Quantifying the presumption of innocence

Publication Type: 
Richard John
Kenneth D Nguyen
Nicholas Scurich
Abstract The presumption of innocence is sacrosanct in Anglo-legal doctrine, yet how jurors interpret it remains unknown. This experiment manipulated the alleged crime (violent, child, or sexual assault) and the defendant's physical appearance (good, mediocre, or bad). Following Savage (1954), uncertainty about the guilt of the defendant was conceptualized in terms of prospective jurors' willingness to gamble about whether the defendant is guilty. For each case, participants were asked to choose between a standard lottery, with specified ...