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Behind Closed Doors:
It usually all starts when someone tells a story.
(WBEN) It's hard to know everything that happens inside a jury deliberation room, but research shows that even before they look at evidence, storytelling is one of the most basic ways that jurors try to sift through evidence.
"Very often a jury will spend a lot of time trying to piece together what happened, before they even think about a verdict," says Edward Schwartz, a Boston based jury consultant that helps attorneys select jurors and works to measure their reaction to various attorney arguments.
Surveys and simulations show that jurors will often begin deliberations by comparing the courtroom narrative with examples from their own life-- and they do it by swapping tales.
"As far as we can tell, jurors tell stories in the jury room that are exactly like the stories that people repeatedly tell everyday.," says University of North Carolina Law Professor John Conley, who has studied juror behavior and story telling.
"If you want to understand the jury room, think of the kind of stories you tell everyday,"
-- Prof. John Conley, Univ. of North Carolina
Generally, jurors will try to assembling the evidence and test it against stories in their own life, Conley says.
COMPLETE COVERAGE: The James Corasanti Trial | Liveline Interviews on Juror Behavior
Buffalo, NY (WBEN) A juror has a lot to go through in a high profile trial like the James Corasanti case, and one man who served in last year's highest profile trial is talking about his experience.
Marc Lucarelli was one of the jurors in the trial of Riccardo McCray, eventually convicted of the City Grill massacre. Lucarelli says the evidence didn't look good for McCray from the beginning.
"I don't want to say it has anything to do with preconceived notions, because they weed that out, but the more you get into the case, at least in my mind it looked more and more like this guy definitely did it," explains Lucarelli.
Lucarelli says jurors reached their verdicts systematically. "We took one of the shootings, and looked at the evidence, and we decided did he do this? We said yes, and we moved on to the next one," says Lucarelli.
He imagines jurors in the Corasanti case will be putting themselves in both Corasanti's shoes and those of Alix Rice, the victim in trying to reach the verdict.
"They'll probably be thinking, 'What would I do, how would I feel in this situation?' In that regard, I think it will be that much more difficult for them than it was for us looking at the video evidence," predicts Lucarelli.
Lucarelli adds neither McCray nor anyone else testified for the defense in the City Grill trial.