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The Effects Of Promising To Tell The Truth, The Putative Confession, And Recall And Recognition Questions On Maltreated And Non-Maltreated Children's Disclosure Of A Minor Transgression, Jodi A. Quas, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Thomas D. Lyon 2017 Arizona State University

The Effects Of Promising To Tell The Truth, The Putative Confession, And Recall And Recognition Questions On Maltreated And Non-Maltreated Children's Disclosure Of A Minor Transgression, Jodi A. Quas, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This study examined the utility of two interview instructions designed to overcome children’s reluctance to disclose transgressions: eliciting a promise from children to tell the truth and the putative confession (telling children that a suspect “told me everything that happened and wants you to tell the truth”). The key questions were whether the instructions increased disclosure in response to recall questions and in response to recognition questions that were less or more explicit about transgressions, and whether instructions were differentially effective with age. Two-hundred and seventeen 4- to 9-year-old maltreated and comparable non-maltreated children played with a stranger. This ...


Child Witnesses, Thomas D. Lyon, Kelly McWilliams, Shanna Williams 2017 University of Southern California

Child Witnesses, Thomas D. Lyon, Kelly Mcwilliams, Shanna Williams

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

In this chapter we provide an overview of psychological issues involving children’s capacities as witnesses. First, we discuss the kinds of cases in which children are usually involved. Across different courts, one most often sees children describing abuse at the hands of familiar adults. Second, we describe the difficulties children encounter in disclosing abuse, particularly when it is perpetrated by adults close to them. These dynamics lead most children to remain silent, and only the most forthcoming children to disclose. Third, we suggest a framework for assessing children’s allegations, in which child-generated and adult-generated information lie on opposite ...


19. Child Witnesses., Thomas D. Lyon, Kelly McWilliams, Shanna Williams 2017 John Jay College of Criminal Justice

19. Child Witnesses., Thomas D. Lyon, Kelly Mcwilliams, Shanna Williams

Thomas D. Lyon

In this chapter we provide an overview of psychological issues involving children’s capacities as witnesses. First, we discuss the kinds of cases in which children are usually involved. Across different courts, one most often sees children describing abuse at the hands of familiar adults. Second, we describe the difficulties children encounter in disclosing abuse, particularly when it is perpetrated by adults close to them. These dynamics lead most children to remain silent, and only the most forthcoming children to disclose. Third, we suggest a framework for assessing children’s allegations, in which child-generated and adult-generated information lie on opposite ...


Calling Crawford: Minnesota Declares A 911 Call Non-Testimonial In State V. Wright, Alistair Y. Raymond 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Calling Crawford: Minnesota Declares A 911 Call Non-Testimonial In State V. Wright, Alistair Y. Raymond

Maine Law Review

In State v. Wright, 1 the State of Minnesota charged David Wright with possession of a firearm by a felon and two counts of second-degree assault against his girlfriend and her sister. A jury found Wright guilty on all charges and sentenced him to sixty months in jail for each crime, with sentences served concurrently. Wright’s girlfriend, R.R., and her sister, S.R., did not testify against him at trial. The prosecution, however, used the transcript of a 911 call placed by R.R. against Wright in the trial. Although the 911 call was hearsay, the court admitted ...


The Relation Between Young Children's False Statements And Response Latency, Executive Functioning, And Truth-Lie Understanding, Shanna Williams, Elizabeth C. Ahern, Thomas D. Lyon 2017 USC Gould School of Law

The Relation Between Young Children's False Statements And Response Latency, Executive Functioning, And Truth-Lie Understanding, Shanna Williams, Elizabeth C. Ahern, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This study examined relations between children’s false statements and response latency, executive functioning, and truth-lie understanding in order to understand what underlies children’s emerging ability to make false statements. A total of 158 (2- to 5- year-old) children earned prizes for claiming that they were looking at birds even when presented with images of fish. Children were asked recall (“what do you have?”), recognition (“do you have a bird/fish?”), and outcome (“did you win/lose?”) questions. Response latencies were greater when children were presented with fish pictures than bird pictures, particularly when they were asked recall questions ...


