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Law and Psychology

2005

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Articles 1 - 27 of 27

Full-Text Articles in Law

The 'Abuse Excuse' In Capital Sentencing Trials: Is It Relevant To Responsibility, Punishment, Or Neither?, Paul J. Litton Jul 2005

The 'Abuse Excuse' In Capital Sentencing Trials: Is It Relevant To Responsibility, Punishment, Or Neither?, Paul J. Litton

Faculty Publications

The violent criminal who was a victim of severe childhood abuse frequently appears in the responsibility literature because he presents a difficulty for theorists who maintain the compatibility of causal determinism and our practices of holding persons responsible. The challenge is based on the fact that learning about an offender's horrific childhood mitigates the indignation that many persons feel towards him, possibly indicating that they hold him less than fully responsible. Many capital defendants present evidence of suffering childhood abuse, and many jurors find this evidence to count against imposing death. The most obvious explanation for a response like ...


Pursuing Justice For The Mentally Disabled, Grant H. Morris Jun 2005

Pursuing Justice For The Mentally Disabled, Grant H. Morris

University of San Diego Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper Series

This article considers whether lawyers act as zealous advocates when they represent mentally disordered, involuntarily committed patients who wish to assert their right to refuse treatment with psychotropic medication. After discussing a study that clearly demonstrates that lawyers do not do so, the article explores the reasons for this inappropriate behavior. Michael Perlin characterizes the problem as “sanism,” which he describes as an irrational prejudice against mentally disabled persons of the same quality and character as other irrational prejudices that cause and are reflected in prevailing social attitudes of racism, sexism, homophobia, and ethnic bigotry. The article critiques Perlin’s ...


Multicultural Lawyering: Teaching Psychology To Develop Cultural Self-Awareness, Carwina Weng Apr 2005

Multicultural Lawyering: Teaching Psychology To Develop Cultural Self-Awareness, Carwina Weng

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Much of the current literature in multicultural lawyering focuses on learning substantive information about clients who are culturally different from the lawyer, such as how the client’s culture perceives eye contact or reacts to science-based world views. This article notes that such a focus sidesteps the human reality that every person reacts to people who are different from him- or herself unconsciously in ways that may be culturally insensitive and discriminatory and that this human reaction occurs despite awareness of the general values, attitudes, and beliefs of the client’s culture. It therefore suggests that multicultural lawyering training should ...


Eyewitness Identification Evidence: Science And Reform, Gary L. Wells Apr 2005

Eyewitness Identification Evidence: Science And Reform, Gary L. Wells

Psychology Publications

Kirk Bloodsworth was the first death row inmate to be exonerated by DNA evidence. Bloodsworth, a U.S. Marine veteran, had never been in trouble with the law, but was convicted in 1984 of the rape and murder of a 9-year-old girl and was sentenced to die in Maryland’s gas chamber. DNA tests exonerated Bloodsworth in 1993, but it was not until 2004 that the real killer was identified by DNA tests. The evidence driving Bloodsworth’s conviction was mistaken eyewitness identification.

There is little doubt today that mistaken eyewitness identification is the primary cause of the conviction of ...


Fraud By Hindsight, G. Mitu Gulati, Jeffrey J. Rachlinski, Donald C. Langevoort Feb 2005

Fraud By Hindsight, G. Mitu Gulati, Jeffrey J. Rachlinski, Donald C. Langevoort

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

In securities-fraud cases, courts routinely admonish plaintiffs that they are not permitted to rely on allegations of "fraud by hindsight." In effect, courts disfavor plaintiffs' use of evidence of bad outcomes to support claims of securities fraud. Disfavoring hindsight evidence appears to tap into a well known, well-understood, and intuitively accessible problem of human judgment of "20/20 hindsight." Events come to seem predictable after unfolding, and hence, bad outcomes must have been predicted by people in a position to make forecasts. Psychologists call this phenomenon the hindsight bias. The popularity of this doctrine among judges deciding securities cases suggests ...


