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Does video evidence make a pre-existing bias against a defendant stronger?

The North Dallas Gazette reported on a series of studies from the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General exploring video evidence and objectivity. Three separate studies found that, while reviewing an altercation with ambiguous culpability (for example, a police officer and a civilian), if viewers concentrated on a specific person involved in the altercation and did not identify with that person’s social group, the viewer was more inclined to give a more severe punishment. Lead author Yael Granot, a doctoral candidate at NYU, said that video evidence is often considered a “silver bullet for getting at truth,” but, as Emily Balcetis, another author in the study, points out, video evidence may “spur our existing biases.”

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