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University of Waterloo
John Rempel

JURY SELECTION  In Canada, criminal trials have 12-person juries  Only some types of offences can proceed with jury trials.  3 types of offences in Canada: Summary offences  Sentence of less than 6 months in prison and a fine of less than $2000  Tried by judge alone  Defendant doesn’t have a right to a trial by jury Indictable offences – 3 categories  Less serious indictable offences are heard by a judge sitting alone - include theft, obtaining money or property by false pretences, and failure to comply with a probation order  High serious indictable offences must be tried by judge and jury – includes treason, murder, and piracy  There are the indictable offences for which the accused can choose whether the trial proceeds by judge and jury or judge alone – include robbery, arson, sexual assault with a weapon  The defendant has the option to choose: - To be tried by a provincial or territorial court judge - To have a preliminary inquiry and to be tried by a judge without a jury - To have a preliminary inquiry and to be tried by a judge AND jury Hybrid offences  Cross between indictable and summary offences  Maximum sentence is 5 years or more in prison if they proceed by indictment It is up to the Crown attorney whether to proceed with the case as an indictable offence or a summary offence. Jury selection in Canada  The Jury Act = provincial and territorial legislation that outlines the eligibility criteria for jury service, and how prospective jurors must be selected  Juror selection is governed by federal law  Prospective jurors receive a jury summons = a court order that states the time and place to attend for jury duty  It does not guarantee that the individual will be a juror  Ignoring a summons is a severe offence; punishable by fine or imprisonment  After arrival at the courthouse, you are given a number, and escorted to a room with other potential jurors - you cannot talk, eat, or drink while in this room  If you are selected from the juror pool, you may be challenged by one of the lawyers (2 types of challenges that can cause a lawyer to reject a juror) Peremptory challenge  Both the Crown and defense are allowed a limited number of peremptory challenges  20 peremptory challenges in murder trials, for each side  12 peremptory challenges in most other crimes, for each side  Used to reject jurors who the lawyers believe are unlikely to reach a verdict in their favor  The lawyer does not need to provide a reason to rejecting the prospective juror Challenge for cause  Lawyers must give their reason for challenging the prospective juror  Juror payment  Jurors receive a fee for each day they serve on a jury  Fees increase as the trial continues  In Ontario:  $40 per day, from Day 11 to 49  $100 per day, from for 50 days or more  Jurors are responsible for their own lunches during a trial  When a jury is in deliberation, meals and accommodation are typically provided  If a verdict has not been reached by the end of the day, jurors will be housed in hotel rooms; where they will remain sequestered until a verdict is reached Sequestered = when jurors are isolated from others, except other jurors Lawyer selection of favorable jurors  Olczak, Kaplan and Penord (1991)  Lawyers are not very good at selecting favorable jurors.  More likely to make erroneous decisions than accurate decisions  They discard jurors who found the defendant not guilty and selected jurors who found the defendant guilty Scientific jury selection  Prospective jurors are evaluated based on predetermined characteristics to identify those who would be sympathetic or unsympathetic to the case. Broad-based approach  Starts with the presumption that thee are certain traits or attitudes that make people more likely to be pro-prosecution vs. pro-defense (authoritarianism and dogmatism)  Individuals high in these traits are more likely to side with the prosecution  Lawyers can analyze the questionnaires given to prospective jurors that assess these traits or they can ask the prospective jurors questions to assess these traits during the voir dire = question period when selection people to serve on the jury Case-specific approach  Starts with the issues and facts of the case  A specific questionnaire is developed to assess a number of characteristics that may influence the verdict  By analyzing the responses to the questionnaire items, profiles of the ideal juror for the prosecution and for the defense are developed  The trial lawyers can then ask each prospective juror the relevant questions based on their ideal juror, and then decide whether the juror should be challenged Methodology of scientific jury selection Telephone surveys  Jury-eligible respondents are selected at random from the area where the trial is being heard  Questions are asked about demographics, religious affiliation, background attitudes relevant for the case, questions pertaining to the case Focus groups and mock jury trials  Jury-eligible respondents may be called at random, asked if they are willing to participate in a focus group or mock trial  Typically lasts half or a full day  Mock jurors may view a video, or the trial may be staged for them Characteristics