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Adelle Forth (101)
Lecture 14

Lecture 14

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Carleton University
PSYC 2400
Adelle Forth

Lecture 14: Jury Studies Thursday, February 17, 2011 - Jury studies and CSI effect - Methods to study juries - What predicts jury verdicts - CSI effect (not in textbook, but this is hot topic in last 5-8 years) - You never know who you are going to face on that jury panel - **Question** o Several alternatives to child in-court testimony have been identified. Which is not permissible in the Canadian court system?  A) Closed-circuit testimony (screen/different room so child doesn’t see defendant)  B) Hearsay witnesses (for children who testify, assuming they told their mom something, mother can come on the stand and tell the judge and jury what the child said)  C) Presence of support person while child is testifying  D) Closing the courtroom to the public  E) Banning all cross-examination of the child **THIS ONE • Even if defendant wants to represent himself/herself, cannot cross-examine the child. Judge would appoint a lawyer, you tell lawyer what you want to ask the child. • The defence lawyer has to cross-examine o Which approach to jury seleciton involves creating a profile of an “ideal” juror for the prosecution and an “ideal” juror for the defence through the administration of a questionnaire designed to cover issues pertinent to a given case?  A) Scientific approach  B) Broad-based approach  C) Case-specific approach **THIS ONE—in the States, hire trial- consultants—questionnaires, focus group, mock trials—who would be best person? Pro-prosecution or pro-defence?  D) Biasing approach  E) Prejudicial approach - Methods to study the jury—most ecologically valuable method would be to ask jurors after the trial o You can know what happens during deliberation o Media will ask how they made their verdict—in the States o But this is banned in Canada (post-trial interviews) - Archival studies o Go back to the last 100 jury trials—you knwo whether person was found guilty/not-guilty/hung jury, can look at specific cases related to certain outcomes, the composition, number of males and females, etc. o Can only code what is available o Can’t code the deliberations - Field studies o Want the actual jurors in a case to collect data for you o Most judges want jurors to weigh the evidence, not collect data—many do not support this o Note taking and asking questions—what impact do they have? o Some research will have shadow jurors—to sit in the trial, see the same evidence—can get information from them. But this is expensive to hire them all, have them deliberate. Very few. - Simulation studies o **Like all studies in forensic psychology, these are the most common o Give jury-eligible individuals a transcript, they answer questions about the case o Guilty/not guilty, how confident? o If expert testimony, how much weight did you put on that expert? o Some fancy ones might rent a courtroom, hire an actual lawyer, hire someone who looks like defendant, hire a judge, create a mock trial, videotape it. - Jury simulation study o Pre-trial publicity—concern that it will impact decision o They had videotaped mock trial o 791 jury-eligible non-students (78% of sample, HUGE sample) o When people were called for jury duty, they were asked to participate in the study—got actual individuals who represented the general community o 22% (122 participants) were students o Conditions- 2 levels  Factually biasing information  Emotionally biasing information o Young black man walked into supermarket, pulled out a gun, stole $10,000, got into car and left.  Factually biasing condition • Given newspaper clipping—police had found incriminating evidence at the defendant’s girlfriend’s place (canvas bag with toy pistol) • But the police did not have the required search warrant— inadmissible to court • Pre-trial information (this happens often, things that are told in the media but are not admitted to court) • Also, defendant had prior criminal history  Emotionally biasing condition • Getaway car that looked like defendant’s car was involved in hit-and-run, killed 7-year-old child • Had nearly nothing to do with armed robbery • Just suggested that this individual may have also hit someone - This is a 2x2x2x2 design (HUGE) - Timing of biasing information (2 levels) o 12 days prior to coming in for study o Or just before study - Judges instructions (2 levels) o Will tell them to disregard pretrial information o Or said nothing - Measures o Both individual verdicts (most studies use this) o And group deliberations (6 individuals deliberate—this was in the States) - No difference between non-students and students—collapsed them together - Biasing conditions o No impact on individual verdicts o BUT more guilty deliberation verdicts—caused the group to have more guilty verdicts o **Videotaped the group deliberations, coded them (wanted to see what was said)  More guilty deliberation verdict—emotionally biasing information had more of an impact (“I would rather try him for the hit-and-run and killing that little girl than the armed robbery.”)  Started talking about the hit-and-run - Time delay o Reduced impact of factual bias (factual information 12 days before had no impact, factual information right before study did have an impact) o No influence on emotional bias (it had an impact whether you heard it 12 days before or right before) - Judges’ instructions o No impact - Example of judge’s instructions o You can see why there are issues with jurors understanding judge’s instructions o 70% of jurors don’t understand this o Should they simplify the language? (probably) o Should they have written version of the instructions? o That’s an area of research now - Predicting verdicts o We talked about the personality traits (authoritarianism, pro-prosecution, pro-defence) o Demographics  Females more lenient • Exception: in date-rape cases with male defendant and female victim, females tend to have more guilty verdicts  Racial bias • More likely to be more lenient towards individuals of our own race (harsh towards other races) • **Black sheep effect- when there’s strong evidence in the case, you tend to treat your own race more harshly. o Attitudes  US- death qualified jurors are more likely to come back with death penalty  To be a juror in a capital hearing, you must be willing to give that verdict o Victim characteristics  Sexual history—used to be in sexual assault cases that it revolves around consent or not • Before 1980s, woman’s sexual history was presented to court • If she was presented as promiscuous/had prior sexual
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