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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 81469 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: On the Decision To Testify in One's Own Behalf - Effects of Withheld Evidence, Defendant's Sexual Preferences, and Juror Dogmatism on Juridic Decisions
Journal: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology  Volume:42  Issue:2  Dated:(February 1982)  Pages:335-346
Author(s): D R Shaffer; T Case
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20014
Grant Number: MH-25726
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In the present experiment, individuals high or low in dogmatism served as members of six-person juries that assessed the culpability of a homosexual or heterosexual defendant in a murder trial, who either (a) invoked the Fifth Amendment in response to specific crime-relevant interrogation, (b) invoked the Fifth Amendment by opting not to take the witness stand, or (c) took the stand and provided substantive answers for all crime-relevant interrogation.
Abstract: The results indicated that defendants who invoked the Fifth Amendment (either on the stand or by declining to take the stand) were judged more likely guilty and more deserving of conviction than their counterpart who took the stand and answered all interrogation. As anticipated, juror dogmatism interacted with the defendant's sexual preferences to affect juridic decisions. However, the form of these interactions were contrary to our expectations: That is, high-dogmatic jurors were no more punitive toward homosexual than heterosexual defendants, whereas jurors low in dogmatism were actually more lenient toward homosexual than heterosexual defendants. An explanation for the leniency of nondogmatic jurors toward homosexual defendants was proposed, and some implications of this line of reasoning for future research were discussed. (Publisher abstract)
Index Term(s): Juror characteristics; Jury decisionmaking; Testimony
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