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Aspirations Of Objectivity: Systemic Illusions Of Justice In The Biased Courtroom, Meagan B. Roderique 2018 Claremont Colleges

Aspirations Of Objectivity: Systemic Illusions Of Justice In The Biased Courtroom, Meagan B. Roderique

Scripps Senior Theses

Given the ever-growing body of evidence surrounding implicit bias in and beyond the institution of the law, there is an equally growing need for the law to respond to the accurate science of prejudice in its aspiration to objective practice and just decision-making. Examined herein are the existing legal conceptualizations of implicit bias as utilized in the courtroom; implicit bias as peripheral to law and implicit bias as effectual in law, but not without active resolution. These views and the interventional methods, materials, and procedures they inspire are widely employed to appreciably “un-bias” legal actors and civic participants; however, without ...


Eyewitness Identification Performance On Showups Improves With An Additional-Opportunities Instruction: Evidence For Present–Absent Criteria Discrepancy, Andrew M. Smith, Gary L. Wells, R. C. L. Lindsay, Tiffany Myerson 2017 Carleton University

Eyewitness Identification Performance On Showups Improves With An Additional-Opportunities Instruction: Evidence For Present–Absent Criteria Discrepancy, Andrew M. Smith, Gary L. Wells, R. C. L. Lindsay, Tiffany Myerson

Psychology Publications

We tested the proposition that when eyewitnesses find it difficult to recognize a suspect (as in a culprit-absent showup), eyewitnesses accept a weaker match to memory for making an identification. We tie this proposition to the basic recognition memory literature, which shows people use lower decision criteria when recognition is made difficult so as to not miss their chance of getting a hit on the target. We randomly assigned participant–witnesses (N = 610) to a condition in which they were told that if they did not believe the suspect was the culprit, they would have additional opportunities to make an ...


Learning And The Law: Improving Behavioral Regulation From An International And Comparative Perspective, Georgios Dimitropoulos, Philipp Hacker 2017 Brooklyn Law School

Learning And The Law: Improving Behavioral Regulation From An International And Comparative Perspective, Georgios Dimitropoulos, Philipp Hacker

Journal of Law and Policy

Various disciplines are increasingly discovering the power of learning. However, the potential and the complexities of learning theory in decision-making contexts have so far been neglected by scholarship in law and economics as well as behavioral law and economics: either learning is uncritically assumed to occur and to mitigate biases, or it is generally claimed that learning is insufficient to overcome cognitive biases. Even where learning is considered, the scope is merely limited to individual or social learning. Learning by and across institutions, a crucial factor for effective regulation, is largely ignored. That type of learning should be paramount, however ...


Reflections On The Challenging Proliferation Of Mental Health Issues In The District Court And The Need For Judicial Education, Jessie B. Gunther 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Reflections On The Challenging Proliferation Of Mental Health Issues In The District Court And The Need For Judicial Education, Jessie B. Gunther

Maine Law Review

Maine's courts constantly deal with litigants with mental health issues. Historically, our decisions have relied on expert testimony addressing specific issues of responsibility, risk, and treatment. In recent years, by my observation, court involvement in the treatment process has increased, but the availability of expert evidence has decreased. Thus, we as judges have become the ultimate decision-makers regarding litigants' mental health treatment in both criminal and civil contexts, without supporting expert testimony. In the face of this development, three interconnected issues arise. The first issue is whether judges should even attempt to fill the void caused by lack of ...


When Empathy Bites Back: Cautionary Tales From Neuroscience For Capital Sentencing, Sheri Lynn Johnson, Amelia Courtney Hritz, Caisa Elizabeth Royer, John H. Blume 2017 Cornell Law School

When Empathy Bites Back: Cautionary Tales From Neuroscience For Capital Sentencing, Sheri Lynn Johnson, Amelia Courtney Hritz, Caisa Elizabeth Royer, John H. Blume

John H. Blume

This Article examines the implications of emerging neuroscientific findings regarding empathy for capital trials. We have approached this task with caution because neuroscientists’ understanding of the human brain is still evolving. As with any new field, if neuroscience is completely trusted before it is thoroughly tested, there is a risk of embracing the new phrenology. Given the state of the research, our advice to defense lawyers is quite modest, but we believe that there are some important lessons for lawyers, judges, legislators, and other stakeholders in the capital punishment system.


