Advertisement

Law and Human Behavior

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 409–438 | Cite as

Pretrial publicity, judicial remedies, and jury bias

  • Geoffrey P. Kramer
  • Norbert L. Kerr
  • John S. Carroll
Article

Abstract

Although past research has established pretrial publicity's potential to bias juror judgment, there has been less attention given to the effectiveness of judicial remedies for combatting such biases. The present study examined the effectiveness of three remedies (judicial instructions, deliberation, and continuance) in combatting the negative impact of different types of pretrial publicity. Two different types of pretrial publicity were examined: (a) factual publicity (which contained incriminating information about the defendant) and (b) emotional publicity (which contained no explicitly incriminating information, but did contain information likely to arouse negative emotions). Neither instructions nor deliberation reduced the impact of either form of publicity; in fact, deliberation strengthened publicity biases. Both social decision scheme analysis and a content analysis of deliberation suggested that prejudicial publicity increases the persuasiveness and/or lessens the persuasibility of advocates of conviction relative to advocates of acquittal. Acontinuance of several days between exposure to the publicity and viewing the trial served as an effective remedy for the factual publicity, but not for the emotional publicity. The article concludes by discussing the potential roles of affect and memory in juror judgment and evaluating the available remedies for pretrial publicity.

Keywords

Negative Impact Potential Role Social Psychology Content Analysis Negative Emotion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. American Bar Association (1983).Model rules of professional conduct. Chicago: ABA.Google Scholar
  2. American Bar Association (1978).Standards relating to the administration of criminal justice, fairmess, and free press (2nd ed.) Chicago: ABA.Google Scholar
  3. American Bar Association (1968).Code of professional responsibility, Chicago: ABA.Google Scholar
  4. Austin, A. D. (1964). Prejudice and change of venue.Dickinson Law Review, 68, 401.Google Scholar
  5. Bales, R. F. (1950).Interaction process analysis. Cambridge, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  6. Bem, D. J. (1972). Self-perception theory. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.),Advances in experimental social psychology, 6, New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  7. Blaney, P. H. (1986). Affect and memory: A review.Psychological Bulletin, 99, 229–246.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Bray, R. M., & Kerr, N. L. (1982). Methodological considerations in the study of the psychology of the courtroom. In N. Kerr & R. Bray (Eds.),The psychology of the courtroom. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  9. Brehm, J. (1966).A theory of psychological reactance. New York: Academic.Google Scholar
  10. Broeder, D. W. (1958). The University of Chicago jury project.Nebraska Law Review, 38, 744–761.Google Scholar
  11. Brown, R., & Kulik, J. (1977). Flashbulb memories.Cognition, 5, 73–99.Google Scholar
  12. Buddenbaum, J. M., Weaver, D. H., Holsinger, R. L., & Brown, C. J. (1981). Pretrial publicity and juries: A review of research. Research Report No. 11, Center for New Communications, Indiana University.Google Scholar
  13. Caught in the headlines. (1981, June).Time, p. 23.Google Scholar
  14. Clark, M. S., & Fiske, S. T. (1982). Affect and cognition:The 17th Annual Symposium on Cognition. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  15. Constantini, E., & King, Jr. (1980/81). The partial juror: Correlates and causes of prejudgment.Law and Society Review, 15, 9–40.Google Scholar
  16. Davis, J. H. (1980). Group decision and procedural justice. In M. L. Fishbein (Ed.),Progress in social psychology (Vol. 1, pp. 159–229). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  17. Davis, J. H. (1973). Group decision and social interaction: A theory of social decision schemas.Psychological Review, 80, 97–125.Google Scholar
  18. Davis, J. H., and other, (1975). The decision processes of 6- and 12-person juries assigned unanimous and 23 majority rules.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 32, 1–14.Google Scholar