Morales V. Portuondo: Has The Seal Of The Confessional Sprung A Leak?, Jordan B. Woods 2017 St. John's University School of Law

Morales V. Portuondo: Has The Seal Of The Confessional Sprung A Leak?, Jordan B. Woods

The Catholic Lawyer

No abstract provided.


61. The Relation Between Children’S False Statements And Response Latency, Executive Functioning, And Truth-Lie Understanding., Shanna Williams, Elizabeth C. Ahern, Thomas D. Lyon 2017 University of Southern California Law

61. The Relation Between Children’S False Statements And Response Latency, Executive Functioning, And Truth-Lie Understanding., Shanna Williams, Elizabeth C. Ahern, Thomas D. Lyon

Thomas D. Lyon

This study examined relations between children’s false statements and response latency, executive functioning, and truth-lie understanding in order to understand what underlies children’s emerging ability to make false statements. A total of 158 (2- to 5-year-old) children earned prizes for claiming that they were looking at birds even when presented with images of fish. Children were asked recall (“what do you have?”), recognition (“do you have a bird/fish?”), and outcome (“did you win/lose?”) questions. Response latencies were greater when children were presented with fish pictures than bird pictures, particularly when they were asked recall questions, and ...


Relations Between Attorney Temporal Structure And Children's Response Productivity In Cases Of Alleged Child Sexual Abuse, J. Zoe Klemfuss, Kyndra C. Cleveland, J A. Quas, Thomas D. Lyon 2017 Florida International University

Relations Between Attorney Temporal Structure And Children's Response Productivity In Cases Of Alleged Child Sexual Abuse, J. Zoe Klemfuss, Kyndra C. Cleveland, J A. Quas, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Purpose. Previous research has demonstrated that attorney question format relates to child witness’ response productivity. However, little work has examined the extent to which attorneys provide temporal structure in their questions, and the effects of this structure on children’s responding. The purpose of this study was to address this gap in the literature to identify methods by which attorneys increase children’s response productivity on the stand without risking objections from opposing counsel for ‘calling for narrative answers’.

Methods. In this study, we coded criminal court transcripts involving child witnesses (5–18 years) for narrative structure in attorney questions ...


When Interviewing Children: A Review And Update, Karen J. Saywitz, Thomas D. Lyon, Gail S. Goodwin 2017 UCLA

When Interviewing Children: A Review And Update, Karen J. Saywitz, Thomas D. Lyon, Gail S. Goodwin

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

In this chapter, we highlight principles for interviewing children based on the best available science, understanding that such principles keep changing as new evidence accumulates and that gaps exist in the knowledge base where guidance is limited. Interviewers will need to stay abreast of new developments. First, we briefly describe the data base from which the tools derive--studies conducted in the laboratory and in the field. Then we discuss evidence-based interview tools and features of the interview about which there is sufficient empirical evidence and consensus to derive “toolboxes.” We discuss interview structure, setting, children’s reluctance and suggestibility, rapport ...


Spatial Language, Question Type, And Young Children's Ability To Describe Clothing: Legal And Developmental Implications, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Kelly McWilliams, Thomas D. Lyon 2017 Arizona State University

Spatial Language, Question Type, And Young Children's Ability To Describe Clothing: Legal And Developmental Implications, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Kelly Mcwilliams, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Children’s descriptions of clothing placement and touching with respect to clothing are central to assessing child sexual abuse allegations. This study examined children’s ability to answer the types of questions attorneys and interviewers typically ask about clothing, using the most common spatial terms (on/off, outside/inside, over/under). Ninety-seven 3- to 6-year-olds were asked yes/no (e.g. “Is the shirt on?”), forced-choice (e.g., “Is the shirt on or off?”), open-choice (e.g., “Is the shirt on or off or something else?”), or where questions (e.g., “Where is the shirt?”) about clothing using a human ...


"Where Were Your Clothes?" Eliciting Descriptions Of Clothing Placement From Children Alleging Sexual Abuse In Criminal Trials And Forensic Interviews, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Thomas D. Lyon 2017 Arizona State University

"Where Were Your Clothes?" Eliciting Descriptions Of Clothing Placement From Children Alleging Sexual Abuse In Criminal Trials And Forensic Interviews, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Purpose: The present study examined how children alleging sexual abuse are asked about clothing placement during abusive episodes, both in criminal trials and forensic interviews. The placement of clothing is of great importance, because it facilitates distinguishing abusive touch from non-abusive touch, as well as the severity of abuse when the touching is in fact sexual. If clothing has not been removed, then sexual abuse appears less likely and certain types of sexual contact are physically impossible (or at least highly improbable). Methods: We examined how trial attorneys (n = 142) and forensic interviewers in investigative interviews (n = 155) questioned 5- ...


