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Sorting Guilty Minds, Owen D. Jones, Francis X. Shen, Morris B. Hoffman, Joshua D. Greene, Rene Marois 2019 Tulane University

Sorting Guilty Minds, Owen D. Jones, Francis X. Shen, Morris B. Hoffman, Joshua D. Greene, Rene Marois

Owen Jones

Because punishable guilt requires that bad thoughts accompany bad acts, the Model Penal Code (MPC) typically requires that jurors infer the past mental state of a criminal defendant. More specifically, jurors must sort that mental state into one of four specific categories - purposeful, knowing, reckless, or negligent - which in turn defines the nature of the crime and the extent of the punishment. The MPC therefore assumes that ordinary people naturally sort mental states into these four categories with a high degree of accuracy, or at least can reliably do so when properly instructed. It also assumes that ordinary people will ...


Eyewitness Identification: A System Handbook, Gary L. Wells 2019 Iowa State University

Eyewitness Identification: A System Handbook, Gary L. Wells

Gary L. Wells

There is no debate about the fact that eyewitness identifications can be unreliable. False eyewitness identifications resulting in false convictions have been documented by various authors. This book is based primarily on a premise that I proposed in a 1978 article ("Applied Eyewitness Testimony Research: System Variables and Estimator Variables"): a significant proportion of the errors that occur in eyewitness identification can be prevented by the use of proper procedures. There has been an explosion of scientific research in psychology since the mid-1970s on eyewitness testimony and this book is a culmination of that knowledge plus a strong dose of ...


Eyewitness Identification: 'I Noticed You Paused On Number Three.', Bill Nettles, Zoe Sanders, Gary L. Wells 2019 Iowa State University

Eyewitness Identification: 'I Noticed You Paused On Number Three.', Bill Nettles, Zoe Sanders, Gary L. Wells

Gary L. Wells

An eyewitness to a crime is the most damaging evidence the government can present in a criminal trial. The impact on the jury of a witness pointing to the defense table and saying “that is the man right there – I will never forget his face” is overwhelming. The prosecutor can often support the veracity of the identification by providing testimony that the witness previously identified the accused in some sort of a photo spread. If the witness is a victim, police officer or some other witness sympathetic to the government, the testimony usually goes something like this: “The officer showed ...


Decoding Guilty Minds: How Jurors Attribute Knowledge And Guilt, Owen D. Jones, Matthew R. Ginther, Francis X. Shen, Richard J. Bonnie, Morris B. Hoffman, Kenneth W. Simons 2019 Vanderbilt University Law School

Decoding Guilty Minds: How Jurors Attribute Knowledge And Guilt, Owen D. Jones, Matthew R. Ginther, Francis X. Shen, Richard J. Bonnie, Morris B. Hoffman, Kenneth W. Simons

Owen Jones

A central tenet of Anglo-American penal law is that in order for an actor to be found criminally liable, a proscribed act must be accompanied by a guilty mind. While it is easy to understand the importance of this principle in theory, in practice it requires jurors and judges to decide what a person was thinking months or years earlier at the time of the alleged offense, either about the results of his conduct or about some elemental fact (such as whether the briefcase he is carrying contains drugs). Despite the central importance of this task in the administration of ...


Fear-Based Provocation, Michal Buchhandler-Raphael 2019 Washington and Lee University School of Law

Fear-Based Provocation, Michal Buchhandler-Raphael

Michal Buchhandler-Raphael

This Article offers three major contributions to challenge existing view of provocation: first, it considers psychological research that found that fear, similarly to anger, may also significantly interfere with individuals’ decision making processes by disturbing rational judgment, therefore sometimes leading to lethal aggression. Second, drawing on this research, this Article argues that provocation doctrine should be reconstructed to also include a fear-based prong. Third, recognizing fear-based provocation calls for rejecting the loss of control paradigm that currently dominates judges’ and jurors’ perception of the defense. In its place, this Article advocates focusing on the fearful defendant’s fear of violence ...


The Life Of An Unknown Assassin: Leon Czolgosz And The Death Of William Mckinley, Cary Federman 2019 Montclair State University

The Life Of An Unknown Assassin: Leon Czolgosz And The Death Of William Mckinley, Cary Federman

Cary Federman

The purpose of this essay is to examine the discourses that surrounded the life of Leon Czolgosz, the assassin of President William McKinley. The gaps in Czolgosz’s life, his peculiar silences, his poor health and the ambiguity and thinness of his confession, rather than taken as instances of mental and physical distress, have, instead, been understood as signs of a revolutionary anarchistic assassin. Czolgosz is an expression of a cultural tradition in somatic form. I argue that the discursive construction of criminality, already present in the late nineteenth century within the medical and human sciences, is what shaped Czolgosz ...


