Jurors Case Study

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Statement of Research Question
Does a defendant’s gender and/or sexual orientation affect jurors’ decision making during intimate partner violence cases?
Does a defendant’s gender and/or sexual orientation affect judges’ sentencing making during intimate partner violence cases?
Rationale
Understanding the mindset of jurors is important when trying to understand how legal system and justice will be implemented within courtrooms. If mental biases are present within jurors, this can affect how justice is granted to defendants and the defendant’s alleged victims. Sex (and gender) can play an important role in everyday society. For example, quick decision about a person can be made based solely on that person’s gender and sexual orientation.
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The defendant’s biological and physiological characteristics.
Sexual Orientation
Heterosexual or Gay (gay and lesbian). The defendant’s romantic and sexual orientation.
Jurors’ Decision Making
Not guilty or guilty of assault (domestic violence) and violation of protection order.

Judges Sentencing
The sentencing/penalties will be based on Maryland’s protective order penalties, MD Fam L Code § 4-509 (2013). The sentencing in this experiment will be based on these facts: this is a violation of a protection order and this is the defendant’s first offense. Therefore, in accordance to MD Fam L Code § 4-509 (2013), a maximal of 90 days in jail, and/or a fine of $1,000 or less will be decided by the judges. How many jail day and how much in fines a defendant pays will be based on the judge’s discretion.
Intimate Partner Violence
All defendants will have the same case description. This case description will be present to both jurors and judges. The prosecution alleges that the defendant physically attacked their romantic partner/intimate partner. Physical marks (scratches on the neck, bruises on the face, and handprints on the body) were describes in the police report, and the defendant’s partner is testifying that they were physically abused. The defendant violated a protective order, and this is the defendant’s first
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The first experiment will focuses on jury decision making. This experiment design is a 2 Sex (Male or Female) x 2 Sexual Orientation (Heterosexual or Gay) between-subjects ANOVA. The second experiment will focus on judge sentencing making, and this experiment will also be a 2 Sex (Male or Female) x 2 Sexual Orientation (Heterosexual or Gay) between-subjects

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