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The Insights, Uses, And Ethics Of Social Neuroscience In Anti-Discrimination Law, Susan Carle Apr 2021

The Insights, Uses, And Ethics Of Social Neuroscience In Anti-Discrimination Law, Susan Carle

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

The article explores the uses in anti-discrimination law of social neuroscience—a broad interdisciplinary field that draws on the insights of brain science, medicine, epidemiology, social psychology, behavioral economics, moral cognitive neuroscience and many other experimentally based disciplines. It discusses the promising uses of social neuroscience findings from all these subfields on such matters as the irrational biases of “fast” thinking processes in general, and implicit biases against “out” groups more specifically, as well as group conformity, the black sheep effect, and more. The article traces a few of the ways these insights can help inform anti-discrimination law in both ...


Before And After Hinckley: Legal Insanity In The United States, Stephen J. Morse Feb 2021

Before And After Hinckley: Legal Insanity In The United States, Stephen J. Morse

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This chapter first considers the direction of the affirmative defense of legal insanity in the United States before John Hinckley was acquitted by reason of insanity in 1982 for attempting to assassinate President Reagan and others and the immediate aftermath of that acquittal. Since the middle of the 20th Century, the tale is one of the rise and fall of the American Law Institute’s Model Penal Code test for legal insanity. Then it turns to the constitutional decisions of the United States Supreme Court concerning the status of legal insanity. Finally, it addresses the substantive and procedural changes ...


Internal And External Challenges To Culpability, Stephen J. Morse Jan 2021

Internal And External Challenges To Culpability, Stephen J. Morse

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This article was presented at “Guilty Minds: A Virtual Conference on Mens Rea and Criminal Justice Reform” at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. It is forthcoming in Arizona State Law Journal Volume 53, Issue 2.

The thesis of this article is simple: As long as we maintain the current folk psychological conception of ourselves as intentional and potentially rational creatures, as people and not simply as machines, mental states will inevitably remain central to ascriptions of culpability and responsibility more generally. It is also desirable. Nonetheless, we are in a condition of unprecedented internal ...


Fair Questions: A Call And Proposal For Using General Verdicts With Special Interrogatories To Prevent Biased And Unjust Convictions, Charles E. Hintz Jan 2021

Fair Questions: A Call And Proposal For Using General Verdicts With Special Interrogatories To Prevent Biased And Unjust Convictions, Charles E. Hintz

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Bias and other forms of logical corner-cutting are an unfortunate aspect of criminal jury deliberations. However, the preferred verdict system in the federal courts, the general verdict, does nothing to counter that. Rather, by forcing jurors into a simple binary choice — guilty or not guilty — the general verdict facilitates and encourages such flawed reasoning. Yet the federal courts continue to stick to the general verdict, ironically out of a concern that deviating from it will harm defendants by leading juries to convict.

This Essay calls for a change: expand the use of a special findings verdict, the general verdict with ...


Pandemic Emotions: The Good, The Bad, And The Unconscious —Implications For Public Health, Financial Economics, Law, And Leadership, Peter H. Huang Jan 2021

Pandemic Emotions: The Good, The Bad, And The Unconscious —Implications For Public Health, Financial Economics, Law, And Leadership, Peter H. Huang

Articles

Pandemics lead to emotions that can be good, bad, and unconscious. This Article offers an interdisciplinary analysis of how emotions during pandemics affect people’s responses to pandemics, public health, financial economics, law, and leadership. Pandemics are heart-breaking health crises. Crises produce emotions that impact decision-making. This Article analyzes how fear and anger over COVID-19 fueled anti-Asian and anti-Asian American hatred and racism. COVID-19 caused massive tragic economic, emotional, mental, physical, and psychological suffering. These difficulties are interconnected and lead to vicious cycles. Fear distorts people’s decision readiness, deliberation, information acquisition, risk perception, and thinking. Distortions affect people’s ...


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 ...


Hannah Arendt Meets Qanon: Conspiracy, Ideology, And The Collapse Of Common Sense, David Luban Jan 2021

Hannah Arendt Meets Qanon: Conspiracy, Ideology, And The Collapse Of Common Sense, David Luban

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

A June 2020 survey found one in four Americans agreeing that “powerful people intentionally planned the coronavirus outbreak.” In fall 2020, seven percent said they believe the elaborate and grotesque mythology of QAnon; another eleven percent were unsure whether they believe it. November and December 2020 found tens of millions of Americans believing in election-theft plots that would require superhuman levels of coordination and secrecy among dozens, perhaps hundreds, of otherwise-unconnected and unidentified miscreants.

