1. paul j.smith
    February 15, 2011 @ 4:36 pm


    Although, that general statement is true,, the opposite of fear “the emotion” is anger. Whenever there is fear,, there is always anger behind it. Whenever there is anger,, there is either “fear” or “hurt” (emotion) behind the anger.

    Another way to emotionally understand and trust the jury. As I often say,, trust comes through amoung other ways,, understanding the emotional needs of a particular group or individual and fulfilling those needs or wants of the group or individual.



    • Mark Bennett
      February 15, 2011 @ 4:39 pm

      Whenever there is anger, there is fear or pain behind it. That doesn’t make them opposites.


  2. paul j.smith
    February 15, 2011 @ 4:40 pm

    true,, but there are always tied together,, just as helplessness and rage are.


  3. Tweets that mention Defending People » Battle of the Neuropeptides -- Topsy.com
    February 15, 2011 @ 5:25 pm

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  4. Larry Standley
    February 15, 2011 @ 7:03 pm

    Phew! after all the “Battle of the Rules”, and appropriately enough, post Valentines day, it’s makes me all warm and fuzzy to talk about: ” Oxytocin (the) mammalian hormone some call the “love hormone”. But then it’s followed up with all this talk of ‘FEAR”, “ANGER”, “RAGE”, “HELPLESSNESS”. This is all starting to sound like the Periodic Table equivalent a a family violence case. In fact I think I’m gonna take some (legally prescribed of course) Oxycontin – and go to bed! – Standley – OUT!


  5. Greg Conen
    February 24, 2011 @ 6:57 pm

    I’m hardly one to doubt trial advice from someone who has infinitely more trial experience than I. If it’s your experience that trusting the jury pool first gives you better lawyers, I believe you. It certainly sounds reasonable.

    However, I would warn about making simple assumptions about brain chemistry. Hype aside, oxytocin has lots of effects, not all of them pleasant or desirable in a juror. For example, see Oxytocin Promotes Human Ethnocentrism (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, De Dreu et al.) [abstract], which suggests that oxytocin may fuel “intergroup conflict”.


    • Mark Bennett
      February 24, 2011 @ 7:25 pm

      Excellent point, Greg. Thanks for the reference. (Next you’re going to be telling me that cortisol has effects that are desirable in a juror.)

      Group-centric (?) thinking may actually be desirable in a juror. Forming a group that includes the jury and the lawyer, but excludes opposing counsel, is one of the goals of a more-sophisticated voir dire. That’s jury selection at the postdoc level, though.


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