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Evidence Commons

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Jurisprudence

Criminal Law

William & Mary Law Review

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Justice Begins Before Trial: How To Nudge Inaccurate Pretrial Rulings Using Behavioral Law And Economic Theory And Uniform Commercial Laws, Michael Gentithes May 2019

Justice Begins Before Trial: How To Nudge Inaccurate Pretrial Rulings Using Behavioral Law And Economic Theory And Uniform Commercial Laws, Michael Gentithes

William & Mary Law Review

Injustice in criminal cases often takes root before trial begins. Overworked criminal judges must resolve difficult pretrial evidentiary issues that determine the charges the State will take to trial and the range of sentences the defendant will face. Wrong decisions on these issues often lead to wrongful convictions. As behavioral law and economic theory suggests, judges who are cognitively busy and receive little feedback on these topics from appellate courts rely upon intuition, rather than deliberative reasoning, to resolve these questions. This leads to inconsistent rulings, which prosecutors exploit to expand the scope of evidentiary exceptions that almost always disfavor ...