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Jury Psychology.docx

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Richard B Day

Jury Psychology - Jury selection – mostly in the US History – relatively new (40 years) - 1971 trial of Herrisburg Seven o group (Phillip and Daniel Berrigan) charged by FBI with conspiring to kidnap Henry Kissinger o trial held in a very conservative city o sociology Jay Schulman helped defense in jury selection  phone interviews – tried to determine what people would be more favourable to defense/who should be rejected o result = hung jury with 10 for acquittal. Defendants never retried - most jury selection is for civil trials (not criminal) o ie. Cases where lots of money is at stake Advantages of jury research in civil trials: - Discloses the questions jurors want asked in the discovery (then they can be included in defense) - Identifies problems in the case early, so you will have time to fix them - Removes your blinders in time to see the finish line (indicates how jurors see the case) - Arms your side for mediation – prepare defense for eventual mediation - Provides a range of realistic damage values - Provides guidance on the graphics to be used – graphics to simplify complicated aspects of the case o Well constructed graphics are key to winning almost any type of case OJ Simpson Trial - Jo-Ellen Demetrius conducted extensive pre-trial research to determine what type of people should be included in the jury - Determined that black women had overwhelming support for OJ and disliked the prosecutor Marcia Clark - Final jury consisted 8/12 black women – and he won the case Methods - Mock Juries o Presented with trial evidence before trial and their judgments noted o Widely used  most common way to see how jury acts - Shadow juries (after trial starts) o Sit in the courtroom during the trial and brief their clients at the end of the day o Listening to and evaluating evidence – can identify problems - Community surveys o To identify undesirable jurors – demographics and beliefs o preparation for voir dire - focus groups Juror demographic characteristics and criminal verdicts - Occupation - Socioecomonic status (income, education) - Education - Age - Gender - Race-ethnicity - Religion - RESULT : nothing has clear relationship (which is good) Juror personality factors and verdicts – many do have an impact on jury verdicts - Authoritarianism o Desire for order, leadership, structure o Power and accuracy of government - Several ways to test it o California F-scale (F=fascism) o Altemeyer Right-Wing Authoritarianism Scale (RWA)  Order, structure, discipline - Authoritarians o More ready to convict; bias towards government/prosecution side o Have better recall for prosecution that for defense evidence o Recommend longer sentences o More punitive towards defendants of low status - Relation between authoritarianism and verdicts are very small. Effect stronger among actual jurors than among student mock jurors - Juror Bias Scale o Rate 22 statements on a 5 point scale from strongly agree-strongly disagree 1) Probability of Commission 2) Reasonable doubt (understanding)  high = less likely to convict - you should not convict someone if there is reasonable doubt o the answers of these scales are correlated (0.3) – shows that we are basically measuring the same thing o likely to lead to prosecution side - Probability of Commission it composed of two factors: o Confidence in Legal System (justice – the government makes no mistakes) o Cynicism towards criminal justice system (against certainty of government) - Dogmatism o not much different from authoritarianism; more general and characterized by inflexibility o not the same connection with prejudice; authoritarianism has lots of prejudice and religious bias o high in dogmatism = more likely to convict and more likely to be punitive (heavier sentences)  swayed by defense (same result as authoritarianism) - Locus of Control; situation vs disposition  which is responsible? o External locus of control believe that situational factors outside the individual’s control are largely responsible for events o Internal locus of control believe they control their own destiny o Sosi (1974) – drunk driving case. Internals = harsher punishments (viewed defendant as more responsible). No relation between locus of control and perceived guilt o Internals attribute more responsibility to defendants when actions were ambiguous and injury t others was high o No difference when defendant clearly at fault, or when injuries were not severe - Just World Beliefs o People generally get what they deserve  Ie. They think victims of rape are themselves responsible for the attack o Mock homicide cases – high = less favorable impression of defendant, recommend harsher sentences. o Effect stronger in women o Victims of high moral character held as less responsible than individuals of questionable moral character  Ie. Sex trade workers who are raped are held more responsible than a nun who Is raped Pretrial Publicity – US only Research - suggests that defendants described in prejudicial manner in 27% of stories examined (negative light on defendant) o mostly about subject’s character o then about prior arrest/conviction information  not even relevant to guilt or innocence o most common source of information was law enforcement officers and prosecutors (legal system itself) Experimental studies - lower in ecological validity but are more detailed - when more negative aspects were given about a defendant, they were more likely to be judged as guilty - two types of pretrial publicity examined o Factual publicity – incriminating information that suggested guilt about defendant o Emotional publicity – no explicitly incriminating information but aroused negative emotions o Neither instructions nor deliberations reduced impacts of either form of publicity  No deliberation, no difference  Difference seen only after deliberation was reached o Deliberation suggested that prejudicial publicity can increase or decrease the persuasibility of conviction advocates o Several days between exposure to publicity and viewing the trial was a remedy (reduced impact) for factual publicity but not emotional o Juries exposed to pretrial publicity:  More likely to give guilty verdict than those without exposure  High factual content = more likely to give guilty verdict when there was no delay between receiving information and the trial  Low factual content = more likely to give guilty verdict when there was delay between receiving information and the trial - even when one is told to ignore pretrial publicity, its hard to - participants exposed to negative PTP are more likely to judge defendants guilty compared to people exposed to less or no PTP - larger effects in studies using members of potential jury pool rather than students (because students are better at judging facts) - larger effects in studies using real PTP o the more serious the case, the more effect PTP had - larger effects in studies with longer delay between exposure and verdict time Jury Decision Making Orientation - verdict driven o 30% of injuries – start with straw poll but may not look at all the evidence (only what they believe is relevant) - evidence driven o begin by focusing on evidence. o What does each piece of evidence mean? o Slower at reaching conclusion but more rigorous than verdict driven Open Conflict - normative influence o jurors maintain their private beliefs, but change their vote to go along with others o persuaded to change vote – conformity - informational influence o jurors internalize the arguments and change their mind and their verdicts Reconciliation - attempts to make sure that everyone is satisfied Mathematical Models - Bayesian Probability model – dominant o 3 general phases 1) Predetermined notion about guilt/innocence 2) Presentation of Evidence – combine new info with existing beliefs - multiplicity 3) End with belief/probability a. Meter stops if probability reaches 1 or 0 – no further change o Conviction criteria  how high does percentage have to be to judge as guilty? o Utility evaluation – judge’s instructions, s
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