Slow-Motion Video Makes Jurors 4X More Likely to Convict Alleged Criminals, Study Shows

Participants were shown video surveillance footage at full speed and in slow motion, and the results showed stark differences between jurors’ interpretation of criminal intent.

As video surveillance technology continues to improve, more and more communities are installing surveillance cameras to help aid criminal investigations. However, a new study found that watching surveillance footage or any other video in slow motion gives people a distorted impression of an alleged criminal’s intent.

The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States. It argues that its research shows that slow motion replays give viewers a “false impression that the actor had more time to premeditate before acting.”

Participants in the study, acting as jurors, were shown video of attempted robberies and shootings at regular speed and in slow motion. Then they were asked various questions, such as whether or not the shooter acted with the intention to kill, how far it was premeditated and how much time he had to assess the situation before acting, as detailed by QZ.com.

The study found that watching the slow motion video “quadrupled the odds that jurors would begin the deliberation phase ready to convict” and those who watched the clip at full speed were more likely to conclude there was a willful intention to kill.

The researchers come from the University of Chicago, University of San Francisco and the University of Virginia.

What do you make of these findings?


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