The impact of abuse allegations in perceiving parricide in the courtroom

Nesa E. Wasarhaley, Jonathan M. Golding, Kellie Rose Lynch, Peggy S. Keller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


One hundred and seventy five undergraduates (105 females) read a fictional criminal trial summary of a parricide case in which the juvenile defendant alleged sexual abuse or physical abuse or did not allege abuse. An allegation of either type of abuse led to a greater likelihood of a manslaughter conviction than a murder conviction and greater pro-child ratings (e.g., sympathy toward the defendant) compared to no abuse allegations. Specific evaluations of the defendant mediated the verdict results. In addition, there was no support for the claim that perceptions are more heinous for sexual abuse than physical abuse allegations and only limited support that perceptions for this type of case result in women being more pro-child defendant than men. The discussion focuses on how abuse allegations impact jurors' decision-making processes in parricide cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)783-799
Number of pages17
JournalPsychology, Crime and Law
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • child physical abuse
  • child sexual abuse
  • juror decision making
  • parricide
  • patricide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychology (all)
  • Law


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