Theater, Going to
Based on interviews with jurors in high-profile cases, it is undeniable that a defendant’s demeanor and appearance in the courtroom can influence their decisions. Although demeanor impacts both high-profile and routine cases, the high visibility cases provide the starkest evidence that jurors readily consider all conduct in the courtroom, not just the testimony of witnesses, in reaching their decision.
Rather, as we have learned from psychologists and sociologists, there is a dynamic to the courtroom that is more akin to, but not precisely like, a theater. Jurors use all of their senses, including their intuition, to reach their verdicts.108 “In the courtroom, nonverbal communication subtly affects the entire proceedings of a trial.”109 Yet, because courtrooms are not for mere entertainment or education, we expect that the verdict in the courtroom will be based on concrete, verifiable information and not impressions of the parties’ personalities.
 This paper can be downloaded without charge from the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) electronic library at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=999471.