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jury psychology.docx

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Richard B Day

October 17 , 2013 Psych 3CC3: Forensic Psychology Jury Psychology Jury Psychology - Jury selection: field engaged in in the United States mostly - Pretrial publicity: issue in the U.S. only  In Canada the Judge can ban the publication of court cases - Jury decision-making  Decision-making models  Evaluation of evidence  Other factors - Jury instructions  How well are they understood?  Can comprehension be improved? Harrisburg Seven (1972) - Jury selection is relatively new - Dates back to 40 years ago during the Nixon administration - Harrisburg seven trial of 1972:  Government decided to prosecute seven war protesters  Phillip and Daniel Berrigan - Conspiracy to destroy draft board records - Conspiracy to kidnap Henry Kissinger - Conspiracy to bomb D.C. heating tunnels - Chose Harrisburg Pennsylvania as it was a conservative district and were favourable towards the Vietnam war - Level the playing field by selecting the jury - Bruce Sales - Telephone interviews to those who were eligible - Face-to-face interviews - Detailed questions about individuals beliefs about government, etc. - Determine the kinds of people who are going to have attitudes more favourable to the defence - Who should be selected and who should be rejected from the jury - Indicate the questions which would discriminate those to be selected - Final result was a hung jury: only 2 for conviction - Jay Schulman lead this team, and founded the Natoinal Jury Project National Jury Project - Purpose to help attorneys make appropriate boidere decisions about who should be on the jury - Most jury selection is in civil trials when there is a lot of money at stake - More about the kind of arguments to be presented to the jury Decision Quest - Donald Vinson - Jury selection O.J. Simpson Case - Jury selection processes were put in place lead by Jo-Ellen Demetrius - O.J. support – black women - Dislike Clark (prosecuting attorney)– black women - Best jurors to acquit:  Young  Blue-collar  Black women  Less educated  Low SES - Final jury:  1 black man  2 white men  1 Latino man  8 black women Advantages of Jury Research - Targeted towards commercial clients in civil trials 1. Shows questions jurors want answered  Undertake jury research very early as they know what will happen  Investigating what sort of case they should present  Running through mock trials  Interview the jurors during various stages to see what is confusing them and what questions they may still have 2. Early identification of problems in case  Where are the jurors reaching conclusions? 3. Indicates how jurors see the case  What are the main issues  How do they see the defendants? 4. Prepares the ground for mediation  What do the jurors think would be fair compensation? 5. Provides realistic damage assessments 6. Indicates graphics needed Jury Research Methods 1. Mock juries  Used widely by jury selection firms  Presented with trial evidence beforehand; verdicts noted  Most common methodology 2. Shadow juries  Sit in court each day, provide feedback to attorneys  Used in consultation firms not academic research 3. Community surveys  Identify undesirable jurors  Sample group of individuals from community in which trial is taking place ad identify those who would prejudice or for the client  Preparation for the bouidir Juror Demographics and Verdicts 1. Socioeconomic status (SES)  Income and education  Mixed results – not clear relationship  High SES are more likely to convict; other studies find they are more likely to convict  May be certain types of trials, but the research is not well enough developed  Trial type interaction: some trial types we do see an effect of SES  For now there is no general effect 2. Education  Mixed results – no clear relationship 3. Age, Gender  Mixed results – no clear relationship  Women more likely to convict in rape trials then men?  Ideally we do not want any of these variables to effect the jury 4. Race-ethnicity, religion  Mixed results – no clear relationship  Jurors weight the facts and reach, in most cases, a reasonable conclusion Jurors Personality and Verdicts 1. Authoritarianism  F-scale (fascism scale)  Right-wing authoritarianism scale (RWA)  Strong belief in the necessity for order, structure and leader ship in a culture  Belief in power of government to control things  Belief in accuracy of government  Strong in communist systems  Today more common among conservative republicans F-Scale - 6-point scale; strongly agree to strongly disagree RWA Scale - Agree or disagree to statements Authoritarianism and Verdicts - More ready to convict – bias towards the government - Better recall of prosecution than defense evidence – selectively recall evidence - Recommended longer sentences - More punitive toward low-status defendants (people who come from minority groups) - Prejudice towards certain ethnic or religious groups - Effect small – larger in real than mock juries Juror Bias Scale - 22 statements, 5-point scale. Two subscales: 1. Probability of commission:  Extent towards the likelihood of leaning to the prosecusion side  “A suspect who runs form the police most probably committed the crime.”  “Generally the police only make an arrest when they are sure about who committed the crime.” 2. Reasonable doubt  “If a majority of the evidence – but not all of it – suggests the defendant committed the crime, then the jury should vote not guilty.”  “Circumstantial evidence is too weak to use in court” - Kassin and Wrightsman (1983): r = .30 between scale scores and verdicts (~10 variance)  Subscales are not completely independent of each other - Penrod and Cutler (1987): r=.60 between subscale scores – what is being measured? - Critics: we are measuring the same thing - Myers & Lecci (1998): probability of commission scale measures two things:  Confidence in the justice system  Cynicism towards some aspect of the justice system - People high in reasonable doubt are less likely to convict - High in probability of commission more likely to convict Juror Personality and Verdicts 2. Dogmatism  Not correlated with racial, prejudice, whereas authoritarianism is  Belief in necessity for strong government control  Hugh = more likely to convict  High = more punitive after conviction  But not all studies find this  Majority of the literature note this findings 3. Locus of control: internal vs. external  Is the situation responsible for what has happened or is the individuals disposition (personality, desires) responsible for what has happened  Personal blame  High belief in internal locus of control believe that individuals are responsible for their actions  High belied in external locus of control believe that the situation is responsible for the actions committed by the individuals  Rotter (1996): Internal-external locus of control scale  External: “[In world affairs], most of us are the victims of forces we can neither understand nor control.”  Internal: “By taking an active part in political and social affairs, the people can control world events.”  External: “Many of the unhappy things in people’s live are due to bad luck.”  Internal: “peoples misfortunes arise from the mistakes they make.”  Sosi (1974): Drunk driving case  Internals: o Recommended harsher punishment o View defendant as more responsible o No relation between locus of control and perceived guilt o When they know the individual is guilty they place more responsibility on the individual  Phares & Wilson (1972): Auto accident case  Internals: o Defendant more responsible when actions ambiguous and injuries high o No difference when defendant clearly at fault, or injuries less severe o External locus control see the defendant as guilty when there is no ambiguity 4. Just world beliefs: high vs. low  Belief that people get what they deserve  Justice always prevails  Gerbassi et al (1977): real/mock homicide cases  High JW: o Using real, mock cases, simulations o Less favorable impression of defendant o Recommended harsher punishment o Effect stronger in women  Zuckerman & Gerbassi (1975): mock rape case  High JW: o Victim held more responsible o Victims of high moral character less responsible than those of questionable moral character Pretrial Publicity (PTP) - Concerned mostly with negative pretrial publicity towards the defendant - Imrich et al (1995): 8-weeks; 14 US papers  27% of stories prejudicial to defendant  Most about character, guilt  Info mostly from law officiers, prsecuters  History of substance abuse? Prior crime? Not relevant to the current case - Tans & Chafee (1966): mock trials  Crime seriousness  Favourable/unfavourable DA statements  Suspect confession or denial  Defendant held or released  More elements = higher probability of guilty verdict  Summative effect: more kinds of negative publicity the greater the likelihood of a guilty verdict Kramer, Kerr & Carroll (1990) - Compared factual vs. emotional PTP with or without delay (~12 days) before trial - Emotional had little to do with the defendants involvement  Hit and run incident in which a girl was killed  Car and description was the description of the car belonging to the defendant  Passenger matched description of defendant - Pre-deliberation. No verdict differences between groups - PTP increases probability of conviction - Conviction 20% higher with emotional than factual PTP; even though he was not the driver of the car - PTP – trial delay reduces effect of factual PTP - PTP – trial delay increases effect of emotional PTP - Instructions to ignore had no effect on PTP - Did not ask jurors about whether or not they remembered the PTP - PTP increases persuability of ‘acquitters’ or increases persuasiveness of ‘convicters’ – or both  After deliberation there is an effect of PTP  Does not show up before deliberation - High emotion: higher conviction and hung juries - High factual: hung no difference between convictions Steblay et al (1999) - Meta-analysis of 23 PTP studies - Negative PTP increases probability of conviction - German research: difficulties making distinction between sources of information - Effects greater with jury pool members than students (students are better at basing their decisions on facts) - Larger effects with real PTP - Larger effects with murder, sexual abuse, drug cases (the more serious the case the more negative PTP) - Larger effects when longer PTP – verdict delay (the longer the delay the greater the PTP effect) October 22 , 2013 Juror Decision Making - Orientation  Elect foreman  Discuss procedures  Raise general trial issues  Verdict Driven (30%)  Take poll, assess evidence for either side  Tend to be quick in making a decision  Do not consider all of the evidence  Evidence driven (70%)  Look at evidence relative to different verdicts, then take poll  Many possible verdicts - Open conflict  Normative influence  Jurors keep private opinion, but vote with the group to maintain harmony  Want to facilitate the work of the jury  Informational influence  Jurors change minds based on arguments, evidence - Reconciliation  Making sure everyone is content with the verdict - Is there a formula which describes how jurors change their beliefs:  Phase I: predetermined belief in guilt or innocence  Phase II: resentation of evidence: introduction of math, what is the model that best describes the way in which jurors accumulate evidence in order to reach a verdict?  Phase III: conclusions of probability to innocence relative to criteria for judgment. Comparison between current belief of guilt with the standard Bayesian Model of Juror Decision Making - Adjusting prior probabilities on the basis of new information - Initially begin with no presumptions of innocence - Prior probability (P prior  Instructions re presumption of innocence  Shaped by jurors attitudes  Justice system  Defendants - New Evidence item  Witnesses  Exhibits  Arguments - Probability updating  (Pprior PE/G)/P evidence Ppost  Reaching 1 or 0, there will be no further change – no other piece of evidence will change belief - Conviction Criterion  P*  Given that our belief is a certain probabili
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