Unconstitutional Asymmetry Or A Rational Basis For Inconsistency? The Admissibility Of Medical Malpractice Prelitigation Screening Panel Findings Before And After Smith V. Hawthorne I And Ii, Matthew Asnault Morris 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Unconstitutional Asymmetry Or A Rational Basis For Inconsistency? The Admissibility Of Medical Malpractice Prelitigation Screening Panel Findings Before And After Smith V. Hawthorne I And Ii, Matthew Asnault Morris

Maine Law Review

Pre-litigation screening panels have been instrumental in streamlining medical malpractice litigation in the State of Maine by culling claims from superior court dockets, encouraging settlements, and providing findings of fact that could prove useful for a jury if the case proceeds to trial. In enacting one particular provision governing the confidentiality and the admissibility of the screening panel process, however, the legislature may have sacrificed the constitutional rights of medical malpractice claimants in favor of a lighter docket. Two recent cases before the Law Court, Smith I and II, have challenged the constitutionality of Maine’s unique statutory approach to ...


The Excited Utterance Paradox, Steven Baicker-McKee 2017 Seattle University School of Law

The Excited Utterance Paradox, Steven Baicker-Mckee

Seattle University Law Review

Based on nothing more than John Henry Wigmore’s personal belief that a witness under the throes of excitement is unable to fabricate an untruthful statement, the excited utterance exception allows parties to present out-of-court statements to the jury or judge without any of the safeguards the judicial system uses to promote honest and accurate testimony. This Article collects and examines much of the scientific evidence bearing on Wigmore’s premise and identifies two paradoxical conclusions that undermine the exception. First, the premise itself is unfounded; science absolutely does not support the notion that a witness is incapable of lying ...


Opportunity Lost, Opportunity Found: A Proposal To Amend Maine's Rule Of Evidence 404 To Admit "Prior Acts" Evidence In Domestic Violence Prosecutions, Tina Heather Nadeau 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Opportunity Lost, Opportunity Found: A Proposal To Amend Maine's Rule Of Evidence 404 To Admit "Prior Acts" Evidence In Domestic Violence Prosecutions, Tina Heather Nadeau

Maine Law Review

In 2008, thirty-one people were the victims of homicide in the state of Maine. Even more startling: nineteen of these homicides stemmed from domestic violence, possibly the largest number of domestic-violence-related killings in the state's history. This means that nearly 70 percent of Maine's homicides in 2008 were the result of domestic violence. Amendments made in 2007 (and implemented in February 2008) to Maine's Criminal Code have criminalized particular instances of domestic violence as “enhanced” crimes of violence. This allows prosecutors to consider “prior acts” of domestic abuse when deciding how to charge a criminal defendant accused ...


Racism, Juries, And Justice: Addressing Post-Verdict Juror Testimony Of Racial Prejudice During Deliberations, Andrew C. Helman 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Racism, Juries, And Justice: Addressing Post-Verdict Juror Testimony Of Racial Prejudice During Deliberations, Andrew C. Helman

Maine Law Review

From the beginning, race played a role in the prosecution of Christopher McCowen for the rape and murder of well-known fashion writer Christa Worthington. To some, the trial was even a spectacle and treated as “one of the most spectacular homicide cases in [Massachusetts'] history.” It quickly became a “made-for-cable-news tale of the heiress fashion writer and her lowly Portuguese fisherman lover, illicit sex, and an out-of-wedlock child,” all set in a seaside village. McCowen, an African-American garbage man, was right in the middle of it; police and prosecutors did not believe his assertions that he had consensual sex with ...


