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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Coercion Of The Trial Penalty, Kristen C. Akin May 2022

The Coercion Of The Trial Penalty, Kristen C. Akin

Student Theses

Prosecutors, defendants, and defense attorneys must make decisions as to whether to accept a plea offer or proceed to trial every day. Approximately 95% of state and federal convictions result from guilty pleas (Redlich et al., 2017; Thaxton, 2013; Gazal-Ayal & Tor, 2012; Redlich & Shteynberg, 2016; Edkins, 2011; Weatherly & Kehn, 2013; Helm et al., 2018; Gregory et al., 1978). Some estimate this number to be as high as 97% to 99% (Redlich & Bonventre, 2015; Helm et al., 2018). It is also estimated that every two seconds a defendant pleads guilty (Redlich & Bonventre, 2015). In 1980, 19% of federal criminal cases went to trial, but by 2010 this number was at less than 3% (Redlich & Shteynberg, 2016). In theory, plea deals are enticing as they put into place safeguards for defendants rather than the uncertainty that comes with going to trial. Therefore, plea bargains give defendants the opportunity to choose between the certainty of a specific amount of time in jail, probation, or a lesser charge rather than take their case to trial with unknown outcomes. On the other hand, by accepting a plea deal, defendants waive their right to silence, the prosecution proving their guilt, and the opportunity to confront their accusers, among other rights (Redlich & Bonventre, 2015; Redlich et al., 2017; Joselow, 2019). Nevertheless, a defendant who chooses to go to trial has been shown ...


Diagnostic Featural Detection Or Filler Siphoning: A Red Box Study, Brynn Schuetter May 2022

Diagnostic Featural Detection Or Filler Siphoning: A Red Box Study, Brynn Schuetter

Psychological Science Undergraduate Honors Theses

The current study is a replication and extension of previous research by Colloff and Wixted (2020). In their study, they created a novel identification procedure called the simultaneous showup. They found support for the diagnostic feature detection theory over the filler siphoning theory. The current study was interested in seeing if covert filler siphoning was still occurring in their novel procedure by asking participants how photos of fillers influenced their identification decision. Participants of the study viewed two crime videos and completed an identification task. If they were assigned to the simultaneous showup task, they were asked if and how ...


Why Aim Law Toward Human Survival, John William Draper Feb 2022

Why Aim Law Toward Human Survival, John William Draper

Librarian Scholarship at Penn Law

Our legal system is contributing to humanity’s demise by failing to take account of our species’ situation. For example, in some cases law works against life and supports interests such as liberty or profit maximization.

If we do not act, science tells us that humanity bears a significant (and growing) risk of catastrophic failure. The significant risk inherent in the status quo is unacceptable and requires a response. We must act. It is getting hotter. When we decide to act, we need to make the right choice.

There is no better choice. You and all your relatives have rights ...


Racial Discrimination In Life Insurance, William G. Gale, Kyle D. Logue, Nora Cahill, Rachel Gu, Swati Joshi Jan 2022

Racial Discrimination In Life Insurance, William G. Gale, Kyle D. Logue, Nora Cahill, Rachel Gu, Swati Joshi

Law & Economics Working Papers

We examine the historical and statistical relationship between race and life insurance. Life insurance can play a central role in households’ financial security. Race has played an important and changing role in the provision of life insurance in the U.S. from slave insurance before the Civil War, to “Scientific Racism” continuing into the 20th century, to policies that do not explicitly mention race in recent decades. In empirical work using new data, we confirm earlier work showing that Black individuals have higher life insurance coverage rates than white individuals, controlling for observable characteristics. We find no difference in the ...


