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NCJ Number: 50393 Find in a Library
Title: VIDEOTECHNOLOGY IN THE COURTROOM - PROGRESS OR REGRESS
Author(s): G R MILLER; N E FONTES; M SUNNAFRANK; G L DAHNKE
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 56
Sponsoring Agency: National Science Foundation
Arlington, VA 22230
Grant Number: NSF-38398; NSF-APR-75-15815
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: RESEARCH WAS CONDUCTED BY THE MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY TO ASSESS THE POSSIBLE IMPACT OF VIDEOTAPE TECHNOLOGY ON TRIAL PROCEEDINGS AND THE ADOPTION OF JUST LEGAL PROCEDURES IN THE COURTROOM.
Abstract: FROM A BROAD PERSPECTIVE, THE RESEARCH PROJECT EXAMINED THE BEHAVIORAL EFFECTS OF USING VIDEOTAPE TECHNOLOGY IN COURTROOM TRIAL SITUATIONS. TO INSURE THE VALIDITY AND GENERALIZABILITY OF RESEARCH FINDINGS, SIMULATIONS OF TRIAL PROCEEDINGS USING ACTUAL JURORS VIEWING REAL CASES IN THE PRESENCE OF PROFESSIONAL JUDGES WERE EMPLOYED. THE JURORS BELIEVED THEY WERE TO DELIVER BINDING DECISIONS. ONE TRIAL PROCEEDING DEALT WITH AN AUTOMOBILE INJURY CASE INVOLVING ALLEGED CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE BY THE PLAINTIFF. THE EFFECTS OF VIDEOTAPE ON VERDICT, AMOUNT OF AWARD, RETENTION OF TRIAL-RELATED INFORMATION, PERCEIVED ATTORNEY CREDIBILITY, PERCEIVED WITNESS CREDIBILITY, JUROR EVALUATION OF DIFFERENT WITNESS TYPES, AND JUROR VERACITY JUDGMENTS OF TESTIMONY WERE EXAMINED. THE USE OF VIDEOTAPE IN THE COURTROOM WAS FOUND NOT TO AFFECT JUROR VERDICTS OR MONETARY AWARDS TO THE PLAINTIFF MADE BY JURORS SIGNIFICANTLY. VIDEOTAPE, HOWEVER, DID AFFECT THE AMOUNT OF TRIAL-RELATED INFORMATION RETAINED BY JURORS DURING THE TRIAL. JUROR PERCEPTIONS OF ATTORNEY CREDIBILITY WERE INFLUENCED BY DIFFERENT EDITING AND PRODUCTION TECHNIQUES, THAT ARE PART OF AVAILABLE VIDEOTAPE TECHNOLOGY, USED TO DELETE INADMISSIBLE EVIDENCE OR TESTIMONY. JUROR PERCEPTIONS OF WITNESS CREDIBILITY WERE AFFECTED BY THE USE OF VIDEOTAPE IN THE COURTROOM, AND VIDEOTAPED PRESENTATIONS OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF WITNESSES AFFECTED JUROR EVALUATIONS OF WITNESS CREDIBILITY. THE PLAINTIFF'S WITNESS WAS MORE EFFECTIVE IN OBTAINING FAVORABLE AWARDS WHEN HE APPEARED LIVE, WHILE THE DEFENDANT'S WITNESS WAS MORE EFFECTIVE IN REDUCING AWARDS WHEN HE APPEARED ON VIDEOTAPE. WITNESS TESTIMONY PRESENTED BY VIDEOTAPE DID NOT AFFECT JUROR JUDGMENTS OF THE VERACITY OF THE TESTIMONY PRESENTED SIGNIFICANTLY. WITHIN THE CONFINES OF JUROR RESPONSES EXAMINED IN THE COURSE OF THE RESEARCH PROJECT, USING DIFFERENT GROUPS OF JURORS AND DIFFERENT PROCEDURES TO EVALUATE THE EFFECTS OF ALL VARIABLES, NO EVIDENCE INDICATED THAT VIDEOTAPED PRESENTATIONS OF TRIALS AS OPPOSED TO LIVE TRIALS HAVE A NEGATIVE IMPACT ON THE JUROR DECISIONMAKING PROCESS. REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED. (DEP)
Index Term(s): Evidence; Juries; Research; Studies; Testimony; Trials; Videotapes; Witnesses
Note: REVISION TO APPEAR IN THE DETROIT JOURNAL OF URBAN LAW
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50393

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