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Hypotheses - Essay Example

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It is hypothesized that mock jurors exposed to political media coverage of terror acts will be more confident of the defendant's guilt than jurors exposed to religious media coverage. More so, it is also expected that jurors will be more confident of Middle-Eastern defendant's guilt as compared to Anglo-American defendants, when the terror act is religious.
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Download file to see previous pages A second booklet was then distributed with hypothetical terror act media, and with either an Anglo-American or Middle-Eastern defendant. For each of type of terror act half of the booklets had an Anglo-American defendant, and half had a Middle-Eastern defendant. Participants were asked to record their confidence of guilt of the defendant. A significant interaction effect found that participants were more confident of guilt for the Anglo-American defendant for the political terror act as compared to the Middle-Eastern defendant for the religious terror act ( = 0.25, p = 0.01). While results were contrary to the hypothesis, the high-profile terror act may have skewed results.
The first hypothesis was supported in that jurors exposed to political media coverage of terror acts were more confident of the defendant's guilt, as compared to jurors exposed to religious media coverage. Additionally, the jurors were more confident of the Anglo-American defendant's guilt when they had been exposed to media about the political terror act, as compared to confidence in the guilt of the Middle-Eastern defendant for a religious terror act. ...
Abshire and Bornstein (2003) found that Anglo-American jurors were more likely find to an African-American guilty as compared to African-American jurors. And Brewer (2004) reasoned that racial identification occurs, to some degree, between jurors and the defendant, dependant on the ethnicity of the defendant and the victim/s. The present results are counter to these arguments, despite the majority of the mock jury being Anglo-American. Hence, it is suggested that a degree of impartiality does exist when racial issues are not salient reasons for the terror attack.
The primary limitation of this study was that the demographic characteristics of the juror's were not included in the design. As such, the sample could have been stratified to ensure equal numbers across ethnicity and gender. In regards to ethnicity, non Anglo-Americans are not a homogenous group, and there is a lack of empirical evidence to support a bias of non Anglo-Americans in being more confident of the guilt of an Anglo-American as compared to a non American defendant. Demographic data would have enabled the present study to extend on previous studies of cross-ethnic effect, as well as exploring possible gender differences. It would also have been useful to control for juror political and religious affiliations. Also, it may have been useful to determine if juror attitudes towards print media in general had an effect on outcomes. It is also recommended that future studies measure mock jury attitudes toward defendants of different ethnicities both before and after giving them a hypothetical scenario, to see if attitudes remain constant.
In conclusion, this research revealed that jurors are not more confident in finding ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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