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An Examination of How Expectancies Towards Science and Trial Evidence Impact Mock Jurors' Use of Complex Scientific Evidence

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Abstract:

With ever-increasing frequency, jurors in complex cases must navigate two bodies of authority, law and science. Prior research has largely relied on Bayes’ theorem as a tool to examine the how jurors use and evaluate statistics and probabilities associated with scientific evidence. This research mostly informs us that decision makers are confused by and tend to under-utilize statistical scientific evidence. However, within this research area, a number of studies have also emphasized the need to account for decision makers’ expectancies towards subjects like intentional tampering and laboratory error.
The current analysis utilizes data from a research project involving 480 jury eligible citizens from Delaware, funded by the National Institute of Justice. A videotaped trial including mtDNA evidence was presented to 60 mock juries, formed from members of the New Castle County jury pool. Questionnaire results and transcriptions from mock jury deliberations were utilized to examine the relationship between prior perceptions of science/ technology and trial evidence and how jurors’ use and discuss scientific evidence.
Utilizing mock jury deliberations offers a perspective on how decision makers use their lay concepts of science and legal evidence to manage and integrate two bodies of authority, law and science, in evaluating scientific evidence within the context of a legal case. This analysis examines how life experiences, expectancies, and/or prior knowledge influences how jurors use, weigh, and discuss complex scientific evidence in the pursuit of commonsense justice.
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Name: American Society of Criminology
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http://www.asc41.com


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p46555_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Farley, Erin. "An Examination of How Expectancies Towards Science and Trial Evidence Impact Mock Jurors' Use of Complex Scientific Evidence" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology, Royal York, Toronto, Nov 15, 2005 <Not Available>. 2013-12-17 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p46555_index.html>

APA Citation:

Farley, E. J. , 2005-11-15 "An Examination of How Expectancies Towards Science and Trial Evidence Impact Mock Jurors' Use of Complex Scientific Evidence" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology, Royal York, Toronto <Not Available>. 2013-12-17 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p46555_index.html

Publication Type: Poster
Abstract: With ever-increasing frequency, jurors in complex cases must navigate two bodies of authority, law and science. Prior research has largely relied on Bayes’ theorem as a tool to examine the how jurors use and evaluate statistics and probabilities associated with scientific evidence. This research mostly informs us that decision makers are confused by and tend to under-utilize statistical scientific evidence. However, within this research area, a number of studies have also emphasized the need to account for decision makers’ expectancies towards subjects like intentional tampering and laboratory error.
The current analysis utilizes data from a research project involving 480 jury eligible citizens from Delaware, funded by the National Institute of Justice. A videotaped trial including mtDNA evidence was presented to 60 mock juries, formed from members of the New Castle County jury pool. Questionnaire results and transcriptions from mock jury deliberations were utilized to examine the relationship between prior perceptions of science/ technology and trial evidence and how jurors’ use and discuss scientific evidence.
Utilizing mock jury deliberations offers a perspective on how decision makers use their lay concepts of science and legal evidence to manage and integrate two bodies of authority, law and science, in evaluating scientific evidence within the context of a legal case. This analysis examines how life experiences, expectancies, and/or prior knowledge influences how jurors use, weigh, and discuss complex scientific evidence in the pursuit of commonsense justice.

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