“The Influence of Juror Decision-Making Processes on the Verdict in the Extinction Rebellion Protesters Case” “Understanding and Influencing Decision Making: A Psychological Perspective on Environmental Crises and Climate Change”

(100% of the mark for this TMA)
Read through the newspaper article below and then answer the question.
The question: Critically evaluate the ways in which the jury’s verdict in this case may have been influenced by juror decision-making processes, stating whether you agree or disagree with the verdict. In your answer, use evidence from Block 5 and draw on what you know about humans in nature, plus at least two of the following three areas of psychology – cognitive psychology, individual differences and social psychology.
Jury acquits Extinction Rebellion protesters despite ‘no defence in law’
Six Extinction Rebellion protesters have been cleared of causing criminal damage to Shell’s London headquarters despite the judge directing jurors that they had no defence in law.
Two of the group’s co-founders, Simon Bramwell, 49, and Ian Bray, 53, were acquitted on Friday alongside Jane Augsburger, 55, Senan Clifford, 60, David Lambert, 62, and James “Sid” Saunders, 41, after a trial at Southwark crown court.
The six, who represented themselves, were also cleared of individual counts of having an article with intent to destroy or damage property, while a seventh protester, Katerina Hasapopoulos, 43, earlier pleaded guilty to criminal damage.
Prosecutor Diana Wilson told jurors that each of the defendants deliberately sprayed graffiti or smashed windows of the Shell building in Belvedere Road, central London, on 15 April 2019.
The protest, which saw activists pour fake oil, glue themselves to windows and doors, break glass, climb on to a roof and spray graffiti, was part of wider Extinction Rebellion demonstrations across the capital.
Wilson said that while some protesters stood outside the building holding banners or speaking through megaphones, “these defendants went further”, adding: “The seven involved caused significant damage.”
All those who stood trial explained they had targeted the Shell building because the oil giant was directly contributing to the climate crisis, thereby causing serious injury and death, and argued that it was a “necessary” and “proportionate” response to the harm being caused.
Clifford quoted Sir David Attenborough and former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams in his evidence.
He said: “I believe if I don’t do whatever I can to protect our Earth, to protect life on this Earth, to stop the death and injury that is and will be happening, I’m committing a crime, a really serious crime, and I’m willing to break a window, to paint a message on a wall, I’m willing to break the glass on that emergency button, even if some say that’s a crime.
“Because this is a much bigger crime and I’m trying to stop that crime, I’m trying to protect life in the only way I feel I can.”
Judge Gregory Perrins directed jurors that even if they thought the protesters were “morally justified”, it did not provide them with a lawful excuse to commit criminal damage.

But the jury of seven women and five men took seven hours and four minutes to acquit them of both charges. Some of the defendants waved at jurors, several of whom were visibly emotional, as they left court.
Before reaching their verdicts, the jury had asked to see a copy of the oath they took when they were sworn in.
Thanking jurors for their “care and attention”, the judge said: “This has been an unusual case.”

Speaking after the verdicts, Bramwell said: “This is such a significant victory for the consciousness of the British people when it comes to the huge, immediate threat of climate change and the absolute failure of our government to do anything meaningful about it.”
(Adapted from PA Media, 2021)
The material to answer this question comes primarily from Week 25  ‘Juror and jury decision making’, which specifically explores the ways in which juries make decisions. You may also find it helpful to look at Week 22 ‘Humans in nature’ to help construct an answer for the second element of the question.
Of particular relevance are:
Week 25, Section 4 ‘How jurors make decisions’
Chapter 15, Section 4 ‘Cognitive psychology and the story model’
Chapter 15, Section 5 ‘Individual differences in juror decision making’
Chapter 15, Section 6 ‘Social psychology and juror decision making’
Week 22, Section 3: Making sense of anthropogenic climate change
Week 22, Section 4 ‘Encouraging pro-environmental behaviour’
Chapter 13, Section 2 ‘Environmental crises’
Chapter 13, Section 3 ‘Managing knowledge about environmental crises’
Chapter 13, Section 4 ‘Socially organised denial’.

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