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NCJ Number: 228074 Find in a Library
Title: Witness Factors and Their Influence on Juror's Perceptions and Verdicts
Journal: Criminal Justice and Behavior  Volume:36  Issue:9  Dated:September 2009  Pages:923-934
Author(s): Joanna D. Pozzulo; Julie L. Dempsey
Date Published: September 2009
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Ottawa, ON K1P 6G4, Canada
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the influence of age of witness testifying, the witness's relationship to the crime, and type of identification decision made on juror's perceptions of witness credibility, accuracy of crime details testified about, and final verdict.
Abstract: The results of the study suggest that jurors were at least somewhat influenced by a witness's age, a witness's relationship to the crime, and an eyewitness's identification decision when determining the accuracy and credibility of a witness. The offender's physical description was perceived as more accurate with a positive versus foil identification. Child victims were perceived as credible as adult victims, but a child as a bystander was perceived as less credible than an adult bystander. More guilty verdicts were rendered with a positive identification versus non-identification. Jurors' perceptions of witness credibility and the evaluation of witness testimony were thought to be influenced by witness characteristics, such as the age of the witness (child versus adult), and the witness's relationship to the crime (victim versus bystander). Also, jurors' perceptions of accuracy of the eyewitness identification decision made by the witness were thought to potentially influence how accurate other details in their testimony were perceived and ultimately influenced the verdict. In this study, 363 mock jurors read a trial transcript summary and rated their perceptions of witness accuracy and credibility. References
Main Term(s): Jury decisionmaking
Index Term(s): Children in the courtroom; Decisionmaking; Eyewitness testimony; Jury research; Physical appearance; Verdict prediction; Verdicts; Witness credibility; Witnesses
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