Home > All publications > Articles, Justice technology > Animating the Bomber: The Sydney Bomber Trial

By Christina Spiesel, Greg Battye, and Neal Feigenson

When animated visual evidence is shown in court, jurors’ previous everyday experience of  film, TV, and games animation can affect how they will respond. For example, seeing animations as news and science can give courtroom animations credibility

Specific features of animation that encourage belief might also affect the jury’s perceptions. For example, the flow of images can make it difficult for viewers to attend to the details of any single frame, and the movement itself can enhance lifelikeness.

This chapter draws on insights from a mock trial of ‘the Sydney Bomber Case’. The trial 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.

The chapter examines the additional punch that animating the evidence may have. It makes the case that understanding the medium can help all particpants in legal proceedings to better assess the persuasive benefits and judgemental risks, and if necessary, to challenge the evidence.

The chapter is useful for::

  • Communications practitioners and creators of digital products used in courts
  • Students, teachers, researchers – in Law and Psychology
  • Forensic scientists and psychologists
  • Practitioners of law and criminal justice
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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 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 10: Images of Interactive Virtual Environments: Do They Affect Verdict?

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