and responsibilities of juries in Canada The Supreme Court of Canada indicated 2 fundamental characteristics of juries: 1. A composition that represents the community in which the crime occurred = representativeness 2. Jurors who are unbiased = impartiality Cognitive ability  Sufficient intellectual ability to process information  Should be:  Able to understand the proceedings and the arguments presented  Able to understand the seriousness of their responsibility  Able to think critically, raise questions  Open-minded; to avoid foreclosing on a judgment, before hearing the evidence  Rational; data-driven mindset, rather than overly emotional Need for cognition  Involves people’s individual differences  Differences in their interests and excitements  Differences in their willingness to think abstract and analytically  Some people like to think abstractly  Some people would like to avoid thinking abstractly  Thisisnot correlated with level of intelligence  Very intelligent people may not want to think analytically Representativeness  Jury’s composition represents the community in which the crime occurred  A “jury of your peers”; to counter-balance the judge’s one-person judgment  Juries must allow any possible eligible person from the community, the opportunity to be part of the jury  This is achieved through random selection  In some cases, the Crown or the defense may challenge the composition of the jury; arguing that it does not represent the community on some characteristic Criticisms of random selection  There may be people who can serve on a jury, but whose names do not appear on public listings e.g. a homeless person may not have a phone, but is eligible for jury  The Jury Act lists exemptions for those who cannot serve on a jury; thus limiting the true representativeness of the jury pool Impartiality  A lack of bias on part of the juror  For a juror to be impartial, they must set aside any pre-existing biases, prejudices, attitudes; and judge the case based solely on admissible evidence  Juror must ignore any information that is not part of the inadmissible evidence e.g. prior to the start of the trial, a case may have received media attention that highlights biased, irrelevant, or inadmissible information about the defendant  Juror must not have any connection to the defendant; so that the juror does not view the evidence subjectively, and does not unduly influence the other jurors Threats to impartiality  Steblay et. Al (1999) – found a modest, positive correlation between exposure to negative pretrial publicity and judgments of guilt. As exposure to negative pretrial publicity increases, so do the number of guilty verdicts.  Kramer, Kerr and Carroll (1990) – people tend to forget the factual details of the information they heard or read, but they remember the emotions that it raised. o Juries exposed to pretrial publicity were more likely to render a guilty verdict o Juries exposed to publicity with high factual content were more likely to render a guilty verdict when there was no trial delay o Juries exposed to publicity with low factual content were more likely to render a guilty verdict when there was a delay How to keep jurors impartial  The Crown or the defense may argue that the trial should be moved to another community = change of venue Community may be biased due to extensive pretrial publicity, heinous crime, small town where people may know victim/defendant.  Allow sufficient time to pass so that the biasing effect of any pretrial prejudicial information has dissipated by the time the trial takes place = judge may call for adjournment (delay in trial) Witnesses my move/die or forget crucial details  If bias is suspected among the prospective jury pool, a challenge for cause may be granted. In that case, both the Crown and the defense will be allowed to question the jurors  These questions are relatively few, and only their state of mind or thinking can be examined  Lawyers are not allowed to ask prospective jurors about their background or personality  Other members of the jury pool are selected to act as triers of the other members  Based on their questioning, if the triers decide that a prospective juror is impartial, then that prospective juror becomes a member of the jury Criticisms (challenge for cause)  Process may be conducted in open court; where the jury pool can hear the answers that lead to a positive or negative decision from the triers  It’s possible for jurors to alter their answers, according to whether they want to serve on the jury or not  Prospective jurors may find it difficult to be honest, when answering questions about bias that may put them in an unflattering light especially if the questioning is conducted in open court  This process assumes that prospective jurors must be aware of their biases and how their biases influence their behavior  Nisbett and Wilson (1977) - suggest that individuals are unaware of their biases and how their biases affect their behavior Prejudices Generic prejudice = stereotyping against out-groups  Unlikely to be overt stereotyping  Must be countered with actual experience  It is difficult to simply change one’s stereotype through merely cognitive persuasion Normative prejudice = the pressure to conform to