"Another Day" Has Dawned: The Maine Supreme Judicial Court Holds Laboratory Evidence Subject To The Confrontation Clause In State V. Mangos, Reid Hayton-Hull 2017 University of Maine School of Law

"Another Day" Has Dawned: The Maine Supreme Judicial Court Holds Laboratory Evidence Subject To The Confrontation Clause In State V. Mangos, Reid Hayton-Hull

Maine Law Review

The Sixth Amendment's Confrontation Clause guarantees criminal defendants the right to “confront witnesses against them.” Specifically, the Clause ensures a criminal defendant's right to confront witnesses who testify against him by the unique medium, or “crucible,” of cross-examination. Although federal and state rules of evidence prohibiting hearsay and the Confrontation Clause are designed to protect similar interests, whether or not admission of a piece of evidence violates a defendant's rights under the Confrontation Clause is a separate analysis than whether that same piece of evidence is admissible under a rule of evidence. In 2004, the United States ...


The Supreme Court's Long And Perhaps Unnecessary Struggle To Find A Standard Of Culpability To Regulate The Federal Exclusionary Remedy For Fourth/Fourteenth Amendment Violations, Melvyn H. Zarr 2017 University of Maine School of Law

The Supreme Court's Long And Perhaps Unnecessary Struggle To Find A Standard Of Culpability To Regulate The Federal Exclusionary Remedy For Fourth/Fourteenth Amendment Violations, Melvyn H. Zarr

Maine Law Review

On January 14, 2009, the United States Supreme Court decided Herring v. United States. In Herring, the defendant moved to suppress evidence that he alleged was seized as a result of an arrest that violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The Supreme Court approved the decision below to deny suppression of the evidence. The decision set off a flurry of speculation that the Fourth Amendment exclusionary rule would not see its 100th birthday in 2014. A headline in the New York Times of January 31 declared: “Supreme Court Edging Closer to Repeal of Evidence Ruling ...


State V. Thurston: An Examination Of Assualt, Self-Defense, And Trespass In Relation To Domestic Violence, Megan E. Magoon 2017 University of Maine School of Law

State V. Thurston: An Examination Of Assualt, Self-Defense, And Trespass In Relation To Domestic Violence, Megan E. Magoon

Maine Law Review

Darrell Thurston and Suzanne Harmon were romantically involved on an intermittent basis for five years and had one child together. As a result of an altercation that took place at Harmon’s home in Sullivan, Maine, on September 27, 2007, between Thurston and Harmon, Thurston was charged with assault, criminal mischief, and obstructing report of crime or injury. The testimony during the trial illuminated the major factual differences between Thurston’s and Harmon’s accounts of the night the incident took place. Thurston requested a self defense jury instruction based on his version of what had happened, which the trial ...


Findings Of Fact Vs. Conclusions Of Law: How The Law Court Complicated The Case Of State V. Connor, Christopher S. Boulos 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Findings Of Fact Vs. Conclusions Of Law: How The Law Court Complicated The Case Of State V. Connor, Christopher S. Boulos

Maine Law Review

In State v. Connor, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, sitting as the Law Court, upheld a trial judge’s denial of a motion to suppress evidence. Although the evidence presented in the suppression hearing seemed adequate to support the denial of the motion, the trial judge failed to clearly state his conclusions of law when denying the motion. However, the Law Court mistook the ambiguous conclusions of law as ambiguous findings of fact. Because the findings of fact were ambiguous in the court’s view, the majority and dissenting opinions spent the bulk of their energies discussing how the court ...


Enough Is Enough: The Law Court's Decision To Functionally Raise The "Reasonable Connection" Relevancy Standard In State V. Mitchell, Robert P. Hayes 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Enough Is Enough: The Law Court's Decision To Functionally Raise The "Reasonable Connection" Relevancy Standard In State V. Mitchell, Robert P. Hayes

Maine Law Review

In State v. Mitchell, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, sitting as the Law Court, affirmed a jury verdict finding Thomas Mitchell guilty of a 1983 murder. In doing so, the Law Court examined two issues: First, whether the trial court “abused its discretion in excluding evidence of an alternative suspect”; and second, whether the trial court’s decision to admit evidence stemming from an autopsy performed two decades before the trial violated the Confrontation Clause of the United States Constitution. In reaching the alternative suspect decision, the Law Court held that the evidence proffered by Mitchell did not establish a ...


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