Effects of Defendant Group Status and Inclusion of a Lesser Charge on Participant-Juror Verdict Preferences
Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
First Advisor or Mentor
Black, Hispanic and White participant-jurors read a murder trial transcript in which the defendant belonged to either one of the other racial/ethnic groups (outgroup) or their own racial/ethnic group (ingroup). In the two-verdict condition, participants were provided with two verdict options: guilty or not guilty. In the three-verdict condition, participant-jurors were provided with three verdict options: guilty of second-degree murder (primary charge), guilty of voluntary manslaughter (lesser charge) or not guilty. In all conditions, participants provided their verdict preference, verdict certainty, the defendant’s likelihood of guilt and the strength of evidence. Participants in the two-verdict condition indicated higher proportions of conviction for the primary charge (second-degree murder) than those in the three-verdict condition. No difference was observed when the analysis examined rates of conviction for both second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter, combined. Outgroup defendants received significantly less proportions of guilt, of the primary charge, in the three-verdict condition.
DeCesare, Brittany, "Effects of Defendant Group Status and Inclusion of a Lesser Charge on Participant-Juror Verdict Preferences" (2017). CUNY Academic Works.