Conspiracy theories are nothing new, and they raise a question that preoccupied Hannah Arendt in The Origins of Totalitarianism: whatever happened to common sense? Arendt analyzed ...


Preventing Predatory Alienation By High-Control Groups: The Application Of Human Trafficking Laws To Groups Popularly Known As Cults, And Proposed Changes To Laws Regarding Federal Immigration, State Child Marriage, And Undue Influence, Robin Boyle Laisure Jan 2021

Preventing Predatory Alienation By High-Control Groups: The Application Of Human Trafficking Laws To Groups Popularly Known As Cults, And Proposed Changes To Laws Regarding Federal Immigration, State Child Marriage, And Undue Influence, Robin Boyle Laisure

Faculty Publications

In this article, I summarize some of the significant legal developments in the United States that have taken place within the past year. First, United States v. Raniere was a criminal case launched against the founder of a purported self-help organization, NXIVM, and several of his associates. The Raniere case established precedent for using the human-trafficking statutes, among other grounds, to pursue justice for victims of high-demand groups. Second, the number of asylum seekers is increasing annually, and some of these undocumented immigrants are escaping from their countries-of-origin cults, gangs, and other extremist groups. However, once they arrive in the ...


Images Of Reach, Range, And Recognition: Thinking About Emotions In The Study Of International Law, Emily Kidd White Jan 2021

Images Of Reach, Range, And Recognition: Thinking About Emotions In The Study Of International Law, Emily Kidd White

Articles & Book Chapters

There is much critical potential in bringing together the philosophy of emotion and the study of international law. Narratives about legitimate political and legal authority have tended to either assume that it is possible to extricate emotions from political judgement, or to rest upon uncomplicated (and wholly demystified) assumptions about the legibility of emotions over time and place. Philosophers interested in emotion have regularly grappled with questions concerning an emotion’s reach and range (insofar that the emotion in question bears an intersubjective component), and recognition (comprehensibility) of emotions beyond one’s own social and political communities (or even beyond ...


Is Executive Function The Universal Acid?, Stephen J. Morse Nov 2020

Is Executive Function The Universal Acid?, Stephen J. Morse

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay responds to Hirstein, Sifferd and Fagan’s book, Responsible Brains (MIT Press, 2018), which claims that executive function is the guiding mechanism that supports both responsible agency and the necessity for some excuses. In contrast, I suggest that executive function is not the universal acid and the neuroscience at present contributes almost nothing to the necessary psychological level of explanation and analysis. To the extent neuroscience can be useful, it is virtually entirely dependent on well-validated psychology to correlate with the neuroscientific variables under investigation. The essay considers what executive function is and what the neuroscience adds to ...


Kicked Out, Kicked Again: The Discharge Review Boards’ Illiberal Application Of Liberal Consideration For Veterans With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Jessica Lynn Wherry Oct 2020

Kicked Out, Kicked Again: The Discharge Review Boards’ Illiberal Application Of Liberal Consideration For Veterans With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Jessica Lynn Wherry

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In recent years, the Department of Defense (DoD) has responded to the growing awareness of mental health issues for military servicemembers during and after service. This Article focuses on veterans who have already been discharged from service, and specifically those who have been discharged under other-than-honorable conditions for misconduct that is likely the result of a mental health condition, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury, sexual assault, or sexual harassment. Thousands of former servicemembers have been kicked out of the military for misconduct rather than treated for mental health conditions they experienced due to their military service. When ...


(Not The) Same Old Story: Invisible Reasons For Rejecting Invisible Wounds, Jessica Lynn Wherry Oct 2020

(Not The) Same Old Story: Invisible Reasons For Rejecting Invisible Wounds, Jessica Lynn Wherry

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Thousands of former military servicemembers have been discharged with other-than-honorable discharges due to misconduct that can be traced to a mental health condition. These veterans may request a post-discharge change to their discharge characterization—known as a “discharge upgrade.” Discharge review boards consider discharge upgrade requests and typically (90-99% of the time) deny the requests. In the past few years, the Department of Defense has issued new policy guidance partly in response to the low grant rate and to specifically address the growing understanding of the relationship between misconduct and mental health conditions for military servicemembers. The policy guidance requires ...


