The direct and cross-examination of complainants and defendants in rape trials: a quatitative analysis of question type.

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Title The direct and cross-examination of complainants and defendants in rape trials: a quatitative analysis of question type.
Author Kebbell, Mark Rhys; Deprez, Steven; Wagstaff, Graham
Journal Name Psychology, Crime and Law
Year Published 2003
Place of publication Oxford, UK
Publisher Routledge
Abstract This paper is a post-hoc examination of the questioning used in six rape trials. Questions asked in the evidence-in-chief and cross-examination of six complainants and five defendants were coded into different categories. The categories comprised "open", "closed", "leading", "heavily-leading" and "yes/no" questions; questions that are known to increasingly constrain witness responses. Additionally, the frequency of "multiple questions", and questions with "negatives" and "double negatives" were recorded; questions that witnesses have difficulty understanding. Broadly speaking, results showed that questions in both evidence-in-chief and cross-examination were of a constraining nature and allowed witnesses little opportunity to provide complete accounts of alleged events, particularly during cross-examination. Multiple questions were frequent although negatives were comparatively rare, and double negatives did not occur. Similar forms of questioning were used for complainants as for defendants, although more questions were asked of complainants than defendants in cross-examination. The results are discussed in terms of the adverse influence of these questioning strategies on the completeness and accuracy of witnesses' responses, and the similarity in "combativeness" of lawyers in their examination of complainants and defendants.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/1068316x.asp
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10683160308139
Volume 9
Issue Number 1
Page from 49
Page to 59
ISSN 1068-316X
Date Accessioned 2006-07-28
Date Available 2009-11-05T06:03:06Z
Language en_AU
Research Centre ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security
Faculty Griffith Health Faculty
Subject PRE2009-Justice Systems and Administration; PRE2009-Psychology
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/15458
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1x

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