Defense Date

2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Public Policy & Administration

First Advisor

William Jr Bosher

Abstract

This dissertation examines the relationship exposure to forensic crime television has on a potential juror’s willingness to find a suspect guilty when presented with a case involving only circumstantial and eyewitness evidence. This study also looks at a potential juror’s expectation of forensic evidence being presented at trial based upon this exposure. To better understand these relationships, the study utilized social constructionism as the theoretical framework. To collect data, an original survey instrument that included either a violent or non-violent crime scenario was developed. Reponses from 1572 undergraduate students were analyzed to better understand what might influence their willingness to find a suspect guilty and their expectation of forensic evidence being presented at trial. The results indicate that viewership of forensic crime television does not significantly influence a potential juror’s decision to find a suspect guilty or not guilty. After controlling for viewership, it appears that the number of justice-based classes completed by the potential juror does influence their decision to find the suspect guilty. The analysis also shows that gender and the type of scenario (violent versus non-violent) may influence a juror’s willingness to find a suspect guilty. It does not appear that there is a correlation between a juror’s willingness to find a suspect guilty and their expectation of forensic evidence being presented at trial.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

August 2013

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