societal standards  E.g. an individual’s sub-group values may be carried with them into the courtroom Specific prejudice = attitudes and beliefs about a specific case  E.g. a juror who has a family member who has been a victim of rape, is not going to be impartial if sitting on a jury for a rape case Interest prejudice =aspecificprejudice related to the case; juror has a stake in outcome  E.g. lawsuit against a tobacco company; the juror is a smoker, and if the lawsuit succeeds then the cost of cigarettes is going to increase  In both specific and interest prejudice; the bias is a result of the emotions that individuals carry with them about the case  These emotions have more influence on the juror’s judgment than their cognitive beliefs Jury functions  To apply the law, as provided by the judge  To the admissible evidence in the case  Render a verdict of guilt or innocence 4 other jury functions  To use the wisdom of 12 people to reach a verdict; rather than just the wisdom of 1 person  To act as the conscience of the community  To protect against out-of-date laws  To increase knowledge about the justice system Ignoring the law  Jury nullification = when a jury ignores the law and evidence, rendering a verdict based on some other criteria e.g.  They may believe that the law is unfair, given the circumstances of the case  The punishment accompanying a conviction is too harsh for the crime  Typically occurs in cases that involve controversial issues; e.g. abortion and euthanasia  Informing juries of their power to disregard the law leads to increased not-guilty verdicts - but there are other factors that interact with these instructions  High-status defendants who were not remorseful, receive fewer convictions  Low-status defendants who were remorseful, receive fewer convictions Studying juror and jury behavior Post-trial interviews - In Canada, actual jurors are not allowed to discuss what occurred in deliberations - It is a summary offence for a juror who discuses any part of the deliberation process - Advantages  High external validity - results are derived from using real cases and actual jurors - Disadvantages  Conclusions based on this interview data are unreliable  Jurors may recall details inaccurately or forget critical aspects of the deliberation  Jurors may downplay elements to present themselves more favorably  Jurors may be unaware of the reasons for their decisions  A cause-effect relationship cannot be established with this type of methodology Archives - Records of trials can be reviewed to uncover relationships between variables - E.g. court transcripts, police interviews of witnesses - Advantages  High external validity - Disadvantages  A cause-effect relationship cannot be established with this type of methodology  Researcher is restricted to the data available  The types of questions that can be posed are limited by the information that  Can be accessed  Researcher is unable to go back and collect more information  Researcher is unaware of how the information was collected, and the reliability of information Simulation - Most common methodology - Researchers simulate a trial, or aspects of it; using a written, audio, or video format - Participants are presented with the trial information - The information that participants receive can be varied and manipulated by the - Researcher  E.g. race of the defendant, age of the witness - Following the trial presentation, participants are asked to respond individually - (Juror research) or respond in groups (jury research) - Advantages  High internal validity  Researchers can determine cause-and-effect relationships; because they  Systematically manipulated the independent variables - Disadvantages  Limited external validity o E.g. cases are not real; no consequences to the verdicts or decisions the  Jurors render  Participants are typically university students Field studies - Using actual jurors, while they are serving on jury duty - Therefore, cooperation from courts and jurors are required - Researchers observe variables of interests as they occur - Advantages  High external validity - Disadvantages  Receiving approval from the courts for conducting the field research may be  Difficult  Only a small sample of participants will be available  Appropriate comparisons groups may be difficult to identify  Many confounding variables that the researcher is unable to control  E.g. gender of lawyers, gender of witnesses Reaching a verdict - Deliberation = when jury members discuss the evidence, privately among themselves, to reach a verdict that is then provided to the court Listening to the evidence - Trials can be lengthy and complex; resulting in missed or forgotten evidence by the time the jury is asked to deliberate - 2 aids have been proposed for jurors, while they listen to the evidence 1) Note taking - Allowing jurors to take notes may facilitate memory and understanding of the evidence - Note takers may be more attentive during the trial - Disadvantages to juror note taking:  Jurors who take notes may exert influence while in deliberation, over those who do not  If disagreements occur about the evidence, jurors will rely on those who took notes to clarify the issue - Horowitz and ForsterLee (2001) – community citizens watched a videotape of a complex civil trial involving multiple plaintiffs.  