Persuading A Jury - Pennington and Hastie
Pennington and Hastie
The only thing that should affect the verdict given is the evidence, but there are certain Psychological factors which influence the persuasion of a jury. One of these factors is the order in which the evidence is presented.
Aim: Investigate whether participants could be led to a verdict by the order of testimony.
Method and Procedure: Lab experiment;130 student participants; given evidence from a real-life trial on a tape recording;had to reach a guilty/not guilty verdict;presented in witness order/story order. Story order = natural order, easily construct a story about what had happened. Witness order = presented like it was in the original trial.
Results: 69% GV = Story Order 47% GV = Witness Order. So, when prosecution evidence was presented in an order that made a story easy to construct, participants were more likely to present a guilty verdict
Conclusion: The order of presentation of evidence can have a persuasive effect on the jury. Lawyers use the best witnesses first and the worst last...lawyers should consider presenting their evidence in s/o to secure more GV.