The Jurors On Disregard Inadmissible Evidence

1695 Words Sep 23rd, 2014 7 Pages
Many experimenters have been interested in figuring out how well jurors can disregard inadmissible evidence in the courtroom. They want to know exactly when and what type of evidence can be omitted while in trial. Werner, Kagehiro, and Strube (1982) tested participants looking for authoritarians that would have had the anti-defendant bias. Authoritarians are more likely to be unable to disregard inadmissible evidence because have a bias against the defendant from the start. Acting like mock jurors, they all read summaries of a trial that held six pieces of circumstantial evidence presented by the prosecution. An incriminating or exonerating wiretap evidence was added as a seventh item for some conditions. The evidence, ruled either inadmissible or admissible, tested the participants ability to disregard the evidence when declaring a verdict. They were randomly assigned to a condition in a between subjects design that was a 2 (admissibility or inadmissibility of the wiretap evidence) X 2 (incriminating or exonerating wiretap evidence). They were asked to estimate the probability of the defendant’s guilt and either acquit or convict the defendant. The experimenters used the Mitchell-Bryne Authoritarian Scale to see how authoritarian they were. They found that authoritarians were more likely to convict even when the judge ruled the evidence inadmissible if it was incriminating but they would not acquit when the evidence was exonerating. This shows that authoritarians are biased…
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