PSYC 2400 Lecture Notes - Lecture 13: Conscientiousness, Black Sheep, Note-Taking

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Published on 15 Apr 2013
School
Carleton University
Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 2400
Professor
Page:
of 5
Thursday, February 28, 2013
PSYC 2400 - Winter 2013
Lecture 13
Increasing Impartiality
Change of venue: Moving a trial to a community other than the one in which the crime occurred
not very common
Especially done in a small town, everyone knows each other, jurors would be biased
Party (defendant or Crown) must show reasonable evidence that the jurors would be
biased
Adjournment: Delaying the trial
very infrequent
longer the trial is prolonged, witnesses memories aren’t as fresh
Challenge for cause: An option to reject biased jurors
Unique to Canada
Not in every trial
Person in jury pool is asked specific questions, then two other potential jurors decide if
the person can be a unbiased juror
Jury Selection: Case-Specific
Identify the characteristics of the “ideal” juror to have or to avoid
Trial-consultants
O.J. Simpson
supplemental juror questionnaire (294 questions)
every juror had to fill out the questionnaire
Example Questions:
Simpson Trial
Have you ever had your spouse or significant other call the police on you for any reason, even if
you were not arrested?
Have you ever asked a celebrity for an autograph?
Have you ever given a blood sample to your doctor for testing?
Are there any charities or organizations to which you make donations?
Do you own any special knives (other than for cooking)?"
Jury Nullification
Ignoring the law and using other criteria for verdict
May occur when laws are out of date
Nullification instructions may influence jury decision making producing both socially favourable
and socially unfavourable verdicts
Studying Juror/Jury Behaviour
Post-Trial Interviews
Not possible in Canada because jurors are forbidden by law from disclosing content of their
deliberations
Post-trial interviews with jurors from the U.S. can provide a valuable data source
Limitations:
Social desirability of responses
Inaccurate recall
Archival Records
Use of previously recorded information
High external validity actual cases that can be analyzed
Limitations:
Inability to establish cause and effect
Limited in questions that can be researched
No control over biases that may have influenced record
No idea what actually happened at the time
Field Studies
Research conducted within a real trial
Limitations:
Permission from the courts may be difficult
Variables of interest cannot be controlled
Simulation
Mock jurors
Written, video, or audio format of the trial
Render verdict and make other judgments
Factors of interest can be manipulated
Limitations:
Generalizability to real world is questionable
Real jury has 12 people vs. only one person in a simulation
Juror Comprehension Aids
Note-taking
Judge decides in the jury can take notes
Less likely to miss information
Post-trail interviews
Archival
During actual trials
Field Study
Simulations
Lab Study
Controversy: bias for those who do take notes vs. those who don’t; rely on that person
who took the notes, but they may not recorded the information correctly
Meta-analyses suggest positive outcomes
Gives jurors something to do
Asking questions
Research suggests it’s basically neutral
Can write down a question, then sent to judge who decides if the question can be asked
Usually the questions are about clarification of legal terms
CSI Effect
Increased expectations concerning forensic evidence and the level of crime scene investigation
Changes in the ways in which offenders (and possibly victims) behave
Increased vocational interest in forensics
CSI & the Offender
Jermaine McKinney (25, CSI fan)
Mother and daughter murdered
CSI & the Victim
Jonathan Haynes (30, convicted rapist)
One victim left hair and spit in car as evidence
Examining the “CSI-effect”
(Kim et al., 2009)
1,029 jurors
Given hypothetical cases with circumstantial evidence only, eyewitness only, or the two
combined
How often do you watch CSI?
5 point scale (1 never, 5 regularly)
Concluded that there was no CSI effect, that watching the show doesn’t affect jurors
Robert Blake Case
Quote from juror “I would have liked more of the kind of evidence I have seen in the cases on
‘CSI’, I just expected more.”
Jurors dismissed circumstantial evidence
Consequences of the CSI effect
Some defendants not found guilty despite a lot of evidence
High bar for evidence (financial costs, time, plausibility)
Ask questions related to TV watching in jury selection
Tailor opening statements & closing arguments to address issues
Expert witness to explain types of evidence & their relevancy
Jury Decision-Making Models

Document Summary

Thursday, february 28, 2013: change of venue: moving a trial to a community other than the one in which the crime occurred. Especially done in a small town, everyone knows each other, jurors would be biased. Party (defendant or crown) must show reasonable evidence that the jurors would be biased: adjournment: delaying the trial. Very infrequent longer the trial is prolonged, witnesses memories aren"t as fresh: challenge for cause: an option to reject biased jurors. Person in jury pool is asked specific questions, then two other potential jurors decide if the person can be a unbiased juror. Identify the characteristics of the ideal juror to have or to avoid. Every juror had to fill out the questionnaire. Ignoring the law and using other criteria for verdict: may occur when laws are out of date, nullification instructions may influence jury decision making producing both socially favourable and socially unfavourable verdicts. Field study: post-trail interviews, archival, during actual trials.