Slow motion enhances the feeling of guilt, according to a recent study. Dangerous actions often happen very quickly. Pulling the trigger or swinging a fist happen in the blink of an eye. This is why police agents and prosecutors are using videos more and more to prove their point.
Recordings have a few tricks up their sleeve: they replay quickly, they represent life-changing events and they can be put in slow motion mode to visualize even the slightest movements.
The video has the power to not only show what happened but also to expose the intention of alleged criminals.
However, the research points out that those who watch slow motion footage, as opposed to regular speed footage, are more inclined to feel that suspects acted deliberately and premeditated their unlawful action. The peculiar, slow motion view which captures all of the emotions on a person’s face seems to incriminate them more than regular speed video view.
The conclusions were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The findings suggest that even jurors who watch slow-motion images of an alleged crime are more likely to consider the perpetrator more responsible than they would otherwise do.
The intent can sometimes be misjudged and it can mean the difference between shorter and longer sentence times.
This is why the advantages of replaying a video should be considered at odds with the potential bias effect.
Scientists cite the example of an armed robbery. Although the suspect did shoot a clerk, it wasn’t clear whether the suspect premeditated the killing or not. When watching normal speed footage, thirty-nine “jurors’ have given a premeditated murder verdict. The jurors were part of a thousand people cohort to study the effects of video on human conscience. When the simulation went on and the jurors were shown a video at reduced speed, one hundred and fifty of them gave a premeditated murder verdict.
A similar situation occurred when Lewis John was put on trial for fatally shooting an officer during an armed robbery. The jurors watched a slow motion version of the sequence of events and decided to sentence Lewis to death, based on the half-speed video. Lewis is currently on death row.
Image Source – Pixabay