Fiduciary Law And The Preservation Of Trust In Business Relationships, Brian J. Broughman, Elizabeth Pollman, D. Gordon Smith Aug 2020

Fiduciary Law And The Preservation Of Trust In Business Relationships, Brian J. Broughman, Elizabeth Pollman, D. Gordon Smith

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This chapter explores the role of mandatory fiduciary obligations in preserving trust between business parties. Because contracts are inevitably incomplete, after investment there is always a risk of opportunism. While the parties could try to draft a more detailed agreement prohibiting various forms of opportunism, the very act of haggling over such protections may signal distrust, eliciting costly reactions (defensive measures/hedging/lack of intrinsic motivation) in the counterparty. In the absence of fiduciary protections, a vulnerable party may decide to forgo important protections against opportunism, not because such protections are suboptimal or hard to specify ex ante but because ...


See This Empty Cage Now Corrode: The International Human Rights And Comparative Law Implications Of Sexually Violent Predator Laws, Michael L. Perlin, Heather Ellis Cucolo Jul 2020

See This Empty Cage Now Corrode: The International Human Rights And Comparative Law Implications Of Sexually Violent Predator Laws, Michael L. Perlin, Heather Ellis Cucolo

Articles & Chapters

From every perspective, our sexually violent predator (SVPA) laws are a miserable failure. In this paper, we present a new approach: a turn to international human rights law as a source of rights for the population in question, and a consideration of the matter from the perspective of comparative law.

To briefly summarize, many nations have enacted laws that both mirror and contradict early developments in United States civil commitment jurisprudence. In these nations, though, challenges to community containment and preventive detention laws have been more successful when based upon international human rights law. Also, registry notification is generally far ...


Is The Establishment Clause Asymmetrical?, Sam Foer May 2020

Is The Establishment Clause Asymmetrical?, Sam Foer

Senior Honors Projects

Through numerous Establishment Clause cases, the Supreme Court has concluded that when public educators promote or denigrate religious views in the K-12 classroom, they violate the First Amendment. The Court has found that the protection of ‘freedom of conscience’ is embedded in the purpose of the Establishment Clause, which applies most strictly to the public school setting. This is because the sphere of conscience is most vulnerable to invasion in developing minds, and children are in a captive environment at school - they cannot escape from State instruction. Thus, states, school systems, and teachers who impose their religious beliefs onto students ...


Public Opinions Of Unmanned Aerial Technologies In 2014 To 2019: A Technical And Descriptive Report, Lisa M. Pytlikzillig, Janell C. Walther, Carrick Detweiler, Sebastian Elbaum, Adam Houston Apr 2020

Public Opinions Of Unmanned Aerial Technologies In 2014 To 2019: A Technical And Descriptive Report, Lisa M. Pytlikzillig, Janell C. Walther, Carrick Detweiler, Sebastian Elbaum, Adam Houston

Lisa PytlikZillig Publications

The primary purpose of this report is to provide a descriptive and technical summary of the results from similar surveys administered in fall 2014 (n = 576), 2015 (n = 301), 2016 (ns = 1946 and 2089), and 2018 (n = 1050) and summer 2019 (n = 1300). In order to explore a variety of factors that may impact public perceptions of unmanned aerial technologies (UATs), we conducted survey experiments over time. These experiments randomly varied the terminology (drone, aerial robot, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), unmanned aerial system (UAS)) used to describe the technology, the purposes of the technology (for economic, environmental, or security goals ...


Evaluating The Facilitating Attuned Interactions (Fan) Approach: Vicarious Trauma, Professional Burnout, And Reflective Practice, Katherine Hazen, Matthew W. Carlson, Holly Hatton-Bowers, Melanie Fessinger, Jennie Cole-Mossman, Jamie Bahm, Kelli Hauptman J.D., Eve Brank, Linda Gilkerson Mar 2020

Evaluating The Facilitating Attuned Interactions (Fan) Approach: Vicarious Trauma, Professional Burnout, And Reflective Practice, Katherine Hazen, Matthew W. Carlson, Holly Hatton-Bowers, Melanie Fessinger, Jennie Cole-Mossman, Jamie Bahm, Kelli Hauptman J.D., Eve Brank, Linda Gilkerson

Faculty Publications of the Center on Children, Families, and the Law

Background: This evaluation examined the use of the Facilitated Attuned Interaction (FAN) approach to reflective practice among child welfare and early childhood professionals working with vulnerable children and families.

