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Lecture 13

PSYC 2400E - Lecture 13 - Feb. 28, 2013.docx

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 2400
Professor
Julie Dempsey

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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 Jury Nullification • Ignoring the law and using other criteria for verdict • May occur when laws are out of date • Nullification instructions may influence jury decision making producing both socially favourable and socially unfavourable verdicts Studying Juror/Jury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-trail interviews • Archival Field Study • During actual trials • Simulations Lab Study 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 – 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 s
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