Is jury bias preventing justice for rape victims?

  • Dominic Willmott

Press/Media: Research


Dr Dominic Willmott writes on his research into the effects of juror bias on rape trials.

Period9 Jun 2016 → 28 Apr 2019

Media coverage


Media coverage

  • TitleRevealed: Video training for rape juries under justice reform blueprint
    Degree of recognitionInternational
    Media name/outletThe Sunday Post
    Media typeWeb
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    DescriptionThe Scottish Government’s Victim Taskforce, launched to improve ­services for victims of crime, is looking at introducing “pre-instruction” videos for juries in sex offence trials.

    Campaigners say research using mock juries suggests that myths about rape can influence the decisions of jurors.

    Studies had shown “compelling evidence” that belief in rape myths had a direct influence on delivering not-guilty verdicts.

    Introducing pre-instruction videos would be a step in the right direction, but he is sceptical how effective it would be.

    “Would we really expect a racist juror in a case that has a black defendant, to watch a video and they are somehow able to set aside those racist beliefs? It is unlikely.

    “It is better than nothing, but I am not entirely convinced it works.”

    He said a long-term solution would be education at school on rape myths to “fix the next generation”.

    However, Dr Willmott suggested screening measures could be introduced in order to identify jurors likely to believe rape myths.
    PersonsDominic Willmott

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Media contributions