Objective: The aims of the current evaluation were to test (a) the role of vicarious trauma in predicting professional burnout, (b) the effect of reflective practice quality in decreasing professional burnout, and (c) the ability of reflective practice quality to lessen the relationship between vicarious trauma and professional burnout.

Participants and Setting: The sample included sixty-three professionals across diverse professions including child welfare social workers, early childhood educators, and child welfare ...


Pouring A Little Psychological Cold Water On Online Dispute Resolution, Jean R. Sternlight Jan 2020

Pouring A Little Psychological Cold Water On Online Dispute Resolution, Jean R. Sternlight

Scholarly Works

This Article examines the strengths and weaknesses of ODR (online dispute resolution) from a psychological perspective. It makes five main points:

(1) The phrase ODR is too broad to be useful. This phrase encompasses many different kinds of technology (computer, phone, video, mechanical pencil), many different kinds of dispute resolution (litigation, negotiation, arbitration, mediation), disputes arising in many different contexts (consumer, family, property, tax, employment, etc.), and many different roles (technology as neutral, technology as aide to neutral, technology as aide to disputant, etc.). In order to consider whether and when ODR can be most useful we will need to ...


Rules, Tricks And Emancipation, Jessie Allen Jan 2020

Rules, Tricks And Emancipation, Jessie Allen

Book Chapters

Rules and tricks are generally seen as different things. Rules produce order and control; tricks produce chaos. Rules help us predict how things will work out. Tricks are deceptive and transgressive, built to surprise us and confound our expectations in ways that can be entertaining or devastating. But rules can be tricky. General prohibitions and prescriptions generate surprising results in particular contexts. In some situations, a rule produces results that seem far from what the rule makers expected and antagonistic to the interests the rule is understood to promote. This contradictory aspect of rules is usually framed as a downside ...


You That Build The Death Planes: Bob Dylan, War And International Affairs, Michael L. Perlin Jan 2020

You That Build The Death Planes: Bob Dylan, War And International Affairs, Michael L. Perlin

Articles & Chapters

Several years ago, I wrote that Bob Dylan was “a scholar with a well-developed jurisprudence on a range of topics including civil, criminal, public, and private law” (Perlin, 2011, p.1396). In that article, I discussed and analyzed Dylan songs that dealt with, variously, civil rights, inequality in the criminal and civil justice systems, institutions, governmental/judicial corruption, equality and emancipation, and the role of lawyers in the legal process. (Id.). But I noted that I was omitting – for space considerations – any discussion of Dylan songs dealing with war and international affairs (Id., p. 1398, n. 15).

In this paper ...


Mitigations: The Forgotten Side Of The Proportionality Principle, Paul H. Robinson Jan 2020

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 ...


Discounting Credibility: Doubting The Stories Of Women Survivors Of Sexual Harassment, Deborah Epstein Jan 2020

Discounting Credibility: Doubting The Stories Of Women Survivors Of Sexual Harassment, Deborah Epstein

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

For decades, federal and state laws have prohibited sexual harassment on the job; despite this fact, extraordinarily high rates of gender-based workplace harassment still permeate virtually every sector of the American workforce. Public awareness of the seriousness and scope of the problem increased astronomically in the wake of the #MeToo movement, as women began to publicly share countless stories of harassment and abuse. In 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace published an important study analyzing a wide range of factors contributing to this phenomenon. But the study devotes only ...


Can You Hear Me Later And Believe Me Now? Behavioral Law And Economics Of Chronic Repeated Ambient Acoustic Pollution Causing Noise-Induced (Hidden) Hearing Loss, Peter H. Huang, Kelly J. Poore Jan 2020

Can You Hear Me Later And Believe Me Now? Behavioral Law And Economics Of Chronic Repeated Ambient Acoustic Pollution Causing Noise-Induced (Hidden) Hearing Loss, Peter H. Huang, Kelly J. Poore

Articles

This Article analyzes the public health issues of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (“NIHL”) and Noise-Induced Hidden Hearing Loss (“NIHHL”) due to Chronic Repeated Ambient Acoustic Pollution (“CRAAP”). This Article examines the clinical and empirical medical data about NIHL and NIHHL and its normative implications. It applies behavioral law and economics and information economics to advance legal policies to reduce CRAAP. Finally, this Article advocates changing individual and social attitudes about deafness and hearing loss to raise political awareness and social consciousness about NIHL and NIHHL. One way to change our attitudes is by practicing compassion, empathy, and kindness, including Loving-Kindness Mindfulness ...


