Benefit of Selecting Out-of-County Jury Difficult to Gauge

By BobKerlik | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, June 13, 2011 | Go to article overview

Benefit of Selecting Out-of-County Jury Difficult to Gauge


BobKerlik, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


The seven men and five women who will decide the fate of accused Pittsburgh cop killer Richard Poplawski will be the first out-of- county jury to decide a case in Allegheny County in eight years. Experts differ on which side they believe will benefit from the move.

"It's a very rare thing to do. There's lots of examples of high- profile cases that are not moved," said Jonathan Vallano, a University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg professor who specializes in legal psychology and works as a litigation consultant.

"The legal system doesn't always realize the negative effects of pretrial publicity and the effects of first impressions. A lot of judges believe people can put aside biases and make fair and impartial decisions. We've found that people have a difficult time doing that."

The jury is scheduled to arrive from Dauphin County on Sunday and begin hearing testimony in the capital case a week from today. Prosecutors say Poplawski, 24, fatally shot Officers Eric G. Kelly, 41; Stephen J. Mayhle, 29; and Paul J. Sciullo II, 36, as they responded to a telephone call for help from Poplawski's mother at their Stanton Heights home on April 4, 2009.

Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning last year granted a defense request to pick a jury elsewhere, agreeing that the potential jury pool was so tainted by intense publicity surrounding the case that Poplawski would not receive a fair trial.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court selected Dauphin County for jury selection.

Juries have been picked outside of the home county in Pennsylvania 14 times -- or 0.1 percent of all jury trials -- in the past five years, state court records show. During that same period, judges disposed of 936,119 cases through the courts' home counties, including 12,539 jury trials.

Dauphin County, home to Harrisburg, has about a quarter of Allegheny County's 1.2 million population. It has a higher percentage of minorities -- 27 percent, compared with Allegheny's 18.5 percent. Among registered voters, according to the Department of State, Democrats outnumber Republicans 46 to 42 percent in Dauphin County, and 62 to 27 percent in Allegheny County.

Respect for police

Veteran defense attorneys said juries from less populated counties generally are more conservative.

"A lot of people in more rural counties have a lot more respect for police. They're more law and order than people from the city," defense attorney Patrick Thomassey said. "In a city, you can criticize the police for what they did or didn't do during the investigation. That might not go over well with a jury from a more rural county."

Thomassey played a role in the last Allegheny County case that an out-of-town jury settled. An Erie County panel convicted his client, Jared Lischner, 29, in 2003 in the high-profile kidnapping and murder of Andrew Jones, 19, of the West End.

Lischner and co-defendants Jared Henkel, 29, and Craig Elias, 31, all of Mt. Lebanon, are serving life sentences with no chance for parole.

"Unfortunately, because of all the newspaper articles, we had to move (the jury selection)," said Duke George, who represented Elias. "But I would have rather had a jury in Allegheny County. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Benefit of Selecting Out-of-County Jury Difficult to Gauge
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.