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Title

Juror Decision Making: The Influence of Defendants Mental Illness, and Severity of Crime

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract

Research has shown that a juror’s perception of a defendant’s mental illness has an impact on verdicts (Mossiere & Maeder, 2016). This study addresses the gap in the research regarding the effects that the severity of crime committed, and the severity of mental illness that the defendant had on sentencing recommendations made by potential jurors. We utilized three types of mental illness: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), paranoid schizophrenia, and substance abuse disorder as well as two levels of crime severity: robbery with a deadly weapon and second-degree murder. Whereas these factors did not influence the recommended verdict, participants were more likely to indicate that they were moderately confident in their verdict when the defendant was charged with murder. Participants also viewed defendants with schizophrenia as less responsible for their actions when they were diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Start Date

11-4-2022 11:00 AM

End Date

11-4-2022 11:50 AM

Faculty Advisor

Jiuqing Cheng

Department

Department of Psychology

Student Type

Graduate Student

Comments

Award: Intercollegiate Academic Fund

This entry was part of the following session:

  • Date: Monday, April, 11, 2022
  • Time: 11:00 to 11:50 a.m.
  • Moderator: Eric Lee

Electronic copy is not available through UNI ScholarWorks.

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Apr 11th, 11:00 AM Apr 11th, 11:50 AM

Juror Decision Making: The Influence of Defendants Mental Illness, and Severity of Crime

Research has shown that a juror’s perception of a defendant’s mental illness has an impact on verdicts (Mossiere & Maeder, 2016). This study addresses the gap in the research regarding the effects that the severity of crime committed, and the severity of mental illness that the defendant had on sentencing recommendations made by potential jurors. We utilized three types of mental illness: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), paranoid schizophrenia, and substance abuse disorder as well as two levels of crime severity: robbery with a deadly weapon and second-degree murder. Whereas these factors did not influence the recommended verdict, participants were more likely to indicate that they were moderately confident in their verdict when the defendant was charged with murder. Participants also viewed defendants with schizophrenia as less responsible for their actions when they were diagnosed with schizophrenia.