Factors Influencing Juror Decision Making In Criminal Trials Involving Recovered Memory Of Childhood Sexual Abuse
AdvisorJacquin, Kristine M.
CommitteeEakin, Deborah K.
Doggett, Richard A.
The current study examined the impact of expert witness orientation (researcher or clinical practitioner) and type of testimony (testimony for the prosecution, for the defense, for both prosecution and defense, and no testimony) on mock jurors‟ decisions in a sexual abuse trial. Participants read a summary of a sexual abuse criminal trial based on recovered memory; the summary included expert witness testimony (varied across participants based on the conditions described above). Participants then completed a juror decision making task. Results showed that expert witness testimony provided by a researcher did not impact mock jurors‟ guilt ratings any differently than the expert witness testimony provided by a clinical practitioner. However, type of testimony had a significant effect on jurors‟ guilt ratings. The prosecution witness expert testimony influenced mock jurors‟ decision in favor of the prosecution and testimony by a defense expert influenced the jurors‟ decisions in favor of the defense.