Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Jurors--Decision making--Psychological aspects., Empathy., Informers., Cross-examination.
The current study aimed to evaluate the influence of jailhouse informant testimony on juror-decision making through the manipulation of cross-examination techniques as well as the presence and absence of an inconsistent statement concerning a specific crime detail. Thus, this study evaluated whether the method in which the defense attorney presented his cross-examination influenced jurors’ overall perception of the jailhouse informant. Participants listened to an audio-recording of a trial transcript in which method of cross-examination was manipulated in terms of an Aggressive, Neutral, and Empathic approach to determine if the addition of empathic understanding resulted in cross-examination serving as a more effective safeguard. Results indicated that verdict decisions were not influenced by method of cross-examination. There was a significant effect of inconsistencies on verdicts in that participants were more likely to find the defendant guilty when the inconsistency was present compared to when the inconsistency was absent.
Hillgartner, Megan, "Jailhouse informants & empathic cross-examination" (2019). Theses. 309.