skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 99534 Find in a Library
Title: Influence of Eyewitness Nonidentifications on Mock-Juror Judgments of a Court Case
Journal: Journal of Applied Social Psychology  Volume:15  Issue:7  Dated:(1985)  Pages:656-672
Author(s): M R Leippe
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 17
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Two experiments examined the effect of an eyewitness nonidentification of the defendant on mock jurors' verdicts in robbery cases, as well as the effects on verdicts of the number and status of the identifying witnesses (victim or bystander).
Abstract: The 59 college student subjects read court case summaries that included variable eyewitness evidence and constant alibi, circumstantial, and character evidence. In the first experiment, the frequency of guilty verdicts was significantly less when an eyewitness testified that the defendant was not the perpetrator, even when two other witnesses made positive identifications. In the second experiment, a low conviction rate was again associated with the presence of a nonidentifier, but only when the nonidentifier actually testified in court and stipulated that the defendant was 'not the man.' On the average, 70 percent of the jurors delivered guilty verdicts when both the victim and bystander rendered positive identifications; whereas, 12.5 percent delivered guilty verdicts when the bystander gave nonidentifying testimony. Guilty rates were unaffected by the identifying eyewitness' status and (in the first but not the second experiment) were higher when there were two identifying eyewitnesses. Tabular data and 31 references are provided. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Eyewitness testimony; Jury decisionmaking; Suspect identification
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.