New generation of jurors adds pressure to prosecutors

By Holley Nees - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – For more than 24 years Art Bauereiss has been trying cases. However, he's started noticing a change. Jurors are demanding more evidence like they see on television.

"Some of those expectations, in my opinion, are unrealistic in some cases," said the Angelina County First Assistant District Attorney.

Bauereiss said part of the issue is now anyone 18 years old with a driver's license can be summoned for jury duty.

"We're seeing younger jurors and jurors who are less-experienced in certain facets of life," said Bauereiss.

The prosecuting attorney said while there is testing they can do, such as ballistics, that's assuming the evidence is recovered by investigators.

"It depends on the quality of the investigation," Bauereiss said.

He said TV expectations in the courtroom are hard to meet.

"I think it's realistic and it does exist and using some of the things and techniques on their shows probably could catch some of them," said Desimond Coutee.

"You would be able to find that in real life too, I mean it's not just fake," said Halee Dry.

"Some of it's Hollywood, but most of it is real," said Micah Tinkle.

Although East Texans said they would feel more comfortable handing down a conviction in a case where they had more CSI-type forensic evidence, Bauereiss said even that type of evidence doesn't always hold all the answers.

"Such as fingerprints that may tell you whether or not a person touched an item, if they can recover them, but it won't say when or under what circumstances the item was touched," said Bauereiss.

Bauereiss said he often explains to jurors there are limits to what can be done, but the most important thing is jurors weigh the credibility of witnesses.

"That to me, trumps most DNA or other forensic testing," said Bauereiss. "In the end, it's who do jurors believe."

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