Habeas Corpus In The Age Of Guantánamo, Cary Federman 2019 Montclair State University

Habeas Corpus In The Age Of Guantánamo, Cary Federman

Cary Federman

The purpose of the article is to examine the meaning of habeas corpus in the age of the war on terror and the detention camps at Guantanamo Bay. Since the war on terror was declared in 2001, the writ has been invoked from quarters not normally considered within the federal courts’ domain. In this article, I set out to do two things: first, I provide an overview of the writ’s history in the United States and explain its connection to federalism and unlawful executive detention. I then set out to bridge the two meanings of habeas corpus. Second, then ...


Child Witnesses, Thomas D. Lyon, Kelly McWilliams, Shanna Williams 2019 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 ...


Does Situationism Excuse? The Implications Of Situationism For Moral Responsibility And Criminal Responsibility, Ken Levy 2019 Louisiana State University Law Center

Does Situationism Excuse? The Implications Of Situationism For Moral Responsibility And Criminal Responsibility, Ken Levy

Ken Levy

Criminal responsibility is almost universally thought to require moral responsibility. Using the psychological theory of "situationism,'" however, I will argue that criminal responsibility can survive-and therefore that defendants can be justly punished-without moral responsibility.


The Utility Of Direct Questions In Eliciting Subjective Content From Children Disclosing Sexual Abuse, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Shanna Williams, Kelly McWilliams, Catherine Liang, Thomas D. Lyon 2019 Arizona State University

The Utility Of Direct Questions In Eliciting Subjective Content From Children Disclosing Sexual Abuse, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Shanna Williams, Kelly Mcwilliams, Catherine Liang, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Background: Children alleging sexual abuse rarely exhibit emotion when disclosing, but they may be able to describe their subjective reactions to abuse if asked.

Objective: This study examined the extent to which different types of questions in child sexual abuse interviews elicited subjective content, namely emotional reactions, cognitive content, and physical sensations.

Participants and Setting: The study included transcripts of 205 Child Advocacy Center interviews with 4- to 12-year-old children alleging sexual abuse.

Methods: We coded questions for question type, distinguishing among invitations, wh- questions, yes/no and forced-choice questions, and suggestive questions. We coded both questions and answers for ...


Mitigations: The Forgotten Side Of The Proportionality Principle, Paul H. Robinson 2019 University of Pennsylvania Law School

Mitigations: The Forgotten Side Of The Proportionality Principle, Paul H. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In the first change to the Model Penal Code since its promulgation in 1962, the American Law Institute in 2017 set blameworthiness proportionality as the dominant distributive principle for criminal punishment. Empirical studies suggest that this is in fact the principle that ordinary people use in assessing proper punishment. Its adoption as the governing distributive principle makes good sense because it promotes not only the classic desert retributivism of moral philosophers but also crime-control utilitarianism, by enhancing the criminal law’s moral credibility with the community and thereby promoting deference, compliance, acquiescence, and internalization of its norms, rather than suffering ...


Minimizing Error And Bias In Death Investigations, Dan Simon 2019 USC Gould School of Law

Minimizing Error And Bias In Death Investigations, Dan Simon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

One of the prominent developments in the forensic sciences is the emergence of attention to cognitive aspects of forensic examination. Notable in this regard is the recognition that forensic results can be swayed by the examiner’s exposure to non-scientific background information that should arguably have no bearing on the result. To counter these effects, forensic agencies have introduced context management procedures, which are designed to withhold background information from the examiner during critical parts of the examination. Context management procedures are well suited for some forensic disciplines but apply less obviously to disciplines that entail complex, sprawling, iterative, and ...


67. The Utility Of Direct Questions In Eliciting Subjective Content From Children Disclosing Sexual Abuse., Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Shanna Williams, Kelly McWilliams, Catherine Liang, Thomas D. Lyon 2019 Arizona State University

67. The Utility Of Direct Questions In Eliciting Subjective Content From Children Disclosing Sexual Abuse., Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Shanna Williams, Kelly Mcwilliams, Catherine Liang, Thomas D. Lyon

Thomas D. Lyon

Background: Children alleging sexual abuse rarely exhibit emotion when disclosing, but they may be able to describe their subjective reactions to abuse if asked. Objective: This study examined the extent to which different types of questions in child sexual abuse interviews elicited subjective content, namely emotional reactions, cognitive content, and physical sensations.
Participants and Setting: The study included transcripts of 205 Child Advocacy Center interviews with 4- to 12-year-old children alleging sexual abuse.
Methods: We coded questions for question type, distinguishing among invitations, wh- questions, yes/no and forced-choice questions, and suggestive questions. We coded both questions and answers for ...


Table Of Contents, Seattle University Law Review 2019 Seattle University School of Law

Table Of Contents, Seattle University Law Review

Seattle University Law Review

No abstract provided.


