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Full-Text Articles in Law

Some Steps Between Attitudes And Verdicts, Phoebe C. Ellsworth Jan 2003

Some Steps Between Attitudes And Verdicts, Phoebe C. Ellsworth

Book Chapters

Most research that has attempted to predict verdict preferences on the basis of stable juror characteristics, such as attitudes and personality traits, has found that individual differences among jurors are not very useful predictors, accounting for only a small proportion of the variance in verdict choices. Some commentators have therefore concluded that verdicts are overwhelmingly accounted for by "the weight of the evidence," and that differences among jurors have negligible effects. But there is a paradox here: In most cases the weight of the evidence is insufficient to produce firstballot unanimity in the jury (Hans & Vidmar, 1986; Hastie, Penrod, & Pennington, 1983; Kalven & Zeisel, 1966 ...


One Inspiring Jury, Phoebe C. Ellsworth Jan 2003

One Inspiring Jury, Phoebe C. Ellsworth

Reviews

Americans love to complain about the jury. They complain about being called for jury duty. They complain about jury verdicts in highly publicized cases. They are outraged by the failure to convict "obviously guilty" criminals, such as the police officers in the cases of Rodney King and Amadou Diallo, the Menendez brothers in their first trial, and of course O.J. Simpson. In civil cases, they are appalled when plaintiffs win huge damage awards in "obviously frivolous" lawsuits. Juries are ignorant and uneducated, juries are gullible, juries are swayed by passion and prejudice rather than reason. Criticizing jury verdicts allows ...


Breaking The Camel's Back: A Consideration Of Mitigatory Criminal Defenses And Racism-Related Mental Illness, Camille A. Nelson Jan 2003

Breaking The Camel's Back: A Consideration Of Mitigatory Criminal Defenses And Racism-Related Mental Illness, Camille A. Nelson

Michigan Journal of Race and Law

This article will examine the concept of racist words, symbols, and actions that are used as weapons to "ambush, terrorize, wound, humiliate, and degrade,” as psychological and physiological violence. The implications of such violence are relevant to several affirmative defenses and, indeed, to the initial formulation of mens rea. The historical and contextual legacy that is intentionally invoked by the utilization of racialized violence is what separates the racial epithet or racially violent symbolism from other distressing insults and slurs. While First Amendment protection extends to offensive or insulting speech, the mental and physical sequelae of such speech, even absent ...


Behavioral Economics And The Sec, Stephen J. Choi, Adam C. Pritchard Jan 2003

Behavioral Economics And The Sec, Stephen J. Choi, Adam C. Pritchard

Articles

Not all investors are rational. Quite apart from the obvious examples of credulity in the face of the latest Ponzi scheme, there is no shortage of evidence that many investors' decisions are influenced by systematic biases that impair their abilities to maximize their investment returns. For example, investors will often hold onto poorly performing stocks longer than warranted, hoping to recoup their losses. Other investors will engage in speculative trading, dissipating their returns by paying larger commissions than more passive investors. And we are not just talking about widows and orphans here. There is evidence that supposedly sophisticated institutional investors-mutual ...


How Much Do We Really Know About Race And Juries? A Review Of Social Science Theory And Research, Samuel R. Sommers, Phoebe C. Ellsworth Jan 2003

How Much Do We Really Know About Race And Juries? A Review Of Social Science Theory And Research, Samuel R. Sommers, Phoebe C. Ellsworth

Articles

The past decade has witnessed numerous high-profile criminal trials in which controversial verdicts have been attributed to racethe race of the defendant, the racial composition of a jury, an attorney "playing the race card," and so on. A predominantly Black jury's acquittal of O.J. Simpson and White jurors' leniency in the police brutality cases of Rodney King and Amadou Diallo not only sparked public debate, but also led to rioting and violence. In the wake of trials such as these, many have questioned the viability of the American jury system.' More specific questions regarding the influence of race ...


What They Say At The End: Capital Victims' Families And The Press, Samuel R. Gross, Daniel J. Matheson Jan 2003

What They Say At The End: Capital Victims' Families And The Press, Samuel R. Gross, Daniel J. Matheson

Articles

Perhaps the most common complaint by American crime victims and their families is that they are ignored-by the police, by the prosecutors, by the courts and by the press. However true that may be for capital cases in general, there is at least one consistent exception: the great majority of newspaper accounts of executions include at least some description of the reactions of the victims' families and of any surviving victims. It seems to have become an item on the checklist, part of the "who, what, where, when, why, and how" of execution stories. When no family members are available ...