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Title: A 'Special' Delivery? Exploring the Impact of Screens, Live Links and Video-Recorded Evidence on Mock Juror Deliberation in Rape Trials
Authors: Munro, Vanessa E.
Ellison, L. E.
First Published: 2-Sep-2013
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Citation: Social and Legal Studies, 2014, 23 (1), pp. 3-29
Abstract: This article discusses the findings of a study in which 160 volunteer members of the public observed one of four mini rape trial reconstructions and were asked to deliberate as a group towards a verdict. In a context in which research into the substantive content of the deliberations of real jurors is prohibited by the Contempt of Court Act 1981, these discussions were analysed to assess whether, and in what ways, perceptions of adult rape testimony are influenced by different modes of presentation. While lawyers and other observers have speculated about the possible undue effects of alternative trial arrangements on juror perceptions and the evaluation of evidence in rape trials, the issue has received scant empirical attention. In an effort to bridge this knowledge gap, this study investigated the influence upon mock jurors of three special measures currently made available in England and Wales to adult sexual offence complainants by the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999, namely (1) live-links; (2) video-recorded evidence-in-chief followed by live-link cross-examination and (3) protective screens. Following a careful and contextual exploration of the content of the mock juries’ deliberations, the researchers conclude that there was no clear or consistent impact as a result of these divergent presentation modes, suggesting that concerns over the use of special measures by adult rape complainants (at least in terms of juror influence) may be overstated.
DOI Link: 10.1177/0964663913496676
ISSN: 0964-6639
eISSN: 1461-7390
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © the authors, 2013. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License ( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page(
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Law

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