Cross-Examining The Brain: A Legal Analysis Of Neural Imaging For Credibility Impeachment, Charles N. W. Keckler Feb 2005

Cross-Examining The Brain: A Legal Analysis Of Neural Imaging For Credibility Impeachment, Charles N. W. Keckler

George Mason University School of Law Working Papers Series

The last decade has seen remarkable process in understanding ongoing psychological processes at the neurobiological level, progress that has been driven technologically by the spread of functional neuroimaging devices, especially magnetic resonance imaging, that have become the research tools of a theoretically sophisticated cognitive neuroscience. As this research turns to specification of the mental processes involved in interpersonal deception, the potential evidentiary use of material produced by devices for detecting deception, long stymied by the conceptual and legal limitations of the polygraph, must be re-examined. Although studies in this area are preliminary, and I conclude they have not yet satisfied ...


What Do Juvenile Offenders Know About Being Tried As Adults? Implications For Deterrence , Richard E. Redding Feb 2005

What Do Juvenile Offenders Know About Being Tried As Adults? Implications For Deterrence , Richard E. Redding

Working Paper Series

An underlying assumption in the nationwide policy shift toward transferring more juveniles to criminal court has been the belief that stricter, adult sentences will act as either a specific or general deterrent to juvenile crime. With respect to general deterrence - whether transfer laws deter would-be offenders from committing crimes - it is important to examine whether juveniles know about transfer laws, whether this knowledge deters criminal behavior, and whether juveniles believe the laws will be enforced against them. The current study is one of the first to examine juveniles' knowledge and perceptions of transfer laws and criminal sanctions. We interviewed 37 ...


Using Our Brains: What Cognitive Science And Social Psychology Teach Us About Teaching Law Students To Make Ethical, Professionally Responsible, Choices, Alan Lerner Jan 2005

Using Our Brains: What Cognitive Science And Social Psychology Teach Us About Teaching Law Students To Make Ethical, Professionally Responsible, Choices, Alan Lerner

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Throughout our lives, below the level of our consciousness, each of us develops values, intuitions, expectations, and needs that powerfully affect both our perceptions and our judgments. Placed in situations in which we feel threatened, or which implicate our values, our brains, relying on those implicitly learned, emotionally weighted, memories, may react automatically, without reflection or the opportunity for reflective interdiction. We can "downshift," to primitive, self-protective problem solving techniques. Because these processes operate below the radar of our consciousness, automatic, "emotional" reaction, rather than thoughtful, reasoned analysis may drive our responses to stressful questions of ethics and professional responsibility.


Discrimination In Sentencing On The Basis Of Afrocentric Features, William T. Pizzi, Irene V. Blair, Charles M. Judd Jan 2005

Discrimination In Sentencing On The Basis Of Afrocentric Features, William T. Pizzi, Irene V. Blair, Charles M. Judd

Articles

For a long time, social scientists have worried about possible racial discrimination in sentencing in the United States. With a prison population that exceeds two million inmates of whom approximately 48% are African American, the worry over the fairness of the sentencing process is understandable. This article is not about discrimination between racial categories as such, but about a related form of discrimination, namely, discrimination on the basis of a person's Afro-centric features. Section I of the article describes a line of social science research that shows that a person's Afro-centric features have a strong biasing effect on ...


Time-Inconsistent Management & The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Manuel A. Utset Jan 2005

Time-Inconsistent Management & The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Manuel A. Utset

Scholarly Publications

No abstract provided.


Subjective Decisionmaking And Unconscious Discrimination, Melissa Hart Jan 2005

Subjective Decisionmaking And Unconscious Discrimination, Melissa Hart

Articles

Unconscious bias is widely recognized as the most pervasive barrier to equal employment opportunity for minorities and women in the workplace today and yet many argue that federal laws prohibiting discrimination do not prohibit unconscious discrimination. This article argues that the law does in fact provide some redress for unconscious discrimination. Title VII may not be a perfect method for attacking unconscious bias, but it is a mistake to assume that it is without potential. The article challenges the assumption commonly held by judges that a finding of discrimination must be preceded by the belief that an employer is lying ...


