Research from Royal Holloway, University of London has found that defendants who don't "swear by Almighty God" run a higher risk of being found guilty by jurors who themselves take a religious oath.
In the UK, court witnesses can choose to either swear a religious oath to God, or make a secular affirmation, that they will give truthful evidence.
The researchers concluded that the religious oath "is an antiquated legal ritual that needs reform".
The National Secular Society is calling for the oath and affirmation to be replaced in light of the research.
Religious oath-takers more likely to discriminate against secular affirmers
The researchers held two surveys which found that people associate the religious oath with credible testimony; and that people, especially those who are religious, discriminate against defendants who choose instead to affirm.
In a further experiment, participants acting as 'jurors' watched a video of a mock trial, in which the 'defendant' either swore a religious oath before giving evidence or made the secular affirmation.
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