Results: note takers were better able to differentiate among multiple plaintiffs and were better able to assign monetary awards accordingly. Having notes was more helpful for increasing juror knowledge about the evidence than having access to trial transcript was. - Rosenhan et al (1994) – note takers recalled more information than those who did not take notes. They also scored higher on comprehension than those who did not take notes. - Penrod and Heuer (1997) found that:  Juror notes serve as a memory aid  Note takers can keep up with the evidence as it is being presented  Jurors’ notes are an accurate record of the trial  Jurors do not over-emphasize the evidence that they have noted at the expense of evidence they have not recorded  Notes do not produce a distorted view of the case  Note takers do not distract jurors who do not take notes  Note takers do not have an undue influence over those who did not take notes  Juror note taking does not favor either the prosecution or the defense 2) Asking questions - Courts have considered allowing jurors to ask questions during the trial - Advantages by Penrod and Heuer (1997):  Promotes greater understanding of the evidence  Can help reveal the truth  Can identify for lawyers which issues are unclear  Increases satisfaction with the judicial process - Disadvantages by Penrod and Heuer (1997):  Jurors may ask unallowable questions  Lawyers might be reluctant to object to jurors’ questions  Jurors could misunderstand lawyers’ objections to their questions  Jurors could confuse their role in the judicial process, and take on an advocate role - Conclusions by Penrod and Heuer (1997):  Promotes juror understanding of the facts and issues  Do not help clearly to get to the truth  Questions do not increase the satisfaction of the jurors/judges/lawyers regarding the trial and verdict  Jurors ask legally appropriate questions  If counsel objects, and the objection is sustained, the jury does not draw inappropriate inferences from unanswered questions  Jurors do not become advocates thus, allowing jurors to ask questions does not appear to be particularly harmful nor helpful - In Canada, jurors may submit their questions in writing to the judge after the lawyers have completed their questioning of the witness. Disregarding inadmissible evidence - Often, juries will hear inadmissible evidence - Following an inadmissible statement or evidence, the judge will instruct the jury to disregard it - Hans and Doob (1976)  Participants who were given the inadmissible evidence were 40% more likely to reach a guilty verdict than the participants who did not receive this evidence  Jurors are not very good at ignoring evidence once they have heard it, even it is inadmissible Factors that affect juror compliance to instructions to disregard - Strength of the admissible evidence - Sue, Smith and Caldwell (1973)  When evidence against the defendant was weak; jurors are more likely to consider the inadmissible evidence, and render more guilty verdicts  When evidence against the defendant was strong; jurors are more likely to disregard the inadmissible evidence - Inadmissible evidence also seems to have a greater influencewhenacrime is of a less serious nature e.g. vandalism compared to arson or homicide. - Kassin and Sommers (1997) – whether jurors will follow a judge’s instructions to disregard inadmissible evidence is related to the reason for the instruction rather than to the instruction itself.  When jurors were asked to disregard evidence because it was illegally obtained, their verdicts were similar to the jurors who received the ruling that the tape was admissible  When jurors were instructed to disregard the tape because of comprehension difficulty, they rendered verdicts similar to the control jurors who had not heard about the inadmissible evidence.  Jurors will disregard evidence when they are provided with a logical/legitimate reason for the judge’s decision to disregard it - Backfire effect = when a judge’s instruction to disregard evidence simply makes that evidence more memorable, than if no instruction was given Judge’s instructions - A judge’s instructions often contain several legal terms and complex sentence structure - Jurors do not remember, understand, or accurately apply the judge’s instructions - 4 reforms to judge’s instructions have been proposed 1) Rewriting instructions - Instructions could be simplified by relying on psycholinguistic and cognitive research - However, errors in comprehension remain fairly high (at about 75%), even after the instructions are rewritten 2) Providing written instructions - Jurors have the instructions in a supplemental form, which they access as they deliberate - Written instructions can aid juror understanding of the judge’s oral instructions - However, some studies have not found a difference in comprehension between the oral/written instructions 3) Pre-evidence and post-evidence instructions - Providing jurors with instructions both before and after they hear the evidence - Some research supports that pre-evidence and post-evidence instructions are more beneficial than just post-evidence instructions 4) Lawyer clarification - Lawyers could clarify complex legal terms during their closing arguments - Little direct research exists Models of jury decision-making Mathematical models - View jurors as conducting a set of mental calculations, regarding the importance and strength of each piece of evidence - Guilty/not-guilt verdict is determined by the outcome of the calculations of relevant evidence - Ellsworth and Mauro (1998)  Mathematical approach is not supported by how jurors report that they reach verdicts  Jurors do not appear to provide a value for each piece of evidence  It is difficult to partition evidence into discrete pieces that can be assigned a value Explanation models - Suggests that evidence is organized into a coherent whole = the story model - Jurors are active at understanding and processing the evidence - Jurors interpret and elaborate on evidence - Make causal connections = create a story structure - These stories are then compared with each verdict that is presented by the judge - The verdict option most consistent with the story, is their chosen verdict - Jurors listening to the same evidence may construct different stories - Individual differences can influence the story-construction process - Thus, jurors may reach different decisions after hearing the same evidence - Pennington and Hastie (1986)  Found that jurors put the evidence into a story format and different stories were related to different verdicts.  Found that when the evidence is presented in chronological order - more likely that the verdict reached would be consistent with that story order - Kassin et al (1990)  Participants read the summary of an actual murder case  Watched a 45-minute interrogation of the female defendant  She defended her innocence, but made very implausible assertions  Followed by a presentation of the defense attorney, and a presentation by the prosecuting attorney, and then their respective counter-arguments  2 conditions:  Defense-attorney spoke first; then Crown countered  Crown spoke first, and defense-attorney countered  Findings  There is a relationship between the order of presentation and the juror’s needforcognition  People who were high in need for cognition (liked to think abstractly/analytically) - displayed a primacy effect  Primacy effect = whoever went first, tended to influence their judgments more because those high in need for cognition are attempting to integrate and actively counter- argue the information that is presented  Evidence of a cognitive bias known as the anchoring effect; analyzing the new information in terms of what they already know  People who were low in need for cognition;showedarecency effect  Recency effect = whoever went last, tended to influence their judgments more because those who are low in need for cognition are not attempting to counter-argue the information that is presented  The way in which people process information is influenced by the order in which they receive this information Deliberations - In Canada, the jury is sequestered until the final verdict is reached and the judge dismisses the jury. - Jury is expected to review the evidence, and determine the most consistent match; between the verdict options provided by the judge, and the admissible evidence - Polarization = phenomenon when individuals tend to become more extreme in their initial position, after a group discussion - Leniency bias = when jurors move toward greater leniency, during deliberations - 2 broad styles of jury deliberation  Verdict-driven juries = starts the deliberation process by taking an initial verdict poll  Evidence-driven juries = starts the deliberation process by discussing the evidence - a verdict poll is not taken until much later during the deliberation Majority influence in-group dynamics - The people who are part of the majority tend to have an extraordinary amount of influence in the jury deliberation room - Conformity processes of group influence - the tendency for people to follow the majority - Sometimes people don’t say anything to disagree and there is the assumption that everyone else in the group must agree with the speaker = consensual agreement - Some individuals may possess a great amount of status; and thus attain the obedience of the other jury members  Jurors from high-status professions  Male jurors  Jurors who are more vocal Minority influence in-group dynamics - Minority positions usually place the individual at a disadvantage - But there are some instances where membership of a minority group may be advantageous - Minority viewpoints tend to be the focus of discussion - people pay more attention to the minority viewpoint – they want to understand why you disagree with them - People are unprepared for minority’s disagreement, and caught off guard; people lack ready counter-arguments against minority arguments - Minorities are more effective at moving the decision towards acquittal, rather than conviction - To move towards acquittal, the minority only needs to create a reasonable doubt whereas a movement towards conviction, requires the complete removal of doubt - Given the high standard of evidence necessary to remove doubt; it is difficult to move a jury’s decision to feeling less doubtful, to the point of conviction - However, minority