevant. The predisposition or biases of the jurors may not be predicted on the basis of their children or grandchildren’s sex, age, level of education, and occupation (Holman, 1996). Therefore, these questions should be eliminated from the list because the answers provided might not be very significant in anticipating the jurors’ predispositions or biases.
A supplemental juror questionnaire is very useful in dealing with civil cases such as the O.J. Simpson criminal case. They enable the court to learn more regarding the prospective jurors. The questionnaire is very necessary because the court will be able to anticipate the predispositions or biases of the jurors and therefore decide if they will serve as jurors or not. Crime cases are very sensitive and require suitable people to serve as jurors. However, some questions, especially the demographic questions, are not relevant and need to be eliminated because they may not help the court anticipate the predispositions or biases of jurors.