Inside The Arbitrator's Mind, Susan D. Franck, Anne van Aaken, James Freda, Chris Guthrie, Jeffrey J. Rachlinski 2017 American University, Washington College of Law

Inside The Arbitrator's Mind, Susan D. Franck, Anne Van Aaken, James Freda, Chris Guthrie, Jeffrey J. Rachlinski

Jeffrey J. Rachlinski

Arbitrators are lead actors in global dispute resolution. They are to global dispute resolution what judges are to domestic dispute resolution. Despite its global significance, arbitral decision making is a black box. This Article is the first to use original experimental research to explore how international arbitrators decide cases. We find that arbitrators often make intuitive and impressionistic decisions, rather than fully deliberative decisions. We also find evidence that casts doubt on the conventional wisdom that arbitrators render “split the baby” decisions. Although direct comparisons are difficult, we find that arbitrators generally perform at least as well as, but never ...


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 ...


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 ...


The Relation Between Young Children's False 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 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 ...


61. 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 University of Southern California Law

61. 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

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 ...


60. 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 University of California, Irvine

60. 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

Thomas D. Lyon

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 ...


"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- ...


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 ...


Every Silver Lining Has A Cloud: Defensive Pessimism In Legal Education, Emily Zimmerman, Casey LaDuke 2017 The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law

Every Silver Lining Has A Cloud: Defensive Pessimism In Legal Education, Emily Zimmerman, Casey Laduke

Catholic University Law Review

This Article presents the results of the first empirical research project to investigate law students’ use of defensive pessimism. Previous researchers have suggested that defensive pessimism may benefit law students academically. Defensive pessimism is a strategy that involves setting low expectations and reflecting extensively on what could go wrong in connection with a future event in order to manage anxiety and improve performance. However, up until now, law students’ use of defensive pessimism has not been empirically studied.

We investigated law students’ use of defensive pessimism. Contrary to the suggestions of other scholars, we did not find statistically significant relationships ...


Social Value Orientation And The Law, Rebecca Hollander-Blumoff 2017 College of William & Mary Law School

Social Value Orientation And The Law, Rebecca Hollander-Blumoff

William & Mary Law Review

Social value orientation is a psychological trait defined as an individual’s natural preference with respect to the allocation of resources. Law and economics scholarship takes as its starting point the rational actor, who is by definition interested solely in maximizing her own personal utility. But social psychology research demonstrates that, in study after study, approximately half of individuals demonstrate a “prosocial” orientation, meaning that they are interested in maximizing the total outcome of the group and are dedicated to an equal split of resources. Only around a quarter of individuals identify as “proself” individualists who prefer to maximize their ...


Mental Health Courts And Sentencing Disparities, E. Lea Johnston, Conor P. Flynn 2017 Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

Mental Health Courts And Sentencing Disparities, E. Lea Johnston, Conor P. Flynn

Villanova Law Review

No abstract provided.


No Restoration, No Rehabilitation: Shadow Detention Of Mentally Incompetent Noncitizens, Sarah Sherman-Stokes 2017 Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

No Restoration, No Rehabilitation: Shadow Detention Of Mentally Incompetent Noncitizens, Sarah Sherman-Stokes

Villanova Law Review

No abstract provided.


Honey, You're No June Cleaver: The Power Of "Dropping Pop" To Persuade, Victoria S. Salzmann 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Honey, You're No June Cleaver: The Power Of "Dropping Pop" To Persuade, Victoria S. Salzmann

Maine Law Review

Imagine a contentious child-custody hearing in which the husband is testifying about his wife's behavior. If he were to state “she is no June Cleaver,” that testimony would have an immediate impact upon those present. Most people would understand that the husband was making a reference to Mrs. Ward Cleaver, the pearl-clad mother figure from the popular 1950s television show Leave It to Beaver. However, the reference does more than simply call to mind 1950s television. It is a vivid popular-culture allusion that immediately taps into the psyche of anyone familiar with the show. It tells the listener that ...


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