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Legal decision-making on crimes involving an alibi

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alibi, salaciousness, physical evidence, type of crime, verdict

Abstract (summary)

The present study examined the influence of physical evidence in support of an alibi, type of crime, and alibi salaciousness on the verdict, sentencing, and credibility perceptions of 317 undergraduate mock jurors who read fabricated police and court summaries. Alibis substantiated by physical evidence were accompanied by fewer guilty verdicts, higher believability, and more positive character ratings. Although salaciousness did not influence trial outcomes and alibi believability, it interacted with physical evidence to produce less positive character ratings. The results also revealed that the crime type had a main effect on assigning prison sentences with sexual offenses leading to a greater likelihood of assigning a prison sentence. When participants espoused more conservative views, they were more likely to give guilty verdicts and negatively evaluate the defendant. The finding further indicated that those who gave guilty verdict decisions (over not guilty) saw alibis as less believable and perceived the defendant and corroborator more negatively.

Publication Information

Jung, S., Allison, M., & Bohn, L. (2013). Legal decision-making on crimes involving an alibi. Applied Psychology in Criminal Justice, 9(1), 45-58. Retrieved from



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