University of Kentucky

Poster Title

Juries in the Courtroom: Study 1: Elder Financial Exploitation in Kentucky

Institution

University of Kentucky

Abstract

Under the guidance of Dr. Golding, Professor of Psychology at the University of Kentucky, I conducted research on the victimization of elders. This is a particularly relevant research topic because "baby boomers" are approaching the age of greater vulnerability. We were interested in the variables that effect jury verdicts in elder financial abuse cases. For this purpose, we used a pool of Psychology 100 students as our jurors to learn what factors influence their verdicts. Two particular variable of interest are the statute under which the defendant will be prosecuted and the age of the exploited elder. With regard to the former, under Kentucky statutes a defendant can either be prosecuted under KRS 517 (deceptive business practices) or KRS 209 (elder abuse — a more severe felony). Each juror was provided with an elder financial abuse case summary followed by questions. Our independent variables consisted of the gender of the mock jurors, the statute under which the case was being prosecuted, and the age of the victim (65 or 85 years old). For a control group, the jurors were presented with a 35-year old victim with a case only addressing KRS 517, because the victim did not qualify for KRS 209. We hypothesized that our results will find that there will be more pro-victim judgments (e.g., guilty verdicts) for women mock jurors compared to men mock jurors, for the elder abuse statute compared to deceptive business practices, and for older (85 year old) than younger (65 year old) elders. We utilized analysis of variance to analyze our data.

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Juries in the Courtroom: Study 1: Elder Financial Exploitation in Kentucky

Under the guidance of Dr. Golding, Professor of Psychology at the University of Kentucky, I conducted research on the victimization of elders. This is a particularly relevant research topic because "baby boomers" are approaching the age of greater vulnerability. We were interested in the variables that effect jury verdicts in elder financial abuse cases. For this purpose, we used a pool of Psychology 100 students as our jurors to learn what factors influence their verdicts. Two particular variable of interest are the statute under which the defendant will be prosecuted and the age of the exploited elder. With regard to the former, under Kentucky statutes a defendant can either be prosecuted under KRS 517 (deceptive business practices) or KRS 209 (elder abuse — a more severe felony). Each juror was provided with an elder financial abuse case summary followed by questions. Our independent variables consisted of the gender of the mock jurors, the statute under which the case was being prosecuted, and the age of the victim (65 or 85 years old). For a control group, the jurors were presented with a 35-year old victim with a case only addressing KRS 517, because the victim did not qualify for KRS 209. We hypothesized that our results will find that there will be more pro-victim judgments (e.g., guilty verdicts) for women mock jurors compared to men mock jurors, for the elder abuse statute compared to deceptive business practices, and for older (85 year old) than younger (65 year old) elders. We utilized analysis of variance to analyze our data.