Posted: October 27th, 2022

Effects of Biasing information

 

Select a chapter from the assigned reading for the week in which the Chapter Application Paper is due and write a 3-5 page paper which summarizes, synthesizes, and then applies the information from the Chapter to issues relevant to the topic.

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Each paper must identify the premise and supporting points of the chapter, a synthesis of the information from the chapter, and a critical application of the premise(s) and supporting points from the chapter to an issue in psychology and the legal system. The paper should address:

Key points, patterns, and trends from the information in the chapter

  • How the chapter information applies to issues in psychology and the legal system
  • Analysis of the chapter information from a Christ-centered perspective? 

The organization of your paper is very important. Please follow APA and make sure to use section headings in your paper. Make sure to include a cover page, a references page, and develop a well-formatted, grammatical correct paper.

Your paper must be a minimum of 3–5 pages, be well-organized, and be reflective of your thinking and struggles in these very complex areas of psychology and the legal system.

Juries and Judges as Decision Markers

Chapter 12

In This Chapter
The Process of Jury Decision-Making
The Effects of Biasing Information
The Group Dynamics of Jury Deliberations
Jury Nullification
Jury Reform
Judges Compared to Juries

Process of Jury Decision Making
Mathematical model
Mental meter moves toward guilty or not guilty verdict based on evidence
Story model
Stories constructed to make sense of evidence at trial
Useful in describing decision making in rape, murder, and sexual harassment trials

Process of Jury Decision Making
Impact of evidence
Strength of evidence is best predictor of jury verdict
Severity of the charge against the defendant, negative pretrial publicity, and trial complexity are modestly correlated with verdicts
Liberation hypothesis
In most cases, verdicts are determined by strength of evidence because it is compelling
When evidence is ambiguous or close, juror are liberated from constraints of evidence

Effects of Biasing information
Pretrial publicity affecting judgment
Negative publicity affects judgment
Change of venue can be a remedy

Effects of Biasing information
Defendant characteristics affecting judgment
Wealth, social status, gender, attractiveness do not affect in straightforward way
Propensity of criminal behavior, gang membership do influence
Race interacts with jurors in racially charged trial
Moral character
Injured defendant
Individual versus corporation

Effects of Biasing information
Inadmissible evidence affecting judgment
Sustained objections
Ironic processes
Reactance theory
Impeachable evidence

Effects of Biasing information
Complex evidence effecting judgment
Complex/technical evidence
Credentials and presentation by expert witness
No overpowering impact on jurors

Group Dynamics and
Jury Deliberations
Research
University of Chicago Jury Project of 1950s: Data never analyzed; Resulted in statutes banning observation or recording jury deliberations
As result, research on jury deliberation comes from mock juries or
Strong jurors and power of majority
Key jurors or jury leader: Disproportionate influence on deliberation process
Foreperson: Jury leader; moderator
Leniency bias: Acquittal more likely with tied or close votes

Lawyers attempt to predict group dynamics during voir dire
9

Group Dynamics and
Jury Deliberations
Jurors
No established relationships; no relationship after trial
Passive spectators in court; cannot question at trial
Cannot discuss with friends/family
Must absorb and store information
Suspend judgment until all evidence submitted

HOT TOPIC
The effects of technology in the classroom
Computer animations or video simulations of how litigated events may have occurred
Brain-scan images and videos produced using MRIs and fMRIs
Juror access to internet during trial
Concerns
Key arguments using PowerPoint rated more persuasive and received better outcomes
Unequal access to expensive technologies may create unfair advantage
Mobile devices may undermine trial process

Group Dynamics and
Jury Deliberations
Three stages of deliberation
Orientation: Verdict and evidence driven style
Open conflict: Informational and normative influence
Reconciliation: Attempt to be satisfied with verdict

Group Dynamics and
Jury Deliberations
Group size is determinant of group dynamics
English Law: Dictated 12 person jury
Williams v. Florida (1970) (U.S. Supreme Court): Constitutionally permissible to reduce jury size to 6 person
Ballew v. Georgia (1978)(U.S. Supreme Court): Constitutional minimun set at 6

Group Dynamics and
Jury Deliberations
Research on jury size: Larger juries
Deliberate more
Recall evidence more accurately
Generate more arguments
Agree more on group performance
Provide broader representation of demographic groups
Are more likely to match larger community opinions

Group Dynamics and
Jury Deliberations
Decision rules (Unanimous or majority rule)
Unanimous verdict established in 14th century
Non-unanimous verdict established in 1970s in some situations
Unanimous verdicts more thorough but more hung juries
Non-unanimous verdicts save time and reduce hung juries
Dynamite charge/Allen charge/shotgun instruction to hung jury

Group Dynamics and
Jury Deliberations
Jury nullification
Can reject/nullify law
Represent moral conscience of community
Can be double-edged sword

Jury Reform
Two reformer groups
Moderate Reformers: Make good system better
Radical Reformers: Overhaul/abandon system
Methods
Simplify instructions to jury
Provide preinstructions to jury
Allow jury discussion during trial

Finding Self-Defense

Figure 13.1
18

Judges Compared to Juries
Judges should be impartial/no biases
Research
Judges are influenced by bias as much as jurors.
Judges have limited awareness of own decision making process.
Safeguards are in place to neutralize bias of jurors but not for judges.
Judges and juries have high agreement rate.
Disagreement rate must be examined.

Jury-Judge Agreement Rates Averaged Across Studies

Table 13.1
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