Visual images don’t just convey information, they may be powerful tools for persuasion. This chapter examines the additional punch that animating the evidence may have, tracing the history from an animated goat on an ancient Iranian bowl to contemporary three-dimensional computer games.
Forensic science plays an increasingly important role in contemporary trials. This chapter examines what forensic investigators and scientists do, providing case studies of the Bali Bombings and Benbrika investigations.
Mock jurors were fairly similar to regular jurors. By developing an in-depth profile of the mock jurors based on the beliefs and attitudes that they held when they arrived for jury duty, we could examine how the jurors’ responses to the bombing allegations in the simulated trial varied according to their background characteristics.
Deliberation did reduce conviction rates. Interestingly the difference was greatest in those who were most afraid of terrorism.
The Sydney Bomber study had two parts, and used a variety of observational, experimental and survey methods to examine how jurors responded to different conditions, how they deliberated and how their responses were shaped by the spectre of terrorism.
Most people find gruesome images compelling. This chapter argues that showing jurors images such as beheading or other atrocities add little relevant information, but creates disgust and anger, undermining the accused’s right to a fair trial.
This chapter reviews the estimated impacts of the experimental intervention – the interactive virtual environment. 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.
Most previous studies suggested the CSI effect was largely a fiction. In the first study in this project we found an effect – jurors who were most conditioned by CSI watching had higher conviction rates than others. In the second study regular CSI viewers said they found interactive visual evidence more “important” than those who were not regular CSI viewers.
Creating a high-quality computer simulation of an event requires special expertise. The simulation for this study was produced by Damian Schofield, who describes how he did it and the issues involved in creating evidence displays of this sort.
Terrorist fears have led to harsh counter-terrorism laws that may threaten individual liberties, and undermine the right to a fair trial. This chapter reviews how these harsh laws have developed and how countries address the special problems for juries.
The shadow of terrorism falls over courts as well as many other public institutions. Could juries be expected to remain impartial in an age of terrorism? This chapter shows how the book sets out to address this question, as well as other related questions about the role of scientific experts in terrorism trials and the impact of popular culture on juror expectations.
One of the strongest features of the study was the thoughtful and often heated deliberations carried out by the 12 jury groups. Some of the jurors, whose expectations were shaped by TV drama, were disappointed about the lack of blood and guts in the interactive displays. Others used the displays to take issue with the conclusions of the prosecution witness. Most found that the visual evidence gave them a fuller understanding of the case.
Jurors used commonsense knowledge – wisdom grounded in their life experiences – to interpret and make sense of the evidence at the trial. When jurors came up with their own theories about what happened, these were subjected to a process of careful testing by fellow jurors. This chapter looks at what members of a mock jury in a terrorism trial said to each other in their deliberations and how they worked together.
Jane Goodman-Delahunty was appointed as an expert witness in a major terrorism trial in Sydney. She was asked to advise the court about the impact of gruesome images on the jury. This chapter includes a copy of her report.
This paper, given by The Hon. Marilyn Warren AC, Chief Justice of Victoria, focuses on future courtroom technology – including virtual and interactive evidence, ‘virtual courtrooms’ hosted online, e-filing, case management and online dispute resolution. It engages in a some speculation, postulates some ideas about the future of technology and social media in courtrooms, and how it might be embraced.
Court Environments As Legal Forums, Workplaces And Symbols Of Justice.
Court buildings can be analysed from 3 perspectives – judicial and administrative processes and procedures; the court as a workplace; and the symbolism of the building, embodying community values about the rule of law, transparency of justice or reconciliation. This chapter from a book delves deep into these aspects of the court environment.
This article examines how three religious traditions dealt with the David and Bathsheba story. Revisiting scandals such as this in the context of an institution and through the lens of power and accountability, can open up new ways of thinking about the current crisis in institutional sex abuse. Published in the Griffith Law Review
Sophisticated technologies to display evidence are unlikely to unfairly sway juries too much. But harsh counter-terrorism laws could undermine fundamental freedoms and lead to unjust verdicts.
This article examines legal debates about one important design question – where and how to seat the accused. It tells how courts, spurred on by assertive defence lawyers, fought back to protect the rights of the accused and have provided a more dignified court setting. The abandonment of a glass-framed enclosure, in particular, raised legal issues in the United States. These issues have reappeared in the European and Australia debates.