How Slow-Motion Video Footage Misleads Juries

From surveillance cameras to smartphones, today’s crimes are increasingly being captured on video. But could showing slow-motion replays of crimes in court be producing harsher verdicts? This is the suggestion from a new study published in PNAS by researchers at the University of Chicago, University of San Francisco, and University of Virginia. They argue that slow motion replays can give viewers “the false impression that the actor had more time to premeditate before acting.” Participants were shown surveillance footage of either an attempted robbery in which the assailant shot the store worker, or an NFL player performing a banned tackle. Participants, who were recruited online using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing program, were shown the videos both at regular speed and in slow motion.