LaTrelle Jackson (Committee Chair), Michelle Schultz (Committee Member), Christy Tinch (Committee Member)
Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)
Jurors, representatives of the communities from which they are selected, are tasked with the responsibility of reaching a verdict in an impartial, unbiased manner. Previous research has found that bias and negative attitudes impact juror decision-making, despite practices that are in place to dismiss potentially biased jurors, such as voir dire. Studies have found a correlation between racial biases and juror verdicts. Additionally, a correlation has also been found between insanity defense attitudes and a juror’s propensity to favor (or not favor) a Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity (NGRI) acquittal. However, there has been limited examination of the impact of racial bias on juror decision-making in cases of NGRI, as evidenced by a lack of available research in this area. The Insanity Defense Attitudes – Revised (IDA-R) scale is a validated measure of venirepersons (potential jurors) attitudes surrounding NGRI. The IDA-R and a demographic survey were issued to jury-eligible participants from a Midwestern state, following a NGRI case vignette featuring either a White or African American male defendant. All participants met minimum criteria to be an Ohio juror. Findings include the overestimation of NGRI pleas in criminal court, the underestimation of NGRI acquittals, and a correlation between higher IDA-R scale scores and Guilty verdicts among participants. Additionally, race of the participant appeared to predict final verdict for some groups.
Department or Program
School of Professional Psychology
Year Degree Awarded
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