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NCJ Number: 51495 Find in a Library
Title: EFFECT OF THE METHOD OF PRESENTING TRIAL TESTIMONY ON JUROR DECISIONAL PROCESSES (FROM PSYCHOLOGY IN THE LEGAL PROCESS, 1977, BY BRUCE D SALES - SEE NCJ-51491)
Author(s): L C FARMER; G R WILLIAMS; B P CUNDICK; R J HOWELL; R E LEE; C K ROOKER
Corporate Author: Spectrum Publications, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: Alexandria Police Dept
Alexandria, VA 22314
Spectrum Publications, Inc
Jamaica, NY 11432
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE EFFECTS OF PRESENTING TESTIMONY BY VIDEOTAPE ON THE PERCEPTIONS AND DECISIONS OF JUROR IN A SIMULATED CIVIL TRIAL ARE EXAMINED.
Abstract: THE STUDY SUBJECTS WERE EXPERIENCED JURORS FROM PREVIOUS JURY PANELS OF A LOCAL STATE TRIAL COURT. THE 61 JURORS WERE DIVIDED INTO 2 GROUPS, EACH OF WHICH PARTICIPATED IN A SEPARATE TRIAL. THE TRIALS INVOLVED A DISPUTE BETWEEN A CITY AND A LANDOWNER CONCERNING THE COMPENSATION THE LATTER SHOULD RECEIVE FOR RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY CONDEMNED BY THE CITY FOR STREET-WIDENING PURPOSES. THE TWO WITNESSES WERE THE PROPERTY OWNER AND A REAL ESTATE AGENT (THE CITY'S EXPERT WITNESS), WHO PRESENTED DIFFERING VIEWS CONCERNING THE PROPERTY'S VALUE. IN BOTH TRIALS, PARTS OF THE PROCEEDINGS WERE CONDUCTED LIVE, AND THE OPENING STATEMENTS OF BOTH ATTORNEYS WERE PRESENTED BY COLOR VIDEOTAPE. THE EXAMINATION AND CROSS-EXAMINATION OF THE LANDOWNER WERE PRESENTED BY COLOR VIDEOTAPE IN THE FIRST TRIAL AND BY READ TRANSCRIPT IN THE SECOND. THE METHODS OF PRESENTATION WERE REVERSED FOR THE EXAMINATION AND CROSS-EXAMINATION OF THE CITY'S EXPERT WITNESS. JURORS COMPLETED QUESTIONNAIRES INDICATING HOW MUCH MONEY THEY FELT THE LANDOWNER SHOULD BE PAID, THEIR PERCEPTIONS OF THE EXPERT WITNESS'S INFLUENCE AND OF BOTH WITNESSES' COMPETENCY, HONESTY, AND FRIENDLINESS, AND THEIR FEELINGS ABOUT THE METHODS OF TESTIMONY PRESENTATION. THE VERDICTS AND PREFERENCES OF JURORS WERE CONSISTENTLY MORE FAVORABLE FOR WHICHEVER SIDE OF THE CASE WAS PRESENTED BY COLOR VIDEOTAPE. THE LANDOWNER RECEIVED LARGER AWARDS WHEN HIS TESTIMONY WAS PRESENTED BY VIDEOTAPE. JURORS FELT THEY WERE MORE INFLUENCED BY THE STATUS OF THE EXPERT WITNESS WHEN HIS TESTIMONY WAS PRESENTED BY VIDEOTAPE. AFTER VIDEOTAPE PRESENTATIONS THE WITNESSES GENERALLY RECEIVED MORE POSITIVE RATINGS OF COMPETENCY, HONESTY, AND FRIENDLINESS. IN AN EARLIER STUDY, IN WHICH THE SAME MEDIUM WAS USED TO PRESENT ALL TESTIMONY, THE JURORS' PERCEPTIONS OF WITNESSES REMAINED RELATIVELY CONSTANT AND SIMILAR TO THOSE RECORDED IN A LIVE TRIAL. IN THIS EXPERIMENT, IN WHICH DIFFERENT MEDIA WERE USED IN THE SAME TRIAL, JURORS' PERCEPTIONS SHIFTED DRAMATICALLY, AND THE OUTCOME OF THE TRIAL WAS AFFECTED. THESE RESULTS RAISE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PRACTICE OF PRESENTING TESTIMONY BY DIFFERENT METHODS (E.G., DEPOSITION-TYPE TESTIMONY IN OTHERWISE LIVE TRIALS) IN THE SAME TRIAL. SUPPORTING DATA AND A LIST OF REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED. (LKM)
Index Term(s): Perception; Studies; Testimony; Trials
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51495

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