Juror Perceptions in a Rape Trial: Influence of Complainant Substance Use and Juror Education about Consent Laws and Rape Myths
Warren, Anna Catherine
AdvisorJacquin, Kristine M.
CommitteeArmstrong, Kevin J.
Eakin, Deborah K.
Although rape is prevalent in the United States, conviction rates for perpetrators are low. Before developing a solution for low conviction rates in rape cases, researchers must examine factors that influence juror decisions in rape trials. The current study investigated the influence of complainant substance use and juror education about rape myths and sexual consent laws. Mock jurors were randomly assigned to one of twelve conditions and after reading the rape trial summary were asked to rate defendant guilt and complainant and defendant blameworthiness and credibility. Mock jurors in the education condition rated the defendant as significantly guiltier and more to blame for the sexual assault than did mock jurors in the no education condition.