PSYC 2400 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Paul Bernardo, Summary Offence, Harrisburg Seven

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15 Nov 2017
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Lecture 6: Jury Decision Making
The Right to a Jury in Canada:
-Summary offences: minor, financial, personal offences, no jury
-Indictable offences: you can have a jury
-Hybrid offences: mix of both, you can have a jury
Function of a Jury:
-Decide guilt based off evidence
-Community consciousness: represent the view of the rest of society
-Jury mollification: when the jury agrees that the person is guilty of the crime but the jury
doesn’t agree with the low so they don't convict him
-Educate other citizens about the justice system
-What is not a function: sentencing the criminal
Key elements of a Jury: ideals
-Representative of the rest of society: not realistic because its only 12 people and Canadian
citizens are very diverse but they use random selection from voting registries (could be bias;
homeless people…)
-Impartiality: no predetermined bias, attitudinal (prejudice) very difficult to eliminate feelings
about certain crimes or criminals (for examples child abuse crimes), behavioural
(discrimination) allowing those attitudes to turn into actions (ex. if you go into the trial and
look at the criminal and think he looks like a child molester so you convict him) justice
system thinks they can prevent this with safeguard but its unrealistic
Sources of Jury Bias:
-Interest prejudice:
-Direct interest in the case: if the person knows or is related to the person being charged
-Financial benefits if the criminal gets charged
-Specific Prejudice:
-Attitudes about the specific case: if theres a lot of publicity about a case ex. Paul
-Generic Prejudice:
-Beliefs about people or crime
-Parents and its a case about child abuse
-Normative Prejudice:
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