Juror Evaluation of Eyewitness Evidence




Lee, Kara Mae

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Since 1989, there have been 935 exonerations due in part to mistaken identification of eyewitnesses. The vast majority (94%) of these cases came from jury trials. These statistics suggest jurors lack understanding of what affects eyewitness’ memories and decisions. The current study assessed general knowledge of eyewitness procedures as well as mock jurors' evaluation of a hypothetical case that varied in the use of two lineup procedures to secure an identification. We examined mock jurors’ verdict decisions using a 2 (lineup instructions: absent vs. present) x 2 (lineup administration: single-blind vs. double-blind) between-subjects factorial design. We hypothesized that mock jurors would be more likely to convict the defendant when lineup instructions were unbiased, and the lineup was double-blind compared to either biased lineup instructions or single-blind lineups. Results indicated knowledge was lacking for several, but not all interview and lineup procedures. Additionally, mock jurors were not sensitive to lineup practices. Neither lineup instructions nor administration influenced legal judgments. These results suggest jurors need additional education in the form of judicial instructions or expert testimony to aid their evaluations of eyewitness evidence.



eyewitness identification, juror decision-making, lineup procedures, lineup instructions, double-blind lineup administration


Lee, K. M. (2023). Juror evaluation of eyewitness evidence. Honors College, Texas State University.


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