The Perceived Fairness of the Psychological Trial Consultant: An Empirical Investigation

39 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2013

See all articles by Dennis Stolle

Dennis Stolle

ThemeVision LLC

Jennifer K. Robbennolt

University of Illinois College of Law

Richard L. Wiener

University of Nebraska at Lincoln - College of Law

Date Written: 1996

Abstract

From its inception in the 1972 Harrisburg Seven trial to the recent furor surrounding jury selection in the O.J. Simpson trial, the use of social scientists as consultants in trial preparation and jury selection has been a point of controversy in both the legal and social scientific communities. The controversy has mainly revolved around two issues. The first is whether the procedures used by trial consultants are effective. The second is whether those same procedures, if in fact effective, are fair. We first consider the efficacy of trial consulting. We conclude that although early academic empirical evaluations of one trial consulting technique — scientific jury selection — warranted ambivalence toward the procedure, more recent empirical data and trial consultants' ability to thrive in the marketplace both seem to indicate that scientific trial consulting procedures are effective. We then turn to the ethicality of trial consulting, concluding that the fairness of trial consulting has been little more than a topic of speculation and conjecture on the part of both the media and academic commentators alike. In contrast to the existing commentary, we argue that the perceived fairness of trial consulting is an empirical issue capable of being experimentally evaluated in a manner that will produce policy relevant results. We present preliminary data that speak to the issue of the impact that psychologist trial consultants may have on judgments of fairness in both criminal and civil cases.

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

Stolle, Dennis and Robbennolt, Jennifer K. and Wiener, Richard L., The Perceived Fairness of the Psychological Trial Consultant: An Empirical Investigation (1996). Law & Psychology Review, Vol. 20, No. 139, 1996, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2311309

Dennis Stolle

ThemeVision LLC ( email )

11 South Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
United States

Jennifer K. Robbennolt (Contact Author)

University of Illinois College of Law ( email )

504 E. Pennsylvania Avenue
Champaign, IL 61820
United States
217-333-6623 (Phone)

Richard L. Wiener

University of Nebraska at Lincoln - College of Law ( email )

103 McCollum Hall
P.O. Box 830902
Lincoln, NE 68583-0902
United States

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Downloads
141
Abstract Views
877
Rank
374,358
PlumX Metrics