The impact of evidence type and judicial warning on juror perceptions of global and specific witness evidence.

Jacqueline Wheatcroft, Hannah Keogan

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Abstract

The Court of Appeal in England and Wales held (R. v. Sardar, 2012) there had been no exceptional circumstances that justified a jury retiring with a transcript of the complainant's interview. This paper reports an investigation into the impact multiple evidence forms and use of a judicial warning has on juror evaluations of a witness. The warning focuses juror attention on placing disproportionate weight on the evidence as opposed to their general impression of it. Sixty jury-eligible participants were presented with witness evidence in transcript, video, or transcript plus video format. Half the participants in each condition received the warning. All mock jurors completed a questionnaire which assessed perceptions of witness and task. Outcomes showed that transcript plus video evidence, when accompanied by a warning, did impact on mock jurors’ global assessments of the witness. The warning made the task less clear for jurors and, in the video condition, led to higher ratings of how satisfactory and reliable the witness was. Findings support the provision of a judicial warning to jurors and show some initial support for judiciary opposition to the provision of an additional transcript only when jurors are asked to make the more usual global witness assessments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-267
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied
Volume151
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2016

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