Towards A Psychological Science Of Abolition Democracy: Insights For Improving Theory And Research On Race And Public Safety, Cynthia J. Najdowski, Phillip Atiba Goff Jan 2022

Towards A Psychological Science Of Abolition Democracy: Insights For Improving Theory And Research On Race And Public Safety, Cynthia J. Najdowski, Phillip Atiba Goff

Psychology Faculty Scholarship

We call for psychologists to expand their thinking on fair and just public safety by engaging with the “Abolition Democracy” framework that Du Bois (1935) articulated as the need to dissolve slavery while simultaneously taking affirmative steps to rid its toxic consequences from the body politic. Because the legacies of slavery continue to produce disparities in public safety in the U.S, both harming Black people and the institutions that could keep them safe, psychologists must take seriously questions of history and structure in addition to immediate situations. In the present article, we consider the state of knowledge regarding psychological ...


The Psychology Of Separation: Border Walls, Soft Power, And International Neighborliness, Diana C. Mutz, Beth A. Simmons Jan 2022

The Psychology Of Separation: Border Walls, Soft Power, And International Neighborliness, Diana C. Mutz, Beth A. Simmons

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This study assesses the impact of international border walls on evaluations of countries and on beliefs about bilateral relationships between states. Using a short video, we experimentally manipulate whether a border wall image appears in a broader description of the history and culture of a little-known country. In a third condition, we also indicate which bordering country built the wall. Demographically representative samples from the United States, Ireland, and Turkey responded similarly to these experimental treatments. Compared to a control group, border walls lowered evaluations of the bordering countries. They also signified hostile international relationships to third-party observers. Furthermore, the ...


Lessons From Psychology For Law Practice Management, Peter G. Glenn Jan 2022

Lessons From Psychology For Law Practice Management, Peter G. Glenn

Dickinson Law Review

No abstract provided.


Money And Betrayal: Perceptions Of Alimony Fairness In Relation To Infidelity, Jessica Wery, Michael Kothakota Jan 2022

Money And Betrayal: Perceptions Of Alimony Fairness In Relation To Infidelity, Jessica Wery, Michael Kothakota

Journal of Financial Therapy

Alimony is a contentious topic often argued over during a divorce. Individuals getting divorced seek fairness in an alimony settlement, but due to how laws are written this can seem arbitrary. Public policy suggests laws should reflect the suggestions of the people it affects. Thus, public perception of alimony fairness is an important component in the discussion of what is fair for spouses. In addition, infidelity in marriage might change how the public views what is fair. This study collected data from 1,285 individual United States participants. Participants were randomly assigned a vignette condition related to a hypothetical alimony ...


The Social Psychology Of Inclusion: How Diversity Framing Shapes Outcomes For Racial-Ethnic Minorities, Jamillah Bowman Williams Jan 2022

The Social Psychology Of Inclusion: How Diversity Framing Shapes Outcomes For Racial-Ethnic Minorities, Jamillah Bowman Williams

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Research on the efficacy of organizational diversity efforts has yielded mixed results. It remains unclear when positive or negative outcomes should be expected, and why. This article fills a gap in the sociological literature by examining critical social psychological mechanisms. In Experiment 1, I found that common diversity messaging led to increased bias towards racial minorities. In Experiment 2, I examined how alternative framing may influence these outcomes. Findings revealed that the common “business case” emphasizing profit and performance gains made decision-makers less likely to select a Black job candidate than emphasizing civil rights law. I then examined social psychological ...


The Influence Of Prosecutorial Overcharging On Defendant And Defense Attorney Plea Decision Making: Documenting And Debiasing The Anchoring Effect, Stephanie Aurora Cardenas Sep 2021

The Influence Of Prosecutorial Overcharging On Defendant And Defense Attorney Plea Decision Making: Documenting And Debiasing The Anchoring Effect, Stephanie Aurora Cardenas

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Strategic overcharging, a practice that some prosecutors readily employ to threaten defendants with excessively severe sentences, undermines the Sixth Amendment right to trial by coercing defendants to plead guilty rather than face penalties disproportionate to their alleged misconduct. Legal scholars and psychologists have long suggested that strategic overcharging may elicit powerful anchoring effects that bias defendants’, but not attorneys’ evaluations, of the plea offer. The current research sought to examine (a) the extent to which mock defendants and legal professionals were susceptible to the anchoring bias, (b) elucidate the mechanism underlying susceptibility to the anchoring effect in plea contexts, and ...


