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Guilty brand

By David Tait and Jane Goodman-Delahunty

This chapter uses insights from two studies into a mock trial, ‘the Sydney Bomber Case’, that involved a fictional alleged terrorist incident in which a young white man was accused of placing a bomb on a train that exploded after he alighted, killing innocent commuters in the centre of Sydney.

It reviews the estimated impact of the experimental intervention – the interactive virtual environment, including:

  • The overall effects of these environments on jurors
  • The gender differences in responses to the interactive virtual environment
  • The influence of mock juror learning style on responses to the interactive virtual environment
  • The influence of mock juror threshold for conviction on responses to the interactive virtual environment
  • Conviction rates and level of culpability by visual and verbal learners
  • The influence of interactive visual evidence and jury instructions on verdicts.

It found that differences were generally small. Jurors who were classified as visual learners were more influenced by information presented in visual form than jurors who self-identified as verbal learners.


This chapter is useful for:

  • Students, teachers, researchers – in Law, Psychology and Communications
  • Practitioners of law and criminal justice
  • Forensic scientists and psychologists
  • Police, national security officers and court officials
  • Policymakers
  • Journalists.
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The book

This chapter is in the book Juries, Science and Popular Culture in the Age of Terror


Other related chapters

Other chapters that provide research insights arising from the ‘the Sydney Bomber Case’ are:

Chapter 4: Animating the Bomber: The Sydney Bomber Trial

Chapter 7: Displaying the Bomb on the Train: The Challenge of Preparing Visual Evidence

Chapter 8: Research Aims and Methods

Chapter 9: The Sydney Bomber Study: Introducing the Mock Jurors

Chapter 11: How Juries Talked About Visual Evidence

Chapter 12: CSI Effects on Jury Reasoning and Verdicts

Chapter 13: The Effect of Deliberation on Jury Verdicts

Chapter 14: Making Sense of The Evidence: Jury Deliberation and Common Sense