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Home List of Titles Jury nullification: the influence of judicial instruction on the relationship between attitudes and juridic decision-making
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/151511
- Jury nullification: the influence of judicial instruction on the relationship between attitudes and juridic decision-making
- Meissner, Christian A.; Brigham, John C.; Pfeifer, Jeffrey E.
- Prior research on jury nullification has suggested that individuals tend to operate on their sentiments of justice when engaging in juridic decision-making tasks. Explicitly informing jurors of this nullification power is believed to exacerbate the influence of personal bias in such decisions. In this study, participants (N= 240) were presented a measure of euthanasia attitudes and subsequently viewed a case involving nonphysician-assisted death that differed in the method of euthanasia, degree of remorse shown by the defendant, and type of jury instruction presented. Results indicated that participants were more likely to view the defendant as innocent when they received a nullification jury instruction, when they held proeuthanasia attitudes, and when the defendant used a mild form of euthanasia (pulling the plug on the respirator). Although participants' attitudes influenced predeliberation decisions, regardless of the instructions they received, postdeliberation decisions showed a curious moderation effect in the nullification instruction condition in which attitudinal influence was diminished via deliberation discussions between participants. Participants given a standard jury instruction reported being influenced more by evidentiary and legal aspects of the trial, whereas those in the nullification instruction conditions were more likely to rely upon their perceptions of the defendant's action, or more directly upon their attitudes toward euthanasia. Implications for the use of nullification instructions are discussed.
- Publication type
- Journal article
- Basic and Applied Social Psychology, Vol. 25, no. 3 (Sep 2003), pp. 243-254
- Publication year
- FOR Code(s)
- 1701 Psychology
- Bias; Courts; Euthanasia; Group deliberations; Hung juries; Judicial instruction; Juries; Juror decision-making; Jury nullification; Personal bias; Prejudice; Public perceptions; Self-reported influential factors; Verdict
- Psychology Press (now part of Taylor & Francis)
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 2003, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. The copyright policy of the publisher allows the accepted manuscript to be reproduced here after a publisher-enforced embargo period.
- Peer reviewed