Slow Motion Bias

Beth Mole covers a new study that shows that “slow motion might actually muddle” our perception of premeditation:

To see if artificially lengthened footage can alter perceptions, the researchers showed 489 volunteers a similar five-second video clip of an armed robbery that ended with a robber shooting a sales clerk. Participants watched the clip at either regular or slowed speed. Those who watched the slowed version were significantly more likely to believe the shooter intended to kill. When the researchers plugged their data into a simulation of 1,000 12-person juries, they estimated that if all 1,000 juries watched the regular speed video, 39 would give a unanimous guilty verdict. But, if the juries watched the slow motion version, 150 of them would give a unanimous guilty verdict.

Can we accept the finality of the death penalty, knowing that jurors’ decisions can be swayed by something as subtle as the speed of a video?

I don’t think so.

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