The Psychological Allure Of Alford: Why Innocents Plead Guilty, Johanna Hellgren Sep 2021

The Psychological Allure Of Alford: Why Innocents Plead Guilty, Johanna Hellgren

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

The Alford plea allows defendants to maintain their innocence while accepting a plea. Although this plea is more prevalent than jury trials, it is largely unknown to both lay people and researchers (Redlich & Özdoğru, 2009). Legal scholars have argued that the Alford plea may present an undue influence on innocent defendants who may not otherwise accept a plea, while other assert that the Alford plea is a beneficial alternative for defendants who want to preserve their reputation (Ronis, 2009; Ward, 2004). However, no research to date has explored either of these assumptions.

The goals of the current research were to fill this gap and explore two important aspects of the Alford plea: (1) whether the opportunity to maintain innocence through an Alford plea increases the rate of innocent defendants pleading guilty, and (2) how Alford defendants are perceived by observers. To accomplish these goals, I conducted ...


The Online Impossible Anagram Task: Development And Testing Of A Novel Online Cheating Paradigm, Emily Joseph Sep 2021

The Online Impossible Anagram Task: Development And Testing Of A Novel Online Cheating Paradigm, Emily Joseph

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

For the past fifteen years, the Russano et al. (2005) cheating paradigm has dominated research in the forensic psychological literature. While this paradigm successfully activates theoretical mechanisms for ethical decision-making, applying the methods for online data collection is cumbersome and retains a confound inherent in the design. Alternative cheating paradigms from both the psychology and economics literatures were evaluated for their suitability for an online cheating paradigm. The impossible anagram task was selected as most likely to elicit the same internal and external cost-benefit analyses online as the Russano et al. (2005) cheating paradigm does in-person: self-concept maintenance, ethical dissonance ...


Autonomy And The Folk Concept Of Valid Consent, Joanna Demaree-Cotton, Roseanna Sommers Aug 2021

Autonomy And The Folk Concept Of Valid Consent, Joanna Demaree-Cotton, Roseanna Sommers

Law & Economics Working Papers

Consent governs innumerable everyday social interactions, including sex, medical exams, the use of property, and economic transactions. Yet little is known about how ordinary people reason about the validity of consent. Across the domains of sex, medicine, and police entry, Study 1 showed that when agents lack autonomous decision-making capacities, participants are less likely to view their consent as valid; however, failing to exercise this capacity and deciding in a nonautonomous way did not reduce consent judgments. Study 2 found that specific and concrete incapacities reduced judgments of valid consent, but failing to exercise these specific capacities did not, even ...


Rethinking Immigration Justice: Mexican Community Activism While Serving Migrants In Transit., Angélica Villagrana Jul 2021

Rethinking Immigration Justice: Mexican Community Activism While Serving Migrants In Transit., Angélica Villagrana

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This research study focuses on the externalization of migration control and its effects on staffmembers of community organizations that serve Central American migrants in transit. While literature on migration enforcement places emphasis on border control and internal removals, research on new forms of migration enforcement has paid little attention to the extension of border control beyond physical borders. This study employed an ethnographic approach to address the overarching question of how community organizers have responded to the adoption of US practices on extraterritorial migration control by the Mexican government while serving migrants in transit. Data collected provide empirical evidence contextual ...


Reducing Prejudice Through Law: Evidence From Experimental Psychology, Roseanna Sommers, Sara Burke Jun 2021

Reducing Prejudice Through Law: Evidence From Experimental Psychology, Roseanna Sommers, Sara Burke

Law & Economics Working Papers

Can antidiscrimination law effect changes in public attitudes toward minority groups? Could learning, for instance, that employment discrimination against people with clinical depression is illegal cause members of the public to be more accepting toward people with mental health conditions? In this Article, we report the results of a series of experiments that test the effect of inducing the belief that discrimination against a given group is legal (vs. illegal) on interpersonal attitudes toward members of that group. We find that learning that discrimination is unlawful does not simply lead people to believe that an employer is more likely to ...


