This article examines research of mock jurors’ emotions and how those emotions impact their decisions. More specifically, this article discusses how sadness, anger, disgust, and fear affect juror decision-making, reviews theories supporting these findings, and provides some concluding thoughts regarding the legal applications of the emotions evoked during trial. Part I examines the emotional content of victim impact statements from capital trial sentencing hearings and briefly discusses how specific emotions are theorized to affect decisions. Part II reviews psychological research on how anger, sadness, fear, and disgust affect mock juror decisions. Additionally, Part II describes naturally occurring emotions captured in mock sentencing hearings, as well as research that has manipulated emotions felt by mock jurors and how their decisions are affected. Part III summarizes the main psycho-legal research on emotions and mock juror decisions and briefly discusses the limitations of these approaches.
Kimberly A. Schweitzer,
& Narina Nuñez,
Emotions in the Courtroom: How Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust Affect Jurors’ Decisions,
16 Wyo. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.uwyo.edu/wlr/vol16/iss2/5