The Court And The Suspect: Human Frailty, The Calculating Criminal, And The Penitent In The Interrogation Room, Scott E. Sundby Jan 2020

The Court And The Suspect: Human Frailty, The Calculating Criminal, And The Penitent In The Interrogation Room, Scott E. Sundby

Articles

No abstract provided.


Mandatory, Fast, And Fair: Case Outcomes And Procedural Justice In A Family Drug Court, Melanie Fessinger, Katherine Hazen, Jamie Bahm, Jennie Cole-Mossman, Roger Heideman, Eve Brank Jan 2020

Mandatory, Fast, And Fair: Case Outcomes And Procedural Justice In A Family Drug Court, Melanie Fessinger, Katherine Hazen, Jamie Bahm, Jennie Cole-Mossman, Roger Heideman, Eve Brank

Faculty Publications of the Center on Children, Families, and the Law

Objectives: Problem-solving courts are traditionally voluntary in nature to promote procedural justice and to advance therapeutic jurisprudence. The Family Treatment Drug Court (FTDC) in Lancaster County, Nebraska, is a mandatory dependency court for families with allegations of child abuse or neglect related to substance use. We conducted a program evaluation examining parents’ case outcomes and perceptions of procedural justice to examine whether a mandatory problem-solving court could replicate the positive outcomes of problem-solving courts. Methods: We employed a quasi-experimental design that compared FTDC parents to traditional dependency court parents (control parents). We examined court records to gather court orders, compliance ...


Trauma-Informed Advocacy: Learning To Empathize With Unspeakable Horrors, Susan Ayres Jan 2020

Trauma-Informed Advocacy: Learning To Empathize With Unspeakable Horrors, Susan Ayres

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Productive Mindset Interventions Mitigate Psychological Friction And Improve Well-Being For Bar Exam Takers, Victor D. Quintanilla, Sam Erman Jan 2020

Productive Mindset Interventions Mitigate Psychological Friction And Improve Well-Being For Bar Exam Takers, Victor D. Quintanilla, Sam Erman

Articles by Maurer Faculty

By participating in a brief productive mindset intervention, prospective lawyers improved their wellbeing and performance on the California Bar Exam. Those are the initial results of the research conducted by our interdisciplinary, multi-institutional research team with support from AccessLex Institute and in partnership with the State Bar of California. It did so by mitigating psychological friction and helping test takers reframe stressful experiences. This column discusses our findings and the implications for efforts to make evidence-based gains in bar exam performance, wellbeing, and attorney licensure systems.


Behavioral Comparative Law: Its Relevance To Global Commercial Law-Making, John Linarelli Jan 2020

Behavioral Comparative Law: Its Relevance To Global Commercial Law-Making, John Linarelli

Scholarly Works

This is a book chapter written for a British Society of Legal Scholars funded conference held at Durham University Law School. It develops a framework by which to evaluate the making of commercial law at the global level. It offers an approach to evaluating the process by which primarily intergovernmental organisations produce commercial law. The approach grounds in both behavioural science and comparative law. The focus is mainly but not exclusively on global rule makers such as the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT). It articulates what ...


Justifying Bad Deals, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan Jan 2020

Justifying Bad Deals, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In the past decade, psychological and behavioral studies have found that individual commitment to contracts persists beyond personal relationships and traditional promises. Even take-it-or-leave it consumer contracts get substantial deference from consumers — even when the terms are unenforceable, even when the assent is procedurally compromised, and even when the drafter is an impersonal commercial actor. Indeed, there is mounting evidence that people import the morality of promise into situations that might otherwise be described as predatory, exploitative, or coercive. The purpose of this Article is to propose a framework for understanding what seems to be widespread acceptance of regulation via ...


Replaying The Past: Roles For Emotion In Judicial Invocations Of Legislative History, And Precedent, Emily Kidd White Nov 2019

Replaying The Past: Roles For Emotion In Judicial Invocations Of Legislative History, And Precedent, Emily Kidd White

Articles & Book Chapters

Legal reasoning in the common law tradition requires judges to draw on concepts, and examples that are meant to resonate with a particular emotional import and operate in judicial reasoning as though they do. Judicial applications of constitutional rights are regularly interpreted by reference to past violations (either through precedent, contextual framings, and/or legislative history), which in turn elicit a series of emotions which work to deepen and intensify judicial understandings of a right guarantee (freedom of association, freedom of expression, equality, security of the person, etc.). This paper examines the way in which invocations of past political histories ...