What if you sat on a jury that wrongly convicted an innocent person of murder—all because of color crime-scene photos?
It could happen. In research published in the American Psychological Association’s Psychology, Public Policy, and Law journal on March 30, social psychologist Jessica Salerno found that color photos of murders disgust jurors more than the same images in black and white. This disgust leads jurors to want to punish defendants, and to ignore other evidence, according to her study.
Salerno measured the effect of verbal and visual murder evidence on over 500 mock jurors. She found that those who see color photos of a gruesome crime are more likely to feel disgust than those who see the same crime scene in black and white, and more likely to feel disgust than those who see color photos of a less violent crime scene.
Mock jurors who saw bloody color photos were also more