Historically, juveniles have been viewed by society as less mature and less blameworthy than adults (Scott & Grisso, 1997). Since its inception, the juvenile justice system has taken on a parenting role for juveniles and has attempted to rehabilitate juvenile offenders instead of punishing them. However, during the 1980s and 1990s, as a result of a perceived increase in violent juvenile offending, American society began to treat juveniles as adults based on the severity of their crimes (Grisso, 1997). The current study examined whether evidence regarding a juvenile’s competence to stand trial and crime committed have an effect on potential jurors’ verdicts of guilty or not guilty. This study also examined the participants’ perceptions of a juvenile’s level of responsibility based on evidence regarding competency and crime outcome. Participants consisted of members of the general public who were jury-eligible. Participants received one of four randomly assigned vignettes varying only by competency to stand trial (not mentioned, incompetent and restored, or competent) and outcome of crime (death or serious injury). After reading a given vignette, participants were asked whether they would find the juvenile guilty or not guilty. They were also asked to rate the juvenile’s level of responsibility on a scale of 1 (not at all responsible) to 5 (very responsible). This study found that a juvenile’s competence to stand trial and the results of the crime committed (injury versus death) have no effect on potential jurors’ verdicts of guilty or not guilty. The results did suggest that the participants’ perceptions of a juvenile’s level of responsibility based on evidence impacts a verdict of guilty versus not guilty. Further, a competent juvenile who was found guilty of an offense resulting in death was found highly responsible for the act. In contrast, a juvenile who was not competent and was found not guilty of an offense resulting in death was perceived to be less responsible.
|Advisor:||Fass, Tracy L.|
|Commitee:||Miora, Deborah S.|
|School:||Alliant International University|
|Department:||Los Angeles, CSFS|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-B 76/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Clinical psychology, Criminology|
|Keywords:||Competency to stand trial, Crime outcome, Jurors' verdicts, Juvenile|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be