A Qualitative Analysis of Mock Jurors' Deliberations of Linkage Analysis Evidence

A Charron, Jessica Woodhams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


Evidence about a suspect's behavioural similarity across a series of crimes has been presented in legal proceedings in at least three different countries. Its admission as expert evidence, whilst still rare, is becoming more common thus it is important for us to understand how such evidence is received by jurors and legal professionals. This article reports on a qualitative analysis of mock jurors' deliberations about expert linkage analysis evidence. Three groups of mock jurors (N = 20) were presented with the prosecution's linkage analysis evidence from the USA State v. Fortin I murder trial and expert evidence for the defence constructed for the purposes of the study. Each group was asked to deliberate and reach a verdict. Deliberations were video-recorded and subject to thematic content analysis. The themes that emerged were varied. Analysis suggested that the mock jurors were cautious of the expert evidence of behavioural similarity. In some cases they were sceptical of the expert. They articulated a preference that expert opinion be supported using statistics. Additional themes included jurors having misconceptions concerning what is typical offender behaviour during rape which suggests there is a need for expert linkage analysis evidence regarding behavioural similarities and the relative frequencies of crime scene behaviours. Copyright (C) 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-183
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2010


  • comparative case analysis
  • case linkage
  • expert witness testimony
  • jury


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