This paper describes a study to determine whether a Forensic Science Informational video can serve as an intervention to increase jurors’ understanding of forensic expert testimony.
Forensic science is a central component of jurors’ decisions in many criminal cases. Nevertheless, research has shown that jurors are not sensitive to violations of testimonial guidelines for expert testimony in court and generally struggle to comprehend and evaluate forensic science testimony. Consequently, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) developed the Uniform Language for Testimony and Reports (ULTR) to standardize the language used in such testimony. The current study created and tested a Forensic Science Informational (FSI) video as an intervention to bolster jurors’ understanding of FSI. After reading a case summary, participants were randomly assigned to read and rate five forensic expert testimony violations without any training, or to watch the FSI video before reading and rating each violation. Results revealed that participants with video exposure rated both the expert testimony and the expert themselves lower than those without such exposure, indicating they recognized the violations. Publisher Abstract Provided