  19. Davis, J. H., & Kerr, N. L. (1986). Though experiments and the problem of sparse data in small group performance research. In P. S. Goodman and Associates (Eds.),Designing effective work groups. San Francisco, CA: Josey-Bass.Google Scholar
  20. Davis, R. W. (1979). The influence of pretrial publicity and trial timing on the deliberation process and verdicts of simulated jurors. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Temple University (Dissertation Abstracts International, 1979, 39 (11-B), 5641).Google Scholar
  21. De Luca, A. J. (1979). Tipping the scales of justice: The effects of pretrial publicity. Unpublished master's thesis, Iowa State University.Google Scholar
  22. Ellsworth, P. (1986). Individual differences in juror behavior. Paper presented at the Juror Decision Making Conference, Evanston, IL, 1986.Google Scholar
  23. Forgas, J. P., & Bower, G. H. (1988). Affect in social and personal judgments. In K. Fiedler & J. Forgas (Eds.),Affect, cognition, and social behavior. Toronto: C. J. Hogrefe.Google Scholar
  24. Gannett C. v. DePasquale, 443 U.S. 368 (1979).Google Scholar
  25. Goetz, E. T., & Armbruster, B. B. (1980). Psychological correlates of text structure. In R. J. Spiro, B. C. Bruce, & W. F. Brewer (Eds.),Theoretical issues in reading comprehension. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  26. Goodale, J. C. (1977). The press ungagged: the practical effects of gag order litigation ofNebraska Press Association v. Stuart.Stanford Law Review, 29, 497.Google Scholar
  27. Grady, W. R. (1972). Prejudicial pretrial publicity: Its effects on juries and jurors. Unpublished master's thesis, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.Google Scholar
  28. Hans, V. P., & Doob, A. N. (1976). Section 12 of the Canada Evidence Act and the deliberations of simulated juries.Criminal Law Quarterly, 18, 235–253.Google Scholar
  29. Hans, V. P., & Vidmar, N. (1986).Judging the jury. New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  30. Hans, V. P., & Vidmar, N. (1982). Jury selection. In N. Kerr & R. Bray (Eds.),The psychology of the courtroom. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  31. Hastie, R., Penrod, S., & Pennington, N. (1983).Inside the jury. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Hawkins, C. (1962). Interaction rates of jurors aligned in factions.American Sociological Review, 27, 689–691.Google Scholar
  33. Hidi, S., & Baird, W. (1986). Interstingness—A neglected variable in discourse processing.Cognitive Science, 10, 179–194.Google Scholar
  34. Hoffman, L. R. (1979).The group problem solving process: Studies of a valance model. New York: Praeger.Google Scholar
  35. Hoiberg, B. C., & Stires, L. K. (1973). The effect of several types of pretrial publicity on the guilt attributions of simulated juries.Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 3, 267–271.Google Scholar
  36. Horowitz, I. A., & Willging, T. E. (1984).The psychology of law: Integrations and applications. Boston, MA: Little, Brown.Google Scholar
  37. Hough, G. A., III. (1970). Felonies, jury trials and news reports. In C. R. Bush (Ed.),Free press and fair trial: Some dimensions of the problem. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.Google Scholar
  38. Hvistendahl, J. K. (1979). The effect of placement of biasing information.Journalism Quarterly, 56, 863–865.Google Scholar
  39. Iran-Nejad, A. (1987). Cognitive and affective causes of interest and liking.Journal of Educational Psychology, 79, 120–130.Google Scholar
  40. Irvin v. Dowd, 366 U.S. 717 (1961).Google Scholar
  41. Johnson, W. B., & Tversky, A. (1983). Affect, generalization, and the perception of risk.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 45, 20–31.Google Scholar
  42. Judicial Conference of the United States (1980). Revised report of the Judicial Conference Committeed on the operation of the jury system on the “free press-fair trial” issue.Federal Rules Decisions, 87, 518.Google Scholar
  43. Kahneman, D. Slovic, P., & Tversky, A. (1982),Judgment under uncertainty: Heuristics and biases. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Kalven, H. Jr., & Zeisel, H. (1966).The American jury. Boston, MA: Little, Brown.Google Scholar
  45. Kaplan, M. F., & Miller, L. E. (1978). Reducing the effects of juror bias.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 36, 1443–1455.Google Scholar
