Jurors' perception of witnesses with intellectual disabilities and the influence of expert evidence

Stobbs, Georgina, and Kebbell, Mark Rhys (2003) Jurors' perception of witnesses with intellectual disabilities and the influence of expert evidence. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 16 (2). pp. 107-114.

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Purpose  The aim of this study was to assess mock-jurors' perceptions of the evidence of witnesses with intellectual disabilities either with or without expert evidence and in comparison with witnesses from the general population.

Method  Sixty participants read transcripts of a mock trial focusing on the testimony of an eyewitness. Participants were assigned to one of three groups. The first was told that the witness was a person from the general population. The second was told that the witness had mild learning disabilities. The third group was told that the witness had mild learning disabilities and was given expert evidence concerning his abilities.

Results  While mock-jurors perceive witnesses with learning disabilities to be fundamentally honest, they are reluctant to rely on the evidence provided by witnesses with learning disabilities. Expert evidence can go some way to ameliorating the negative perceptions of the reliability of witnesses with learning disabilities.

Conclusions  Expert evidence can provide jurors with a certain degree of insight and understanding of an individual witness with intellectual disabilities that potentially increases the likelihood of achieving justice.

Item ID: 13766
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: eyewitness; learning disability
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ISSN: 1468-3148
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2010 02:40
FoR Codes: 18 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 1899 Other Law and Legal Studies > 189999 Law and Legal Studies not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9404 Justice and the Law > 940499 Justice and the Law not elsewhere classified @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 7
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