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Jurors less likely to convict attractive people

Sunday, 25 April 2010 - 1:53pm IST | Place: London | Agency: ANI
Attractive people get their way, it seems, even in the courtroom. A new study has found that the more good-looking people are, the less likely they are to be convicted of an offence.

Attractive people get their way, it seems, even in the courtroom. A new study has found that the more good-looking people are, the less likely they are to be convicted of an offence.

In the study, researchers identified two types of juror, with one group whose minds work emotionally rather than rationally, judging defendants by looks rather than evidence.

After analyses, New York's Cornell University boffins found that both sets of jurors convicted attractive defendants at the same rate. But the emotional group was far more likely to find unattractive defendants guilty, as they believed that they looked more capable of committing the crime.

And when asked to pass sentence in the trial, the emotional group additionally gave unattractive defendants harsher punishments, reports The Scotsman.

The study, 'When Emotionality Trumps Reason', is to be published in the academic journal Behavioral Sciences & the Law.

Justin Gunnell, a New York lawyer who led the research, explained: "There has been a lot of work done on the concept of whether attractive defendants do better in court."

"We suspected that potential jurors who were more prone to base their decisions on emotion or intuition would be more likely to consider legally irrelevant factors such as defendant attractiveness when rendering verdicts. The results supported our suspicions," Gunnell, who worked with psychology professor Stephen Ceci on the study, added.




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