  46. Keelin, J. P. (1979). An experimental study of the effect of prejudicial pretrial publicity on jury verdicts. Unpublished master's thesis, Indiana University.Google Scholar
  47. Kerr, N. L., Davis, J. H., Meek, D., & Rissman, A. (1975). Group position as a function of member attitudes: Choice shift effects from the perspective of social decision scheme theory.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 35, 574–593.Google Scholar
  48. Kerr, N. L., & MacCoun, R. (1983). Pretrial publicity and juror judgment: A review of empirical literature. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
  49. Kerr, N. L., Stasser, G., & Davis, J. H. (1979). Model-testing, model-fitting, and social decision schemes.Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 23, 399–410.Google Scholar
  50. Kirk, R. (1982).Experimental design (2nd ed.) Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.Google Scholar
  51. Kline, F. G., & Less, P. H. (1966). Prejudicial publicity: Its effects on law school mock juries.Journalism Quarterly, 43, 113–116.Google Scholar
  52. Kramer, G. P., & Kerr, N. L. (1989). Laboratory simulation and bias in the study of juror behavior: A methodological note.Law and Human Behavior, 13, 89–99.Google Scholar
  53. Langer, E. J. (1978). Rethinking the role of thought in social interaction. In J. H. Harvey, W. I. Ickes, & R. F. Kidd (Eds.),New directions in attribution research (Vol. 2). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  54. Lind, E. A. (1978). Rethinking the role of thought in social interaction. In J. Harvey, W. Ickes, and R. Kidd (Eds.),New directions in attribution research (Vol. 2). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  55. Lind, E. A. (1982). Psychology of courtroom procedure. In N. Kerr & R. Bray (Eds.),The psychology of the courtroom, New York: Academic.Google Scholar
  56. McConahay, J., Mullin, C., & Frederick, J. (1977). The uses of social science in trials with political and racial overtones: The trial of Joan Little.Law and Contemporary Problems, 41, 205–229.Google Scholar
  57. MacCoun, R., & Kerr, N. L. (1988). Asymmetric influences in mock jury deliberation: Juror bias for leniency.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 21–33.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  58. Myers, D., & Lamm, H. (1976). The group polarization phenomenon.Psychological Bulletin, 83, 602–627.Google Scholar
  59. Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart, 427 U.S. 539 (1976).Google Scholar
  60. Nietzel, M., & Dillehay, R. (1982). Psychologists as consultants for changes of venue: the use of public opinion surveys. Paper presented at the Annual meeting of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, Louiville, KY.Google Scholar
  61. Nisbett, R. E., & Wilson, T. D. (1977). Telling more than we can know: Verbal reports on mental processes.Psychological Review, 84, 231–259.Google Scholar
  62. O'Barr, W. M. (1982).Linguistic evidence, New York: Academic.Google Scholar
  63. Padawer-Singer, A., & Barton, A. H. (1975). Free press, fair trial. In R. J. Simon (Ed.),The jury system: A critical analysis. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  64. Padawer-Singer, A., Singer, A., & Singer, R. (1974). Voir dire by two lawyers: An essential safeguard.Judicature, 57, 386–391.Google Scholar
  65. Padawer-Singer, A., Singer, A., & Singer, R. (1977). Legal and social-psychological research in the effects of pretrial publicity on juries, numerical makeup of juries, nonunanimous verdict requirements.Law & Psychology Review, 3, 71–79.Google Scholar
  66. Penrod, S. (1979). Study of attorney and “scientific” jury selection models. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Harvard University.Google Scholar
  67. Pollock, A. (1977). The use of public opinion polls to obtain changes of venue and continuances in criminal trials,Criminal Justice Journal, 1, 269–288.Google Scholar
  68. Press-Enterprise Co. v. Superior Court of California,Riverside County (1984).U. S. Law Week, 52, 413.Google Scholar
  69. Reuben, D. (1973). Confidential study mentioned in “The Men at the Bar Meeting Debate Gannet v. DePasquale.”The Quill, 68, 8.Google Scholar