Moody Investing And The Supreme Court: Rethinking The Materiality Of Information And The Reasonableness Of Investors, Peter H. Huang Jan 2005

Moody Investing And The Supreme Court: Rethinking The Materiality Of Information And The Reasonableness Of Investors, Peter H. Huang

Articles

This Article critically analyzes the judicial decisions and reasoning of the United States Supreme Court and lower courts accepting certain defenses in securities fraud litigation. This Article develops how and why the core notions of materiality of information and the reasonable investor should be revised in light of recent empirical data, experimental evidence, and theoretical models of moody investing. This Article proposes modifying three recent developments in materiality doctrine to take into account moody investing. In particular, this Article argues that current judicial treatment of puffery is flawed because it neglects the power of puffery to alter moods. This Article ...


Helping Experimental Psychology Affect Legal Policy, Gary L. Wells Jan 2005

Helping Experimental Psychology Affect Legal Policy, Gary L. Wells

Psychology Publications

Any scientific psychologist who has interacted extensively with police, lawyers, or trial judges has learned that scientific psychology and the legal system are very different beasts. The differences run much deeper than mere language and instead represent different types of thinking-a clash of cultures. This clash is particularly apparent when psychologists attempt to use research findings to affect legal policies and practices. In order for scientific psychologists to work effectively in applying psychological science to the legal system, they will need to develop a better understanding of the concept of policy and the contingencies that exist for policymakers.


Criminal Prosecution And Civil Remedies For Victims Of Sexual Offenses: Amendment Of The Rape Shield Law, Carol E. Jordan, Elizabeth S. Hughes, Mary Jo Gleason Jan 2005

Criminal Prosecution And Civil Remedies For Victims Of Sexual Offenses: Amendment Of The Rape Shield Law, Carol E. Jordan, Elizabeth S. Hughes, Mary Jo Gleason

Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women Publications

In 2003, the Kentucky Supreme Court adopted the amended KRS 412, effectively making the language of KRE 412 consistent with the analogous Federal Rule of Evidence 412. Now, as in federal court, the provisions of the Rape Shield Law apply in both criminal and civil cases to govern when and how evidence of a victim's alleged sexual behavior or sexual predisposition may be introduced. The article describes the intent of the original Rape Shield Law and the implications of its amended version in both civil and criminal cases.


Admitting Mental Health Evidence To Impeach The Credibility Of A Sexual Assault Complainant, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan Jan 2005

Admitting Mental Health Evidence To Impeach The Credibility Of A Sexual Assault Complainant, Tess Wilkinson-Ryan

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Is Prosecution "Medically Appropriate"?, Douglas Mossman Md Jan 2005

Is Prosecution "Medically Appropriate"?, Douglas Mossman Md

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

Each year, U.S. courts send thousands of incompetent defendants to hospitals for treatment, where psychiatrists frequently administer psychotropic medication that can alleviate symptoms and allow the defendants to proceed with criminal adjudication. Although defendants and their attorneys usually do not object to such treatment, treatment refusals in two recent, nationally prominent cases-those of Russell Eugene Weston, Jr., the accused Capitol shooter, and Charles T. Sell, a dentist charged with filing false insurance claims-have focused legal and media attention on whether and under what conditions competence restoration can be forced on an unwilling defendant.

In its June 2003 decision in ...


Fear And Loathing In Constitutional Decision-Making, Christina E. Wells Jan 2005

Fear And Loathing In Constitutional Decision-Making, Christina E. Wells

Faculty Publications

National security crises are particularly difficult on the judiciary. Faced with a threat to the country's integrity, such cases require judges rationally and fairly to weigh this hefty interest against the rights of persons suspected of posing that very threat. Not surprisingly, judges have rarely lived up to this task as many have fallen sway to the same fear and prejudice that gripped the county during these times. Scholars have written extensively about judicial capitulation to fear and prejudice in such well-known cases as Schenck v. United States, Korematsu v. United States, and Dennis v. United States, with some ...