Constraint And Control, Patricia Ayres 2019 CUNY Hunter College

Constraint And Control, Patricia Ayres

School of Arts & Sciences Theses

I have long considered themes of the body. Drawing on my knowledge as a fashion designer, I bring materials and hardware from the fashion industry into my artwork transforming and rendering them non-functional. My sculptures relate to stories of isolation, separation, and confinement. The following pages will analyze how the United States penal system controls, constrains and restricts the body through physical and psychological wounds. Furthermore, they will examine how the Catholic Church controls people’s minds and behavior through a ritualistic belief system.


Younger And Older Adults' Lie-Detection And Credibility Judgments Of Children's Coached Reports, Alison M. O'Connor, Thomas D. Lyon, Angela Evans 2019 Brock University

Younger And Older Adults' Lie-Detection And Credibility Judgments Of Children's Coached Reports, Alison M. O'Connor, Thomas D. Lyon, Angela Evans

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Previous research has examined young and middle-aged adults’ perceptions of child witnesses; however, no research to date has examined how potential older adult jurors may perceive a child witness. The present investigation examined younger (18-30 years, N = 100) and older adults’ (66-89 years, N = 100) lie-detection and credibility judgments when viewing children’s truthful and dishonest reports. Participants viewed eight child interview videos where children (9 to 11 years of age) either provided a truthful report or a coached fabricated report to conceal a transgression. Participants provided lie-detection judgments following all eight videos and credibility assessments following the first two ...


66. Younger And Older Adults’ Lie-Detection And Credibility Judgments Of Children’S Coached Reports, Alison M. O'Connor, Thomas D. Lyon, Angela D. Evans 2019 Brock University

66. Younger And Older Adults’ Lie-Detection And Credibility Judgments Of Children’S Coached Reports, Alison M. O'Connor, Thomas D. Lyon, Angela D. Evans

Thomas D. Lyon

Previous research has examined young and middle-aged adults’ perceptions of child witnesses; however, no research to date has examined how potential older adult jurors may perceive a child witness. The present investigation examined younger (18-30 years, N = 100) and older adults’ (66-89 years, N = 100) lie-detection and credibility judgments when viewing children’s truthful and dishonest reports. Participants viewed eight child interview videos where children (9 to 11 years of age) either provided a truthful report or a coached fabricated report to conceal a transgression. Participants provided lie-detection judgments following all eight videos and credibility assessments following the first two ...


Maltreated Children's Ability To Make Temporal Judgments Using A Recurring Landmark Event, Kelly McWilliams, Thomas D. Lyon, J A. Quas 2019 University of Southern California Law School

Maltreated Children's Ability To Make Temporal Judgments Using A Recurring Landmark Event, Kelly Mcwilliams, Thomas D. Lyon, J A. Quas

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This study examined whether maltreated children are capable of judging the location and order of significant events with respect to a recurring landmark event. 167 6- to 10-year-old maltreated children were asked whether the current day, their last court visit, and their last change in placement were “near” their birthday and “before or after” their birthday. Children showed some understanding that the target event was “near” and “before” their birthday when their birthday was less than three months hence, but were relatively insensitive to preceding birthdays. Hence, children exhibited a prospective bias, preferentially answering with reference to a forthcoming birthday ...


Sentencing Length Disparities: Assessing Why Race And Gender Influence Judges’ Decisions, Janna Akers 2019 Claremont Colleges

Sentencing Length Disparities: Assessing Why Race And Gender Influence Judges’ Decisions, Janna Akers

Scripps Senior Theses

The purpose of this study is to assess why the race and gender of defendants influence judges’ decisions using the focal concern theory. This study will require around 84 participants. Participants will be federal judges who will be recruited via email. In an online survey, participants will be randomly assigned to one of four conditions . Participants will all read a vignette which an individual was convicted for in trafficking of Xanax. The vignette will be manipulated by the name and accompanying a mugshot based on the race (Black/White) and gender (male/female) of the defendant. The expected result is ...


Considering Parental Alienation When Assessing Best Interest Of The Child, Danielle Stewart 2019 Claremont Colleges

Considering Parental Alienation When Assessing Best Interest Of The Child, Danielle Stewart

CMC Senior Theses

As the divorce rate in the United States remains steady at 50%, the last few decades have shown an increase in child custody disputes. Within these litigations, interparental conflict can reach high levels and incite behaviors that wreak havoc on the children who are caught in the middle. When considering custody arrangements, judges and other evaluators use the Best Interest of the Child Standard (BICS), a jurisdictionally-specific framework that examines several factors that contribute to a child’s health and well-being. Parents who allow their resentments to get the better of them sometimes engage in behavior that encourages their child ...


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