Jury decision making: a systematic review and exploration of stigma towards offenders with mental health conditions and the impact of diagnostic labels.

Shapter, Sophie (2023) Jury decision making: a systematic review and exploration of stigma towards offenders with mental health conditions and the impact of diagnostic labels. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

Aims: This thesis portfolio focuses on public stigma towards offenders with mental health conditions within legal settings.

Method: A systematic review was conducted focusing on the factors that influence stigma towards offenders with mental health conditions and what the consequences of this can be. The empirical paper focuses how different diagnostic labels may influence mental health stigma and juror decision making within a mock homicide trial. By conducting a replication of Baker et al., (2022), the paper compares public stigma towards two different diagnostic labels (psychopathy and personality disorder) and a control label (complex mental health condition) to further build this area of limited literature.

Findings: Seventeen studies were included within the systematic review. Factors found to influence stigma included diagnostic labels, traits, political orientation and religious beliefs. The consequences of this stigma were harsher punishment recommendations and higher likelihood of rejecting the insanity pleas of defendants. The empirical paper found no evidence that diagnostic labels influence stigmatic attitudes, causal attributes or Diminished Responsibility decision making. Perceived personal controllability of the situation was found to be a significant predictor of participants’ decisions regarding Diminished Responsibility.

Conclusions: Public stigma towards offenders with mental health conditions can be influenced by a variety of factors, with significant life changing consequences within legal settings. Both clinical and legal professionals must consider the way in which information about a mental health condition is presented within a court as this may impact decision making. The limitations, implications and recommendations for future research are discussed further.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2023 10:39
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2023 10:39
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/93602
DOI:

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