The effect of defendant facial expression on mock juror decision-making: The power of remorse
North American Journal of Psychology
In the U.S. legal system, juries are charged with the responsibility to decide if a person is guilty and sometimes to determine a sentence or damage awards. This task involves complex cognitive skills to weigh evidence, deliberate, and come to a conclusion. However, jurors may be impacted by factors beyond the evidence. One factor that we are interested in is the facial expression of the defendant. We experimentally manipulated the display of remorse and anger in defendant photographs to assess the impact on decision-making by mock jurors. A significant difference was found such that a remorseful defendant resulted in more lenient verdicts compared to an angry defendant.
Original Publication Date
MacLin, M. Kimberly; Downs, Corynn; MacLin, Otto H.; and Caspers, Heather M., "The effect of defendant facial expression on mock juror decision-making: The power of remorse" (2009). Faculty Publications. 2250.