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Full-Text Articles in Evidence

Cultural Bias In Judicial Decision Making, Masua Sagiv May 2015

Cultural Bias In Judicial Decision Making, Masua Sagiv

Boston College Journal of Law & Social Justice

This Essay describes the phenomenon of cultural bias in judicial decision making, and examines the use of testimonies and opinions of cultural experts as a way to diminish this bias. The Essay compares the legal regimes of the United States and Israel. Whereas in the United States, the general practice of using cultural experts in courts is well developed and regulated, the Israeli legal procedure has no formal method for admitting cultural expert testimony, and examples of opinions or testimonies of cultural experts in the Israeli legal system are sporadic. The Essay further argues that social science evidence is an ...


The Death Of Inference, Andrew S. Pollis Mar 2014

The Death Of Inference, Andrew S. Pollis

Boston College Law Review

This Article examines a disturbing trend in civil litigation: the demise of the jury’s historic prerogative to draw inferences from circumstantial evidence. Judges have arrogated to themselves the power to dismiss cases if they find the proffered inferences factually implausible. They have increasingly dismissed cases under the “equal-inference rule” by finding the proffered inferences no more plausible than other available inferences. And they have severely limited the powerful inferences jurors can draw when they conclude that a witness has lied. Commentators have bemoaned the heightened-pleading standard of the 2007 and 2009 U.S. Supreme Court cases, Bell Atlantic Corp ...


The Fallacy Of Dispositive Procedure, Suja A. Thomas May 2009

The Fallacy Of Dispositive Procedure, Suja A. Thomas

Boston College Law Review

The U.S. Supreme Court has held that judges can dismiss cases before, during, or after trial if they decide that no reasonable jury could find for the plaintiff. The Court has also held that judges cannot dismiss cases based on their own views of the sufficiency of the evidence. I contend, however, that judges do exactly that. Judges dismiss cases based simply on their own views of the evidence, not based on how a reasonable jury could view the evidence. This phenomenon can be seen in the decisions dismissing cases. Judges describe how they perceive the evidence, interchangeably use ...


Reconsidering Spousal Privileges After Crawford, R. Michael Cassidy Nov 2006

Reconsidering Spousal Privileges After Crawford, R. Michael Cassidy

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In this article the author explores how domestic violence prevention efforts have been adversely impacted by the Supreme Court’s new “testimonial” approach to the confrontation clause. Examining the Court’s trilogy of cases from Crawford to Davis and Hammon, the author argues that the introduction of certain forms of hearsay in criminal cases has been drastically limited by the court’s new originalist approach to the Sixth Amendment. The author explains how state spousal privilege statutes often present a significant barrier to obtaining live testimony from victims of domestic violence. The author then argues that state legislatures should reconsider ...