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6 > Image 6 of Kentucky Alumnus, 1985, No. 1

Part of Kentucky alumnus

An Old Fossil the university which intends to exhibit it An Uprejudiced Jury? in a public museum in the geology Tracks made by a reptile 310 million department. Two University of Kentucky professors years ago and preserved in a sandstone The trackway was shown by Hines of psychology have been observing and 4 deposit in McCreary County, Ky., were to geologists Richard Q. Lewis, Sr. and]. reading jury trials the last few years in displayed for the first time recently at the Hiram Smith, then employed by the U.S. order to understand the best way of University of Kentucky. Geological Survey. Through their efforts, eliminating prejudice pre-judging Announcement of what is believed the trackway was brought to the attention among jurors. Dr. Ronald Dillehay and i to be the oldest reptilian fossil in the of eminent scientists in the field ofverte Dr. Michael Nietzel have studied 19 world was made by Dr. Donald C. Haney, brate paleontology. capital cases in an effort to find out l state geologist and director of the Paleontologists Dr. Donald Baird of whether the voir dire (examination) . Kentucky Geological Survey. the Museum of Natural History at process for prospective jurors is better ;` The trackway about 20 inches Princeton University and Dr. Nicholas handled by attorney and juror one-on- long was made by a small,fourfooted Hotten of the National Museum of one, in a group of jurors questioned all ._` 4 " amphibian or reptile during the Early Natural History in Washington, D.C., together, or by some other method. The if Pennsylvanian Period (coal age), Haney have studied the fossil trackway and two Kentucky researchers have also Ti` l said. verified that the prints were made by a studied the public opinion survey as a T l The trackway consists of several very early reptile. means of detecting prejudice. (These if footprints and a straight tail-drag mark Hotten and Smith are now surveys are sometimes used to support a preserved on a white sandstone slab. compiling a scientific publication based motion to change the location of a trial.) __j_ Haney explained that the impres- on the discovery. The psychologists found that, from the sions were made bythe reptilein soft, wet In describing the animal which viewpoint of the defense, it was "much ` ' i better" when the voir dire process was _ ,.1;-.. yll w. , . ,i _ ~i*"i'*' " V ~;4i,`~\i used with each juror separately. ln a _ __ T - i , Ti P -v" W related research project, funded by the V f "# __i " '_ ii iq; T C N jj A National Science Foundation, the *"e""T _f;____:_._;;r5 J.~ I reseiarchersf slzudied the effects upon . . _ ,_ ;? -i , },- . T, _ \..\4 ,4 *. ver icts o t e juror`s own previous I ,,4 ,,5% "i*`*"i ; - lp; experience on a jury. Dillehay and I L . {S - . Nietzel will be glad to talk about these T Q {4,4 ip - _ ({*7 , `*_Ej@ and other psychological factors in jury , i4 I ( 4 , 4 selection. KQ * . T aa e "" *T ". ; Vtea e {ii- l ~ f V { t Re ;;e_,i?fia` .~ ly ~. \ _ ,_ v I .e.~ Z , 2 ,. . r-` 'T'. $ *7 . . ., y*Q:Xf`~.?: .a -e __ {_ _ _ _r .... ._ 4, we _ r s , V;, ,;,*1 i_ _ - _ Q">'>:'er-at:. . V\ e_;_ ,747 .q1\ 4 tig; sediment in the south~central Kentucky made the track, Baird said, "the track- _ Q_ A JYCJ, \VhiCh [l]H C()[`lSlS[(.l Inillflly of Ujgkgf was 3 moderately ShO[t_bOdid " ._.;r.L_:;;:.y,` gyfhgf coastal lowlands and swamps. animal with conspicuously large feet in . . =.- j i ,,,,,,,,},0 ` Q - . . . . gg l_ , , . - LEXINGTON f .~i _ The animal that made the traCl