Lisa L. Smith, BSc., MSc., MFSSoc., of the University of Leicester School of Psychology presented a paper entitled Identifying and Measuring Juror Bias About Forensic Science Evidence, at Jury Research Symposium 2010, held 25-26 March 2010 in Glasgow, Scotland, UK.
Click here for the slides accompanying the paper.
Here is the abstract:
This series of mock jury studies has investigated the process of juror decision making about the probative value of different types of forensic evidence (e.g. DNA, fingerprints, etc.). The findings suggest that there is widespread agreement among mock jurors about the usefulness of forensic evidence that has very high probative value[;] however evidence of a weak or moderate standard produces significant disagreement among jurors regarding its usefulness in determining the guilt of a defendant. An Interactionist model of jury decision making would predict that in cases where evidence is weak or ambiguous individual jurors’ pre‐trial beliefs and opinions will have a greater impact on the decision making process. The Forensic Evidence Evaluation Bias Scale (FEEBS) was developed to determine whether a pre‐trial bias related to perceptions of forensic evidence could be measured, and the scale’s ability to predict judgments about evidence and verdicts was investigated. A factor analysis of the FEEBS revealed that participants could be conceptualised as having either a pro‐prosecution or pro‐defence bias concerning forensic evidence. This presentation will discuss these findings in relation to the recent attention given to anecdotal reports of a ‘CSI Effect’ as well as the implications that this bias has on verdict decisions both within the current research and in the courtroom.
For the full text of the paper, please contact the author.