Strategic Jury Selection Games – A Theoretical Analysis

38 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2017

Date Written: August 11, 2015


I consider a class of selection games where members of a group such as a jury, panel or committee, are to be selected from among a larger pool of individuals by two or more parties with non-aligned interests. Each party may exercise a limited number of vetoes, or challenges, against members who are found to be unfavorable. However, at the time of such a challenge, little may be known about potential replacements. I derive game theory based challenge strategies for single-seat juries and for multi-seat juries where jury utilities are separable functions of individual juror utility. I provide numerically derived optimal challenge thresholds and we show how these thresholds vary with jury size and with the number of challenges available to each party. Finally, using computer- simulated jury selections, I show that game theory based strategies perform significantly better than other challenge strategies commonly used in trials by jury.

Keywords: Jury Selection, Peremptory Challenge, Game Theory

JEL Classification: C7, K4

Suggested Citation

Caditz, David, Strategic Jury Selection Games – A Theoretical Analysis (August 11, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

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