Hath he suffered enough? Effects of jury dogmatism, defendant similarity, and defendant’s pretrial suffering on juridic decisions.

Shaffer, D. R., Plummer, D., & Hammock, G. (1986). Hath he suffered enough? Effects of jury dogmatism, defendant similarity, and defendant’s pretrial suffering on juridic decisions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50, 1059-1067.

288 undergraduates were randomly assigned to 6-person juries (that were in turn assigned to 8 experimental conditions) to assess the culpability of a demographically similar or dissimilar defendant who had suffered pretrial injuries that were either relevant or irrelevant to the criminal incident in question. Although jury dogmatism had no effect on verdicts rendered, dogmatic juries sentenced more severely than did less dogmatic aggregations. However, this severity of sentencing effect was qualified by an interaction between jury dogmatism and relevance of suffering. Nondogmatic juries assigned shorter sentences to defendants whose suffering was crime relevant rather than crime irrelevant, apparently treating crime-relevant suffering as a partial restoration of equity for harmdoing. By contrast, dogmatic juries appeared to adopt a just-world orientation toward crime-relevant suffering by assigning longer sentences to defendants whose injuries were crime relevant as opposed to crime irrelevant. An information-utilization model is proposed to explain these results. Juries with 3+ dogmatic jurors had mild tendency to convict more and recommended sentences more than 2 x longer than juries with < 3 dogmatic jurors; 5 x longer when defendant suffered from crime-related injuries. Mean jury dogmatism correlated .54 with sentence length. All hung juries had at least 1 non-dogmatic juror who would not convict. http://www.researchgate.net/publication/232449769_Hath_he_suffered_enough_Effects_of_jury_dogmatism_defendant_similarity_and_defendant's_pretrial_suffering_on_juridic_decisions