Victim Impact: The Manson Murders And The Rise Of The Victims’ Rights Movement, Merrill W. Steeg May 2021

Victim Impact: The Manson Murders And The Rise Of The Victims’ Rights Movement, Merrill W. Steeg

University of New Orleans Theses and Dissertations

No abstract provided.


Are We Giving Them A Fair Chance? Racial Stereotypes And The Juvenile Justice System, Cali Bloem May 2021

Are We Giving Them A Fair Chance? Racial Stereotypes And The Juvenile Justice System, Cali Bloem

Honors Program Theses and Projects

Prior research indicates that there are racial disparities throughout the criminal justice system, including the juvenile justice system, and that decision-makers may use stereotypes when determining guilt and deciding on sentences for juveniles. We used a mock juror study design in which participants were randomly assigned to read one of four trial summaries of an assault committed by either a White juvenile or Latinx juvenile, with the victim being a White juvenile or Latinx juvenile. The participants were asked to provide a verdict and sentencing decision and explain why they chose the sentence that they did. They were also tasked ...


Studying The Relationship Between Ethnic Identity And Resiliency: A Broad Approach, Mary Zheng May 2021

Studying The Relationship Between Ethnic Identity And Resiliency: A Broad Approach, Mary Zheng

Honors Program Theses and Projects

Ethnic minorities in the United States face prejudice and racial discrimination, causing feelings of distress. However, ethnic minorities have shown an ability to overcome these negative experiences. Racial identity has been associated with more adjustments and higher functioning for ethnic minorities. To gain a clearer understanding of this phenomenon, we included White people in this study to gain an accurate picture of how resiliency operates differently for people of color and Whites and if it is indeed distinct between the two groups. The purpose of this project is to find and examine the link between ethnic identity and resiliency in ...


To What Extent Are Appropriate Resources Provided To Veterans With Mental Illness To Prevent Contact With The Criminal Justice System?, Riley Christine Doyle May 2021

To What Extent Are Appropriate Resources Provided To Veterans With Mental Illness To Prevent Contact With The Criminal Justice System?, Riley Christine Doyle

Master’s Theses and Projects

United States military veterans are a special population of men and women that have willingly sacrificed their lives to serve their country. They are perceived to be patriotic, honorable, strong, and disciplined people. Unfortunately, veterans are not exempt from committing criminal acts that land them in the criminal justice system. In fact, veterans are highly susceptible to developing mental illnesses and substance use disorders which can ultimately lead to criminal behavior. The purpose of this study was to examine to what extent available resources are provided to veterans to help them prevent contact with the criminal justice system. This study ...


The Importance Of The Relationship Between Domestic Violence Victims And Their Pets, Emily Ryan May 2021

The Importance Of The Relationship Between Domestic Violence Victims And Their Pets, Emily Ryan

Master’s Theses and Projects

The purpose of this thesis is to explore the relationship between domestic violence and animal abuse with the goal of adding to the literature in this area. This study collected data from domestic violence and homeless shelters across the United States by sending a questionnaire via email. Two themes emerged based on the questionnaire responses, first, shelters reported that victims disclosed their fear of leaving an abusive situation due to abuse or threat of abuse to a family pet. And second, shelters indicated that they are unable to accommodate pets due to either, health and safety reasons, or financial difficulties ...


