An exploration of mock juror experience during the deliberations of a defendant diagnosed with a personality disorder

Wootton, S, Tkazky, S and Bergstrøm, H (2024) 'An exploration of mock juror experience during the deliberations of a defendant diagnosed with a personality disorder.' The Journal of Forensic Practice. ISSN 2050-8794

Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/JFP-10-2023-0046

Abstract

Purpose:- The purpose of this study is to investigate how mock jurors’ experiences of deliberations are impacted by the defendant having a personality disorder. Design/methodology/approach:- This study used a qualitative approach to explore mock jurors’ experiences during the deliberations of a fictional defendant, Sarah Priest. Ten participants formed two mock juries, and each mock jury were given two case studies to deliberate. Case study one described Priest as having “Severe Personality Disorder, Borderline Pattern” whereas case study two described Priest as having “Complex Mental Health Problems”. There were no changes to the content of the case studies aside from the change in language used to describe the defendant. Findings:- An inductive thematic analysis identified two main themes relating to juror experience: “Interaction with Other Mock Jurors” and “Language as a Barrier to a Verdict”. Participants constructed that prosocial interactions with other mock jurors in the deliberations helped them make a verdict decision, but some of these interactions led to disagreements between participants due to a wide variation of opinion. Second, the different description of the defendant in each case study were constructed to have made the deliberations and decision-making difficult, but for different reasons. In case study one, a lack of knowledge surrounding BPD was the reason for this difficulty, and in case study two, participants thought that the applicability of diminished responsibility criteria were unclear, making it hard to reach a verdict. Practical implications:- The findings have key implications for the judicial system; common experiences can be identified and recorded to implement procedures to protect jurors from adverse experiences. Originality/value:- There is a lack of studies that have investigated juror experience in the UK, and the few studies available have used a quantitative methodology. The approach taken in the current study is, therefore, unique in a UK context. The findings have key implications for the judicial system; common experiences can be identified and recorded to implement procedures to protect jurors from adverse experiences.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: borderline personality disorder, jury deliberations, juror experience, mock jury study, judicial system, UK sample
Divisions: School of Sciences
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1108/JFP-10-2023-0046
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2024 11:03
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2024 11:03
URI / Page ID: https://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/16157
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