Skip to main content

The Impact of Jury Instructions on Heat of Passion Manslaughter Determinations (WP-22-08)

Beth Redbird

The goal of this study was to determine how individuals comprehend, and subsequently deploy, their understanding of standard jury instructions for murder and manslaughter. To this end, this study addresses three primary research questions: (1) Do potential jurors understand the instructions as provided? (2) If they fail to understand the instructions, what is the nature of their misunderstanding?  (3) How does understanding impact the probability of a guilty determination?

Beth Redbird, Assistant Professor of Sociology and IPR Fellow, Northwestern University

Download PDF