SECTION 3: ISSUES RELATED TO EVIDENCE USED IN PROSECUTION AND SENTENCING OF CRIMINAL OFFENDERS

 

Next we are interested in what you think about the quality of different kinds of information used during the processing of criminal cases. Please read each of the following and indicate which response comes closest to matching your own thoughts about each of the following items.

 

3.1 If you were serving as a juror on a criminal case, how much confidence do you think you would you have in the accuracy of testimony presented by each of the following “expert witnesses?”

 

Witness’s Area of Specialization:

A lot of

Confidence

Some

Confidence

Little

Confidence

No

Confidence

• DNA experts

Ä

Ä

Ä

Ä

• forensic pathologists

Ä

Ä

Ä

Ä

• forensic ballistics experts

Ä

Ä

Ä

Ä

• forensic “crime scene” re-creation experts

Ä

Ä

Ä

Ä

• criminal profilers

Ä

Ä

Ä

Ä

• psychiatric testimony regarding sanity/insanity

Ä

Ä

Ä

Ä

• psychiatric testimony regarding competency

Ä

Ä

Ä

Ä

• psychiatric and psychological testimony regarding future dangerousness

Ä

Ä

Ä

Ä

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.2 Do you think there should be a specialized certification program required for the following areas of criminal justice specialization?

 

 

Yes

No

• DNA experts

Ä

Ä

• forensic pathologists

Ä

Ä

• forensic ballistics experts

Ä

Ä

• forensic “crime scene” re-creation experts

Ä

Ä

• criminal profilers

Ä

Ä

• psychiatric experts focusing on sanity/insanity

Ä

Ä

• psychiatric experts focusing on competency

Ä

Ä

• psychiatric and psychological experts focusing on future dangerousness

Ä

Ä

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.3 If you were a juror on a capital murder trial, would your attitudes about the death penalty influence any of the following:

 

a.)   Your willingness to consider voting for the death penalty?

Ä   Yes

Ä   No

 

 

 

b.)   Your ability to be fair and impartial in deciding the question of guilt?

Ä   Yes

Ä   No

 

 

c.)   You would __________ vote to impose the death penalty for guilty capital defendants?

 

Ä   Always

Ä   Never

Ä   It depends.

 

 

3.4 Should people who are mentally disordered be more likely or less likely to receive a death sentence if convicted of capital murder?

 

Ä More likely

Ä Less likely

Ä It shouldn’t matter.

 

 

3.5 Should people who are diagnosed as psychopaths (generally characterized as remorseless, manipulative, self-centered, etc.) be more or less likely to receive a death penalty if convicted of capital murder?

 

Ä More likely

Ä Less likely

Ä It shouldn’t matter.

 

 

 

3.6 Imagine that you are a juror deciding on the penalty in a capital murder case, and you hear testimony that an offender is a psychopath. Would this testimony influence your decision about the penalty?

 

Ä No

Ä Yesà Would this testimony make you more or less likely to give a death sentence?

Ä More likely

Ä Less likely

 

 

 

 

 

3.7 Again, assuming the role of a capital juror, you hear testimony that an offender is a psychopath. However, the defense attorney also calls an expert to testify that psychopaths are not necessarily more violent than other inmates. Would this testimony influence your decision about the penalty?

 

Ä No

Ä Yes à Would this testimony make you more or less likely to give a death sentence?

Ä More

Ä Less

 

 

 

3.8 How would you describe the safety of today's public schools?

 

Ä much less safe than 10 yrs ago

Ä less safe than 10 yrs ago

Ä about the same as 10 yrs ago

Ä safer than 10 yrs ago

Ä much safer than 10 yrs ago

 

 

 

 

 

3.9 How knowledgeable or aware do you think public school children are about what to do when they hear about potential violence at school?

 

Ä not at all knowledgeable/aware

Ä somewhat knowledgeable/aware

Ä highly knowledgeable/aware

 

 

 

 

3.10 What consequences would you advocate for students who threaten violence in public schools?

 

Ä automatic expulsion

Ä out of school suspension

Ä detention/in school suspension

Ä psychological consultation only

Ä nothing