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Canadian Mock Juror Attitudes and Decisions in Domestic Violence Cases Involving Asian and White Interracial and Intraracial Couples

NCJ Number
Journal of Interpersonal Violence Volume: 28 Issue: 4 Dated: March 2013 Pages: 667-684
Evelyn M. Maeder; Annik Mossière; Liann Cheung
Date Published
March 2013
18 pages
This study manipulated the race of the defendant and the victim White/White, White/Asian, Asian/Asian, and Asian/White in a domestic violence case to examine the potential prejudicial impact of race on juror decisionmaking.
A total of 181 undergraduate students read a trial transcript involving an allegation of spousal abuse in which defendant and victim race were manipulated using photographs. They then provided a verdict and confidence rating, a sentence, and responsibility attributions, and completed various scales measuring attitudes toward wife abuse and women. Findings revealed that female jurors were harsher toward the defendant than were male jurors. When controlling for attitudes toward Asians, jurors found the defendant guilty more often in cases involving interracial couples, as compared to same-race couples. Path analyses revealed various factors and attitudes involved in domestic violence trial outcomes. Findings contribute to the scarce literature on legal proceedings involving Asians, particularly in domestic violence cases. Outcomes also provide a model for relevant factors and characteristics of jurors in domestic violence cases. Roadblocks inherent in jury research are also discussed. Abstract published by arrangement with Sage Journals.