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NCJ Number: 165099 Find in a Library
Title: Generic Prejudice and the Presumption of Guilt in Sex Abuse Trials
Journal: Law and Human Behavior  Volume:21  Issue:1  Dated:(February 1997)  Pages:5-25
Author(s): N Vidmar
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 21
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In 25 Canadian criminal trials involving sexual abuse charges, 849 prospective jurors were asked under oath whether they could hear the evidence, follow the judge's instructions on the law, and decide the case fairly and impartially.
Abstract: Knowing only the nature of charges against the accused, approximately 36 percent of jurors stated they could not be impartial. Some jurors explained they had been victims of abuse, others expressed fears for children, while others simply stated they could not set aside a presumption of guilt. The findings are consistent with a body of social science literature about attitudes toward sexual abuse and sexual assault charges. The author distinguishes between prejudices arising from specific pretrial publicity and generic prejudices that cause prejudgments of the case of any defendant perceived as belonging to a general class of defendants who are likely guilty of the crime charged. 75 references and 2 tables
Main Term(s): Foreign courts
Index Term(s): Canada; Child Sexual Abuse; Child victims; Foreign offenders; Juror characteristics; Jury decisionmaking; Juvenile victims; Sex offenders; Sexual assault victims
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