Interview of Dr. Shelley Spiecker (by Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm):
My colleague, Dr. Shelley Spiecker, is one of the sharpest and most experienced trial consultants in the country. So, it was with some surprise that she recently found herself on a Denver County jury. I took the opportunity to sit down with her for a chat. To hear the full interview, click below (or follow this link).
Ken: Thanks for agreeing to talk with me. We’re happy that you’re back from your jury duty and happy that you’re willing to talk with us about your experience. First of all, Shelley, I think the attorneys and trial consultants that you know and work with might originally, initially wonder how did you come to be on a jury?
Shelley: Well, I kind of wondered the same thing, actually. We were each asked to complete a one-page questionnaire - the particular criminal case was an issue of sexual molestation of two grandchildren alleged against their grandfather. I think they were aware I was a trial consultant. I think that perhaps part of the reason I was not called back for cause questioning is that a lot of people had experiences in their backgrounds that the attorneys needed to talk with them about. So I suspect that my professional experience didn’t rise to the level of a personal inquiry.
Interestingly, the next morning, the prosecutors spent a fair amount of their time focusing on me specifically, and asking me how I would assess witness credibility and, particularly, the credibility of children. And, pointedly, how much weight I would put on nonverbal and demeanor queues vis-à-vis testimony. So I think that they wanted some confirmation that I was going to not exert any disproportional influence in assessing credibility.