The Effect of Jurors' Race on Their Response to Scientific Evidence

Synopsis

Albertson seeks to analyze the influence of jurors' race on perceptions of complex scientific evidence. Jury eligible citizens viewed a mock criminal trial involving the presentation of mitochondrial deoxyribonucleic acid (mtDNA). White and African American mock jurors' perceptions of mtDNA were measured. Although robust findings were discovered regarding race, results imply that an educational background in science and math is important. The present study has shown the negative impact that low levels of science and math courses have on perceptions of scientific evidence. Courtroom evidence will only continue to become even more complex in the future. The importance of scientific literacy and jury reform is discussed.