A Participatory Action Research Study Of Police Interviewing Following Crisis Intervention Team Training, Maria Felix-Ortiz, Catherine Steele, Marisa Deguzman, Georgen Guerrero, Melissa Graham Apr 2021

A Participatory Action Research Study Of Police Interviewing Following Crisis Intervention Team Training, Maria Felix-Ortiz, Catherine Steele, Marisa Deguzman, Georgen Guerrero, Melissa Graham

Verbum Incarnatum: An Academic Journal of Social Justice

Estimates vary, but a third to one half of individuals shot and killed by police have a mental illness or disability, and many who are taken into custody languish in county jails where no treatment for their illness is available. The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) model is an increasingly important adjunct to U.S. police training because it de-escalates tense situations, diverts people with mental illness away from jail and into treatment, and can reduce the risk of civilian deaths during a police encounter. As such, it is a strategy for reducing the social injustice of incarceration or deaths of ...


Pornography: Social, Emotional And Mental Implications Among Adolescents, William Kelly Canady Mar 2021

Pornography: Social, Emotional And Mental Implications Among Adolescents, William Kelly Canady

National Youth Advocacy and Resilience Conference

This presentation will explain the historical development of pornography. It will highlight four segments: 1- Porn’s impact on brain development of reward pathways, ultimately increasing the appetite for more porn. 2- Porn can be a false substitute for real intimacy, resulting in decreased sexual satisfaction with a real person and increased verbal and physical aggression. 3- Porn promotes sex trafficking, promotes multiple sex partners and reduced STD prevention. 4- A review of interventions available to assist clients in navigating a lifestyle away from pornography.


Welcome To The New Dignity, Donna M. Hughes Feb 2021

Welcome To The New Dignity, Donna M. Hughes

Dignity: A Journal of Analysis of Exploitation and Violence

No abstract provided.


Comparing Ignorance: Imagined Immigration And The Exclusion Of Migrantsin The U.S. And Western Europe, Daniel Herda Phd Feb 2021

Comparing Ignorance: Imagined Immigration And The Exclusion Of Migrantsin The U.S. And Western Europe, Daniel Herda Phd

Societies Without Borders

There exists a well-documented tendency among citizens to perceive immigrant populations as much larger than indicated by official statistics. This misperception has been linked to desires to halt the flow off immigration or restrict immigrants’ rights, raising concern about the consequences of pervasive faulty information. However, ignorance extends beyond questions of population size. There are also many qualitative misperceptions upon which individuals base their opinions about foreigners. In particular, citizens are likely to hold incorrect perceptions about the legal status of the typical immigrant (i.e. documented vs undocumented). The current study takes a unique approach by simultaneously examining both ...


The Role Of Perceived Warmth And Competence In Civil Trials With Corporate Litigants, Alexander C. Jay Feb 2021

The Role Of Perceived Warmth And Competence In Civil Trials With Corporate Litigants, Alexander C. Jay

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Corporations are involved in approximately 40% of all civil litigation (Langton & Cohen, 2008), yet there is much to be learned concerning how jurors make decisions in trials involving corporate litigants. Mock juror research suggests that for-profit corporations are treated more harshly than other defendants, such as non-profit corporations and individuals (e.g., Hans, 1998). This discrepant treatment of for-profit corporate defendants might be linked to unmitigated stereotypical perceptions of them being low in warmth (i.e., likely to have immoral intentions) but high in competence (i.e., likely to be capable of acting on those intentions; Aaker et al., 2010). Research shows that stereotypical low warmth predicts various negative reactions in perceivers that might explain jurors’ harsher treatment of for-profit corporations (Fiske et al., 2002). For example, research examining Fiske and colleague’s Stereotype Content Model demonstrates that low warmth predicts negative dispositional causal attributions, negative affective reactions, and negative behavioral reactions (Cuddy et al., 2008). Importantly, both negative dispositional causal attributions and negative affective reactions such as anger are known to bias jurors in their decision-making (e.g., Feigenson, 2016; Sommers, & Ellsworth, 2000). Thus ...


