TIME justice

Slow-Motion Replays of Crimes May Distort Trial Outcomes

County Attorney Mike Freeman, shows video from evidence after he announced in Minneapolis on March 30, 2016.
Jim Moneā€”AP County Attorney Mike Freeman, shows video from evidence after he announced in Minneapolis on March 30, 2016.

Slowed down footage of violent acts caused viewers to see greater intent to harm than when viewed at normal speed

Showing a jury a slow motion video of a crime may distort the outcome of trials, new research has found.

A U.S. study showed that slowed down footage of violent acts caused viewers to see greater intent to harm than when viewed at normal speed, the BBC reports.

For the study, published in the journal PNAS, participants acting as mock jurors watched either regular speed or slowed-down footage of an attempted store robbery, where the shop assistant was shot dead. Those who watched the slowed-down video were four times more likely to begin their deliberations ready to convict.

The researchers wrote: “We demonstrate that slow-motion replay can systematically increase judgments of intent because it gives viewers the false impression that the actor had more time to premeditate before acting.

“In legal proceedings, these judgments of intent can mean the difference between life and death. Thus, any benefits of video replay should be weighed against its potentially biasing effects.”

[BBC]

 

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