Juror Preference for Curative Alternative Verdicts for Veterans With PTSD

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Abstract

Two studies examined mock juror verdicts for veterans with PTSD in the criminal justice system. Mock jurors demonstrated a leniency toward treatment bias for veterans with PTSD who committed a violent crime, compared to a nonviolent crime. This leniency toward treatment bias occurred only when alternative verdict options, beyond guilty or not guilty, were available. In fact, a guilt bias was demonstrated by mock jurors when the only verdict options were guilty or not guilty, and a bias toward treatment was demonstrated when curative alternative verdicts were available. Implications for efforts to address the growing national problem of veterans with PTSD in the criminal justice system are discussed.

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