Religion in Criminal Justice

Religion in Criminal Justice
Monica K. Miller
March 2006

ISBN-13:  978-1-59332-337-0 / Paperback
Or  978-1-59332-142-0 / Hardcover
Dimensions:  5.5 x 8.5 / viii, 226 pages



Miller demonstrates how religion affects every aspect of the judicial system by focusing on religious appeals by attorneys in closing arguments of death penalty sentencing trials. She explores whether these appeals lead jurors to make legally impermissible decisions, as some courts have feared. Can religious appeals lead jurors to rely on the Bible instead of state law? Her results show that the more participants relied on Biblical authority, the more they relied on their instincts and the less they relied on evidence and judge's instructions. Gender, devotionalism, belief in a literal Biblical interpretation, and an individual's cognitive processing style also affected verdicts.

About the Author

Monica K. Miller is an assistant professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. She holds a dual appointment between the Department of Criminal Justice and the Interdisciplinary Social Psychology PhD Program. She earned her J.D. from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2002, and her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2004.