Factors affecting jury decision making

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What is a jury?
Members of the public summoned by the court to sit in court and listen to the evidence, then decide on the verdict of guilty, not guilty
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What are the 3 types of factors that can affect a jury decision?
Pre-trial (e.g. competence, pre-trial publicity), During trial (e.g. characteristics of defendant/victim, race), post-trial in the deliberation room (e.g. social impact theory, conformity,)
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Name 2 characteristics of the defendant which can affect the jury's decision
Race and attractiveness
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What did Bradbury and Williams find?
Analysed racial makeup of jury, found higher percentage of white jurors were statistically more likely to find a black defendant guilty, same with hispanics and convict a black defendant but not as likely as white jurors
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What did Eberhardt find?
Studied effect of race of defendant and likelihood of them receiving the death penalty, Black men were more likely to be given the death penalty, race of victim also affected sentence, victim being white doubled chances of DP compared black victim
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What are the 3 theories explaining race bias?
Implicit personality theory (general expectation of someones personality traits e.g. black people being involved in drugs), Halo effect (bias of a person based on one characteristic), Prejudice (social identity theory, in-out group bias, F-scale)
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How can attractiveness affect a jury decision?
If the defendant is deemed attractive, they will tend to get a
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What did Stewart find?
Found a correlation between attractiveness and punishment given, the more attractive the defendant, the lighter the sentence
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What theory can be used to explain attractiveness affecting jury decisions?
The halo effect: Perceiving someone who is attractive to also possess other positive characteristics like being smart or less likely to be criminals
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How does accent affect the jurys decision?
Dixon found that people with a brummie accent are more likely to be found guilty
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What is pre-trial publicity and how does it affect jury decision making?
It is publicity by the media before a trail takes place which can influence the jurys schemas and opinions about the defendant, which are difficult to change once made
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What did Dickman, Mayes and Ruva study?
345 students were split up into 4 groups, one group received negative publicity of trial they were about to watch, other group was given positive, another given both positive and negative and the last group given reports unrelated to case
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What did they find?
The group that had the negative reports were significantly more likely to find the defendant guilty (68%) compared to 26% for positive group, then the other 2 were split 50:50
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What is an issue of these studies?
They are on mock juries, predominantly students, not generalisable and alsi we cannot be sure if same bias will appear in real court situations
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Card 2

Front

What are the 3 types of factors that can affect a jury decision?

Back

Pre-trial (e.g. competence, pre-trial publicity), During trial (e.g. characteristics of defendant/victim, race), post-trial in the deliberation room (e.g. social impact theory, conformity,)

Card 3

Front

Name 2 characteristics of the defendant which can affect the jury's decision

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What did Bradbury and Williams find?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What did Eberhardt find?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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