Reaching a verdict - persuading a jury

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Pennington and Hastie - effect of order testimony

  • investigate whether jurors are more easily persuaded by story order than witness order
  • 130 paid student participants from USA
  • asked to be jurors in a mock murder trial
  • participants listened to tape recording of a stimulus trial and then responded to written questions
  • told to reach a guilty or not guilty verdict and then rate their confidence in their verdict on a 5 point rating scale.
  • lawyers representing both the denfence and the prosecution varied the order in which the evidence was presented
  • when defence used story order and prosecution used witness order guilty verdicts returned 31% of time
  • when prosecution used story order and defence used witness order guilty verdicts returned 78% of the time
  • when both prosecution and defence used the same stratergy the guilty verdicts were both around 60%

Hosch, Beck and McIntyre - persuasion

  • study the impact of introducing an expert witness to a case on a) the verdicts reached and b) the juries confidence in the eyewitness
  • two


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