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Expert Evidence Pertaining To Battered Women: The Impact Of Gender Of Expert And Timing Of Testimony

R. Schuller, J. Cripps
Published 1998 · Psychology, Medicine

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The present study investigated the impact of two variables relating to general expert testimony pertaining to battered women on juror decision processes. Specifically, the gender of the expert, as well as the timing of the presentation of the testimony, were investigated in a simulated homicide trial involving a battered woman who had killed her abuser. Results indicated that when the expert was female and the testimony was presented prior to the defendant's testimony, jurors' verdicts were more lenient. Moreover, across a range of case judgments, male jurors' perceptions were more favorable to the defendant when the expert was female as opposed to male. On two of the judgments this latter pattern of results was only evidenced when the testimony was presented early as opposed to late. The significance of these findings is discussed.
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