The Effect of Defendants Socioeconomic Status
Sixty different data were entered and analyzed in the SPSS. the first thirty figures labeled “Low SES Defendant” (Group 1) and the others marked “High SES Defendant” (Group 2). Group data were analyzed using T-test. Results did not show any significant difference (p>. 0.05) deviated from the null hypothesis of equal chance at the level of significant 0.05. There is no significant difference between ratings of guilt, responsibility and length of sentences proposed by participants in the two groups.
Many persons look to the court or judicial system for justice. In lands where common law legal system prevails, juries are part of the judicial process. Possibly, it is the ‘single most defining feature’ (Decaire, n.d.) of this kind of legal system. A jury, composed of average citizens, hears the evidence and determines guilt or innocence. Then, depending on the type of case, the judge may sentence the guilty parties. Over the last decades, however, exploratory evidence implies that the jury system has been infiltrated by prejudice. Decaire (n.d.) noted the following:
In a perfect, just world, the jury system would provide a fair and elaborate procedure through which a defendant’s potential guilt in the violation of criminal laws would be determined in an unbiased manner. However, empirical evidence suggests that this "fair and unbiased" procedure is failing. Baldwin and McConville (1979) found that as many as 5 percent of jury trials in England came up with disturbingly questionable convictions. And this conclusion is not limited to investigators, Kalven and Zeisal (1966) noted that judges and jurors disagreed regarding the verdicts in as many as 20 percent of cases. An ever-growing body of evidence suggests that juries maybe, both consciously and unconsciously, using a number of extra-evidential factors in order to come to their decisions.