Chapter 12

Chapter 12 - Psychologists have examined factors that...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–10. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: Psychologists have examined factors that affect the accuracy of jury verdicts.  We have learned that evidentiary strength is probably the most important determinant of jurors’ verdicts in both civil and criminal trials. But jury decisions can also be influenced by extralegal information . Can you give some examples of extralegal information? Why are jury decisions influenced by irrelevant information? Kalven and Zeisel’s (1966) liberation hypothesis: when the evidence in a case clearly favors one side, juries will decide the case in favor of that side. But when the evidence is ambiguous, jurors are “liberated” and allowed to rely on their assumptions, sentiments, and biases (i.e., extralegal evidence) in reaching a verdict. Effects of Extralegal Information The mechanism by which juries reach these decisions is captured by the dual-process theory of attitude change (Eagly & Chaiken, 1993) that distinguishes two different kinds of information- processing strategies or “routes:” Central : focuses on the evidence BUT WHEN EVIDENCE IS CONFUSING… Peripheral: focuses on the extraneous details. The Influence of Prior-Record Evidence Once jurors have heard evidence about a defendant’s prior criminal record, they may be prejudiced by it and judge the current offense in light of those past misdeeds. So the prosecution is often not permitted to introduce this evidence. The Influence of Prior-Record Evidence But if defendants take the witness stand, then prosecutors may be able to question them about certain types of past convictions in order to impeach their credibility as witnesses. If the defendant takes the witness stand, the judge may issue a limiting instruction : evidence of a defendant’s prior record can be used to gauge the defendant’s credibility but not to prove the defendant’s propensity to commit the charged offense. Impact of Extralegal Information in Criminal Cases The Influence of Prior-Record Evidence Limiting instructions are rarely effective, thus, attorneys often recommend that clients with prior records not take the witness stand to testify on their own behalf. Mock jurors informed of a defendant’s prior conviction were more likely than jurors who had no information about a prior record to convict the defendant on subsequent charges although similarity of the charges was found to be an important variable. The Impact of Evidence on Multiple Charges Most courts permit a criminal defendant to be tried for two or more charges at the same time as long as the offenses are similar or are connected to the same act. This procedure is called joinder . The Impact of Evidence on Multiple Charges...
View Full Document

This note was uploaded on 08/31/2011 for the course SOP 4842 taught by Professor Reardon during the Spring '08 term at FIU.

Page1 / 37

Chapter 12 - Psychologists have examined factors that...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 10. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online