The effects of a victim impact statement and gender on juror information processing in a criminal trial. Does the punishment fit the crime?

Author(s)Forsterlee, L., Fox, G.B., Forsterlee, R., and Ho, R.
Title The effects of a victim impact statement and gender on juror information processing in a criminal trial. Does the punishment fit the crime?
Source Australian Psychologist, March 2004; 39(1): 57-67
Date 2004
Document type Journal article
Coverage Australia
Summary One of the aims of this study, using mock jurors, was to assess the level of emotional arousal in individuals presented with a VIS and the impact it may have when forming sentencing decisions. The study investigated the impact of VIS along with juror gender, offender gender and victim gender on juror decision-making in a murder trial, in Queensland, Australia. One principle finding was that the VIS affected judgments relating to the female offender rather than the male offender. However no difference was found on the sentence imposed on the male and female offender when the VIS was included. This study showed that a VIS has the potential to directly influence decisions made by participants in a criminal trial in a positive way by increasing the parity of sentencing.
Keywords Victim impact statement; VIS; family victims; murder trial; sentencing; victim participation
Topic Victim impact statements