Are mock jurors influenced by the defendant's gender, socio-economic status and emotional state in forensic medicine?
Authors: Thompson, S., Merrifield, A. and Chinnery, H.
Journal: WMC Forensic Medicine
The aim of this study was to investigate whether mock jurors’ decisions were affected by the defendant’s gender, socio-economic status and emotional state in mock cases. The implications are far reaching, especially in trials that involve forensic medicine. An experimental design was used where a total of 24 participants from Bournemouth University took part, and were assigned to one of four groups. In these groups, the three independent variables were manipulated. Participants were presented with two murder/manslaughter cases. The results suggest male defendants received harsher judgements than female defendants. More female defendants were found not guilty than male defendants. Male defendants from a high socio-economic background received harsher judgements than male defendants from a low socio-economic background. Female defendants from a low socio-economic background received harsher judgements than female defendants from a high socio-economic background. Female defendants were found to be more trustworthy than male defendants. These findings are discussed are discussed in the context of the jury’s verdict, sentence length and personal opinion of the defendant.
Preferred by: Holly Chinnery