individuals are rarely willing to stand up on their own - they still need a small base of support to begin with Group polarization - When people are in groups, they tend to magnify their initial sentiments - The group merely reinforces the prevailing sentiments of the individual members - Majority usually wins - Risky shift = process where when people enter a group, they become riskier  When people enter a group, and already posses a risky personality, that person’s riskiness will be magnified; and vice versa, for risk-aversive personalities  This was disproven; this phenomenon was attributed to group polarization instead - In the public society, people tend more towards leniency (general trend)  May be due to the high standards required to prove guilt  May be due to identifying with a person  May be due to distress of the consequence; of placing an innocent person in prison Groupthink - Phenomenon where a group of intellectual people may determine a disastrous decision - JFK’s planned invasion of Cuba  When Fidel Castro gained power over Cuba, the Kennedy administration came up with a plan  Kennedy and his advisors believed that most of Cuba’s inhabitants despised Castro’s reign  Planned to spark a counter-revolution in Cuba by sending back the small group of Cubans who had fled to the States and having them incite a revolution among their fellow Cubans in Cuba  This plan failed terribly Groupthink’s desire for cohesion - Desired avoidance of being excluded in a high-power decision-making group - Pressure for group members to agree with each other - Conviction within the group; that the group is moral, right, and can do no wrong - Stereotyped view of out-groups; view that other people who disagree with the group’s viewpoint are incorrect; resulting in pressure to agree with the group Results of Groupthink - Increased conformity pressure - Self-censorship of doubts/concerns = not saying something because you think everyone agrees with the argument against your idea. - Role of mind-guards - the people who protect the identity of the group from embarrassment or disagreement; people who actively promote group unity - Illusion of unanimity = assuming that you’re all in agreement - Rationalization of the decision = supporting the decision through dissonance reduction. Justifying the actions of the group – there are good reasons but they are not the right ones. The final verdict - A Canadian jury must reach the unanimous verdict of all 12 jurors - If not; the jury is a hung jury, and a mistrial is declared - Hung jury = a jury that cannot reach a unanimous verdict - The Crown must then decide whether it will retry the case - In the US and UK, they have permitted majority votes of 11-1, 10-2 and 9-3 Research findings - Saks and Marti (1997) - 6-person juries vs. 12-person juries  6 person juries are less representative of the community  Remember less of the evidence  Return quicker verdicts  More likely to reach unanimous verdicts - Hastie, Penrod, and Pennington (1983)  When a jury can retire with a majority vote (as in the States), they tend to reach a decision faster  Do not discuss both the evidence and the law  Minority opinions are more strongly ignored, because they are allowed to exist  When a verdict poll is taken initially, during the start of deliberations the final verdict tends to be consistent with the results of the first poll in 90% of cases - MacCoun and Kerr (1988) n- studied juror preferences at start of deliberations and the final verdicts  A pro-defense faction is more persuasive than a pro-prosecution faction  If 7 or less jurors vote initially vote guilty; not-guilty verdict  If 10 or more jurors initially vote guilty; guilty verdict  If 8 or 9 jurors initially vote guilty; the final verdict is unpredictable Predicting verdicts - 6 types of variables that have been studied in relation to the verdict 1) Demographic variables - Variables such as gender, race, socioeconomic status, and education of the jurors - This information is readily available to lawyers, and they may be usedtochallenge jurors Racial bias - Racial bias = disparate treatment of racial out-groups - Black defendants have been found to be treated more harshly than white defendants especially in cases of murder or sexual assault - Jurors are more likely to render guilty verdicts and longer sentences for other- race defendants, than for defendants of their own race Black sheep effect - Perez, Hosch, Ponder and Trejo (1993)  Found that juries that were predominantly white were more likely to render guilty verdicts for Hispanic defendants vs. white defendants.  Results are influenced by the strength of the evidence  When the evidence against a defendant is weak or ambiguous, demographic similarity between the defendant and the jury led to leniency  When evidence was strong against a defendant, demographic similarity between the defendant and the jury led to punitiveness Conclusion - Only a small and inconsistent relationship exists between juror demographic variables and jury verdicts - Rodney King beating case (56 baton swings + tazer)  Defense asked for the trial to be moved out of LA (bias)  Essentially tried by an entirely Caucasian jury in Ventura County (not a neutral location)  Jurors were selected = of 206 people, 6 were black and none were selected = basically all-white jury  2 of the jury were in the rifle association, and 2 others were former army members =everyone seemed to be pro-police  After the initial trial, the 4 officers were all acquitted of all charges  8 jurors wanted to acquit the police officer that had done most damage.  