  70. Reyes, R. M., Thompson, W. C., & Bower, G. H. (1980). Judgmental biases resulting from differing availabilities of arguments.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39, 2–12.Google Scholar
  71. Richmond Newspaper, Inc. v Virginia, 448 U.S. 555 (1980).Google Scholar
  72. Rideau v. Louisiana, 373 U.S. 723 (1963).Google Scholar
  73. Riley, S. G. (1973). Pretrial publicity: A field study.Journalism Quarterly, 50, 17–23.Google Scholar
  74. Rollings, H. E., & Blascovich, J. (1977). The case of Patricia Hearst: Pretrial publicity and opinion.Journal of Communication, 27, 58–65.Google Scholar
  75. Schwarz, N., & Clore, G. L. (1988). How do I feel about it? The informative function of affective states, In K. Fiedler & J. Forgas (Eds.),Affect, congnition, and social behavior. Toronto: C.J. Hogrefe.Google Scholar
  76. Shaw, M. (1932). A comparison of individuals and small groups in the rational solution of complex problems.American Journal of Psychology, 44, 491–504.Google Scholar
  77. Sheppard v. Maxwell, 384 U.S. 333 (1966).Google Scholar
  78. Siebert, F. S. (1970). Trial judges' opinions on prejudicial publicity. In C. R. Bush (Ed.),Free press and fair trial: Some dimensions of the problem. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press.Google Scholar
  79. Simon, R. J. (1980). The impact of pretrial publicity on the jury. In R. J. Simon (Ed.),The jury: Its role in American society (pp. 109–121) Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  80. Simon, R. J. (1966). Murder, juries and the press.Trans-Action, (May–June), 64–65.Google Scholar
  81. Simon, R. J., & Eimermann, T. (1971). The jury finds not guilty: Another look at media influence on the jury.Journalism Quarterly, 48, 343–344.Google Scholar
  82. Stasser, G., & Davis, J. H. (1981). Group decision making and social influence: A social interaction sequence model.Psychological Review, 88, 523–551.Google Scholar
  83. Stasser, G., Kerr, N. L., & Bray, R. (1982). The social psychology of jury deliberation. In N. Kerr & R. Bray (Eds.),The psychology of the courtroom, New York: Academic.Google Scholar
  84. Sue, S., Smith, R. E., & Gilbert, R. (1974). Biasing effects of pretrial publicity on judicial decisions.Journal of Criminal Justice, 2, 163–171.Google Scholar
  85. Sue, S., Smith, R. E., & Pedroza, G. (1975). Authoritarianism, pretrial publicity, and awareness of bias in simulated jurors.Psychological Reports, 37, 1299–1302.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  86. Tanford, S., & Cox, M. (1987). Decision processes in civil cases: The impact of impeachment evidence on liability and credibility judgments.Social Behavior, 2, 345–353.Google Scholar
  87. Tans, M. D., & Chaffee, S. H. (1966). Pretrial publicity and juror prejudice.Journalism Quarterly, 43, 647–654.Google Scholar
  88. Thompson, W. C., Fong, G. T., & Rosenhan, D. C. (1981). Inadmissible evidence and juror verdicts.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 40, 453–463.United States v. Burr, 25 F. Cas 49 (C.C. Va 1807).Google Scholar
  89. Vidmar, N., & Judson, J. (1981). The use of social science in a change of venue application.Canadian Bar Review, 59, 76–102.Google Scholar
  90. Weingartner, H., Miller, H., & Murphy, D. L. (1977). Mood-state-dependent retrieval of verbal associations.Journal of Abormal Psychology, 86, 276–284.Google Scholar
  91. Wilcox, W., & McCombs, M. (1967). Crime story elements and fair trial/free press. Unpublished paper, University of California.Google Scholar
  92. Wolf, S., & Montgomery, D. (1977). Effects of inadmissible evidence and level of judicial admonishment to disregard on the judgment of mock jurors.Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 7, 205–219.Google Scholar
  93. Zanzola, L. (1977). Effects of pretrial publicity on the verdicts of jurors and juries. Unpublished study, Department of Psychology, Northem Illiois University.Google Scholar
  94. Zeisel, H., & Diamond, S. S. (1978). The effects of peremptory challenges on jury and verdict: An experiment in federal district court.Stanford Law Review, 30, 491–529.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geoffrey P. Kramer
    • 2
  • Norbert L. Kerr
    • 1
  • John S. Carroll
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMichigan State UniversityEast Lansing
  2. 2.Department of Social and Behavioral SciencesIndiana University at KokomoKokomo

Personalised recommendations