Persuading a Jury - Inadmissible Evidence, Pickel

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  • Created by: sali97
  • Created on: 23-05-16 18:09
Aim
To investigate the role of the judge's instructions when followed by legal explanation.
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Method
Lab experiment set up as a mock trial.
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Participants
236 American psychology students - course requirement.
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Procedure
They listened to an audio mock trial where critical evidence was introduced 'accidentally' by a witness. This was objected to and the judge ruled it as inadmissible. 1 group was given a legal explanation and the other wasn't. Then reach verdict
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Results
Mock jurors who received no legal explanation were able to ignore it and found the defendant guilty Those who were given a legal explanation were less likely to find the defendant guilty and not able to ignore it.
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Conclusions
Calling attention to inadmissible evidence makes it more important to the jury and they pay more attention. By giving a legal explanation, it seems that the jurors tended to over-compensate and tended to give a not guilty verdict.
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How does evidence become Admissible in court?
Its relevance must outweigh its potential for prejudice
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Inadmissible Evidence
Includes hearsay and prior conviction evidence (this could bias the jurors against the defendant) or evidence obtained by illegal means.
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What happens when Inadmissible Evidence is presented in court?
If inadmissible evidence is presented in error by a witness, the judge will direct the jury to disregard what they have just heard. However, by drawing their attention to it, it may be that the jury in fact pays even more attention to it.
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Reactance Theory
Suggests that jurors perceive their instructions as undermining their freedom to take all the evidence into account.
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Card 2

Front

Method

Back

Lab experiment set up as a mock trial.

Card 3

Front

Participants

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Procedure

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Results

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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