Decision-Making: The Role of Scientific Evidence Communication on Prosecutorial Decision-Making

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The decision to prosecute a criminal case and the confidence in making that decision may appear as simple binary choices at first, the truth is, however, far more complicated. Previous research indicates that language and communication method modification can affect the decision-making process by criminal justice officials (Howes, 2019; Howes, 2017). The same has been found in the communications and decision-making processes of subject matter experts to non-subject matter experts (Howes, 2016; Howes, 2015a; Howes, 2015b). For anyone attempting to interpret the probative value of scientific evidence, it can be difficult to comprehend what is meant by categorical verbal indicators and probability statements (Arscott et al, 2017; Martire, 2018; Martire & Watkins, 2015; Martire et al, 2014; Metcalf, 2019). There remains a gap in the literature examining these issues in the distinctive Scottish Criminal Justice system. Much research has been devoted to juror decision-making and verdict probability (Curley et al, 2020; Curley et al, 2019a; Curley et al, 2019b; Curley et al, 2017). There also is a gap in the decision-making process and probability assessment in terms of the decision to prosecute a case and the confidence in that decision. The current study seeks to determine if there is a relationship between the way in which scientific evidence is communicated and decision-making and the decision to prosecute a case. It will also consider how demographic factors such as age, gender, education level, and previous jury service can be used as predictive factors in that process.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2022
EventESC 2022 Forensic Science and Criminology Summer School : My PhD Thesis and Me - Aquatis Hotel and Conference Centre, Lausanne, Switzerland
Duration: 22 Aug 202225 Aug 2022


ConferenceESC 2022 Forensic Science and Criminology Summer School
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