Indoctrination And Social Influence As A Defense To Crime: Are We Responsible For Who We Are?, Paul H. Robinson, Lindsay Holcomb Jan 2021

Indoctrination And Social Influence As A Defense To Crime: Are We Responsible For Who We Are?, Paul H. Robinson, Lindsay Holcomb

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

A patriotic POW is brainwashed by his North Korean captors into refusing repatriation and undertaking treasonous anti-American propaganda for the communist regime. Despite the general abhorrence of treason in time of war, the American public opposes criminal liability for such indoctrinated soldiers, yet existing criminal law provides no defense or mitigation because, at the time of the offense, the indoctrinated offender suffers no cognitive or control dysfunction, no mental or emotional impairment, and no external or internal compulsion. Rather, he was acting purely in the exercise of free of will, albeit based upon beliefs and values that he had not ...


Corporate Law For Good People, Yuval Feldman, Adi Libson, Gideon Parchomovsky Jan 2021

Corporate Law For Good People, Yuval Feldman, Adi Libson, Gideon Parchomovsky

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article offers a novel analysis of the field of corporate governance by viewing it through the lens of behavioral ethics. It calls for both shifting the focus of corporate governance to a new set of loci of potential corporate wrongdoing and adding new tools to the corporate governance arsenal. The behavioral ethics scholarship emphasizes the large share of wrongdoing generated by "good people" whose intention is to act ethically. Their wrongdoing stems from "bounded ethicality" -- various cognitive and motivational processes that lead to biased decisions that seem legitimate. In the legal domain, corporate law provides the most fertile ground ...


Pre-Report Review Of Body-Worn Camera Footage: An Examination Of Stakeholder Beliefs, Laypeople’S Judgments Of Officer Credibility, And The Consequences For Memory, Kristyn A. Jones Jun 2020

Pre-Report Review Of Body-Worn Camera Footage: An Examination Of Stakeholder Beliefs, Laypeople’S Judgments Of Officer Credibility, And The Consequences For Memory, Kristyn A. Jones

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Aim: This dissertation examines people’s beliefs about police officer access to body-worn camera footage, people’s judgments of officer credibility as it relates to video footage, and the consequences that review of footage has on reporting accuracy.

Rationale: With escalating police-civilian tensions in 2014, American police departments adopted body-worn camera programs. A majority of departments have policies allowing officers unrestricted access to camera footage. Because officers fear that inconsistencies between reports and videos could result in suspicion of officer deceit, they argue that officers should have access to footage before writing their reports to ensure reports match the footage ...


Youtube Is Unsafe For Children: Youtube's Safeguards And The Current Legal Framework Are Inadequate To Protect Children From Disturbing Content, Heather Wilson May 2020

Youtube Is Unsafe For Children: Youtube's Safeguards And The Current Legal Framework Are Inadequate To Protect Children From Disturbing Content, Heather Wilson

Seattle Journal of Technology, Environmental & Innovation Law

For America’s children, the amount of screen time they consume has not changed much over the years. Children under eight have steadily spent about two hours a day in front of a screen, with those under age two averaging 42 minutes a day. Children from low-income families spend roughly an hour and forty minutes longer in front of a screen. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, screen time should be limited to two hours a day for children ages two to five; whereas, for those youngest children—under two years—they recommend zero screen time.

While the average ...


The Use Of Digital Millenium Copyright Act To Stifle Speech Through Non-Copyright Related Takedowns, Miller Freeman May 2020

The Use Of Digital Millenium Copyright Act To Stifle Speech Through Non-Copyright Related Takedowns, Miller Freeman

Seattle Journal of Technology, Environmental & Innovation Law

In 1998, Congress passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. This law provided new methods of protecting copyright in online media. These protections shift the normal judicial process that would stop the publication of infringing materials to private actors: the online platforms. As a result, online platforms receive notices of infringement and issue takedowns of allegedly copyrighted works without the judicial process which normally considers the purpose of the original notice of infringement. In at least one case, discussed in detail below, this has resulted in a notice and takedown against an individual for reasons not related to the purpose of ...