Attorneys' and jurors' perceptions of juvenile offenders' culpability

Catherine Rieman Camilletti, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

Factors affecting attorneys’ and mock jurors’ perceptions of a juvenile offender’s culpability were investigated. In study one, 30 attorneys from Texas responded to a survey in which they rated how likely 20 factors were to mitigate a juvenile offender’s culpability in jurors’ eyes. In study two, college students, serving as mock jurors, saw a photo of a juvenile offender and read a trial transcript. This study determined whether a juvenile offender’s appearance (youthful vs. adult-like) and mock jurors’ perceptions of the current crime trend would affect their verdict and sentence recommendations. Attorneys thought a juvenile offenders’ youthful appearance would mitigate his culpability in jurors’ eyes, but that jurors’ perceptions of the crime trend would not mitigate his culpability in jurors’ eyes. However, study two found that mock jurors’ verdicts only differed depending on their perceptions of the current crime trend and were not affected by a juvenile offender’s youthful appearance. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Experimental|Sociology, Criminology and Penology

Recommended Citation

Camilletti, Catherine Rieman, "Attorneys' and jurors' perceptions of juvenile offenders' culpability" (2008). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1461142.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI1461142

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