Finishing strong: Recency effects in juror judgments

  • Costabile K
  • Klein S
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Abstract

We investigated the effects of evidence order on juror verdicts. Results from 4 mock juror stud- ies suggest that incriminating evidence is more likely to lead to a guilty verdict when it is pre- sented late in the trial than when it is presented early. This recency effect was found both with admissible and inadmissible evidence. Further analyses suggested that recency effects may have been mediated by jurors’memory of the incriminating evidence: Evidence presented late in a trial was more likely to be remembered by jurors and thus more likely to have influenced their verdicts. Implications for the judicial system and juror decision making are discussed.

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Authors

  • Kristi A. Costabile

  • Stanley B. Klein

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