Effects of Jurors’ Gender and Attitudes toward Intellectual Disability on Judgments for Disabled Juvenile Defendants
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Because many juvenile offenders are intellectually disabled and have their cases tried by jurors in adult criminal court, it is important to understand factors that influence jurors’ judgments in such cases. Using a mock trial methodology, we explored the relations among jurors’ gender, attitudes toward intellectual disability, and judgments in a criminal case involving an intellectually disabled 15-year-old girl accused of murder. Men mock jurors’ judgments were not influenced by their preexisting biases, but women's were: the more women favored special treatment for disabled offenders, the less likely they were to suspect the disabled juvenile was guilty and the less likely they were to convict her. Implications for actual cases involving disabled juvenile defendants are discussed.
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Najdowski, Cynthia J. and Bottoms, Bette L., "Effects of Jurors’ Gender and Attitudes toward Intellectual Disability on Judgments for Disabled Juvenile Defendants" (2014). Psychology Faculty Scholarship. 13.