Their acquittal sparked the 1992 Los Angeles riots within an hour  5 days later, 54 Latinos and Koreans were killed  More than a billion $ worth of damage  More than 7000 arrests were made  The police falsely believed that Rodney King was under the influence of PCP; which makes the user impervious to pain  Therefore, excessive force was justified in order to prevent King from getting back up and harming a police officer – especially since the chokehold was abolished, the only other alternative would have been to shoot him)  Federal civil rights trial was called by George Bush  Rodney King was put on the stand during his second trial  He seemed soft-spoken and confused; not the personality of a man who required the use of excessive force  During the second trial, a second expert witness refuted the testimony of the first expert witness  First expert witness had testified that the police were justified in their use of excessive force  The jury almost leaned toward acquittal  3 jurors felt really strongly and pressed their case for a conviction  6 days later, there was an exchange of hi-5s  2 of the officers were charged (30 months in jail), while 2 were acquitted 2) Personality traits - Personality traits most commonly measured are authoritarianism and dogmatism - Individuals high in authoritarianism have right-wing political views and are conservative and rigid thinkers who acquiesce to authority - Individuals high in dogmatism tend to be rigid and closed-minded but without the political overtones found with authoritarianism - Narby, Butler, Moran (1993)  Found a moderate, positive relationship between authoritarianism and juror verdicts  Those who score high on these personality traits tend to render more guilty verdicts  Have a higher pro-prosecution bias - Marcus, Lyons, Guyton (2000)  Since jurors are required to reach a unanimous decision, jurors may need to persuade other jurors  The 5 personality dimensions examined for persuasiveness: o Extroversion; outgoing, sociable, animated o Agreeableness; altruistic, interpersonally pleasant, positive o Conscientiousness; self-disciplined, determined, dutiful o Emotional stability; calm, even-tempered, able to handle stress o Openness to experience; imaginative, sensitive, intellectually curious, unconventional  Participants high on conscientiousness are most likely to be persuaded by other participants  Participants high on openness were least likely to be persuaded by other participants  Participants high on extroversion were most persuasive  Male participants wielded more influence than female participants  Tall extroverted males were more persuasive than shorter extroverted males - Conclusion  Jurors’ personality traits are more reliable for predicting verdicts, than demographic variables 3) Attitudes - Overall, case-specific attitudes have more predictive power than general attitudes  E.g. feminist attitudes in a date-rape case are more likely to lead in a guilty verdict - No definitive conclusion; no group of attitudes/values have received sufficient investigation to reach a conclusion on this variable except in attitudes toward capital punishment. - Horowitz and Seguin (1986) – reported that juries comprising of death-qualified jurors had a 19% higher conviction rate then non-death-qualified jurors. Study of capital punishment - A convict sitting on death row argued that the jury was biased in favor of conviction - All the jurors were known to be “death-qualified” - Death-qualified jurors = people who are willing to sentence somebody to death - They are not inherently opposed to the death penalty - American courtrooms decided to eliminate anybody who was opposed to the death penalty from the jury; because they would be so unwilling to administer the appropriate death penalty - An American study was conducted; if people who are willing to administer the death penalty, think differently than from those who are unwilling to administer the death penalty Findings - Death-qualified jurors have the following characteristics:  Tended to favor crime control;morelaw-and-order oriented  More supportive of the prosecution  Less supportive of due process; less supportive of the rights of the defendant  More authoritarian; more rigid, more hierarchy-oriented - Thus, value differences do emerge - Despite the data, American courts ruled that death-qualified juries are admissible due to political reasons because if the convict’s appeal was upheld, then all juries in America would be continually hung by jurors who would be unwilling to administer capital punishment 4) Defendant characteristics - If jurors hear about a defendant’s prior criminal record that contains one or more convictions; more likely to find the defendant guilty - Small relationship between the attractiveness of the defendant and the jury - Verdict:  Verdicts were more lenien
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