Lauren Meaux, Megan Kopkin, and Dr. Cox Published in Psychiatry, Psychology, and Law!
*Meaux, L.T., Cox,. J., & *Kopkin, M.R. (2018). Sentencing, sex, and selective chivalry: The impact of sex on juror decision making in an ambiguous assault case. Psychiatry, Psychology, and Law.
In sexually motivated crimes, female defendants are treated more leniently and female jurors are more punitive, relative to their male counterparts. However, few studies have examined the impact and interactions of juror, defendant and victim sex in non-sexually motivated crimes. In this study, mock jurors responded to an assault case in which the sex of both the defendant and the victim was manipulated, creating four conditions. The female jurors reported higher confidence in a guilty verdict, regardless of the defendant's and victim's sex. Additionally, the mock jurors – particularly the females – were more confident in a guilty verdict when the victim was female, regardless of the defendant's sex. Finally, the mock jurors recommended a harsher sentence for the female defendant – but only when the victim was male. These results are discussed in the context of understanding sex and gender within the criminal justice system and potential implications for juror decision-making.
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