Expert Testimony In Capital Sentencing: Juror Responses, John H. Montgomery, J. Richard Ciccone, Stephen P. Garvey, Theodore Eisenberg Jan 2005

Expert Testimony In Capital Sentencing: Juror Responses, John H. Montgomery, J. Richard Ciccone, Stephen P. Garvey, Theodore Eisenberg

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

The U.S. Supreme Court, in Furman v. Georgia (1972), held that the death penalty is constitutional only when applied on an individualized basis. The resultant changes in the laws in death penalty states fostered the involvement of psychiatric and psychologic expert witnesses at the sentencing phase of the trial, to testify on two major issues: (1) the mitigating factor of a defendant’s abnormal mental state and (2) the aggravating factor of a defendant’s potential for future violence. This study was an exploration of the responses of capital jurors to psychiatric/psychologic expert testimony during capital sentencing. The ...


Attorneys' Perceptions Of Child Witnesses With Mental Retardation, Rebecca Nathanson Jan 2005

Attorneys' Perceptions Of Child Witnesses With Mental Retardation, Rebecca Nathanson

Scholarly Works

Children with mental retardation are more likely to be abused than the general population, yet are often denied access to the justice system. Research on children without mental retardation has revealed skepticism as to their reliability as witnesses in the court of law. Even more so, children with mental retardation face the issue of credibility because of their age and disability. This study assesses attorneys' perceptions of child witnesses with mental retardation. Thirty-nine criminal attorneys completed a 33-item questionnaire designed to assess their opinions of the abilities of adults and of children with and without mental retardation to recall and ...


Criminal Law In A Post-Freudian World, Deborah W. Denno Jan 2005

Criminal Law In A Post-Freudian World, Deborah W. Denno

Faculty Scholarship

Freudian psychoanalytic theory has greatly influenced the modern definition of criminal culpability. Indeed, much of the language of key criminal statutes, cases, and psychiatric testimony is framed by psychoanalytic concepts. This impact is particularly evident in the Model Penal Code's mens rea provisions and defenses, which were developed in the 1950s and 1960s, a time of Freudian reign in the United States. For contemporary criminal law, however, this degree of psychoanalytic presence is troublesome. Freudian theory is difficult to apply to group conflicts and legal situations, and the theory emphasizes unconscious (rather than conscious) thoughts. The rising new science ...


Multicultural Lawyering: Teaching Psychology To Develop Cultural Self-Awareness, Carwina Weng Jan 2005

Multicultural Lawyering: Teaching Psychology To Develop Cultural Self-Awareness, Carwina Weng

Articles by Maurer Faculty

Much of the current literature in multicultural lawyering focuses on learning substantive information about clients who are culturally different from the lawyer, such as how the client's culture perceives eye contact or reacts to science-based world views. This article notes that such a focus sidesteps the human reality that every person reacts to people who are different from him- or herself unconsciously in ways that may be culturally insensitive and discriminatory and that this human reaction occurs despite awareness of the general values, attitudes, and beliefs of the client's culture. It therefore suggests that multicultural lawyering training should ...


Reflections On The Essential Role Of Legal Scholarship In Advancing Causes Of Citizen Groups, Nadine Strossen Jan 2005

Reflections On The Essential Role Of Legal Scholarship In Advancing Causes Of Citizen Groups, Nadine Strossen

Articles & Chapters

No abstract provided.


And My Best Friend, My Doctor, Won't Even Say What It Is I'Ve Got: The Role And Significance Of Counsel In Right To Refuse Treatment Cases, Michael L. Perlin Jan 2005

And My Best Friend, My Doctor, Won't Even Say What It Is I'Ve Got: The Role And Significance Of Counsel In Right To Refuse Treatment Cases, Michael L. Perlin

Articles & Chapters

For the past three decades, scholars have carefully considered the scope of the right of involuntarily committed psychiatric patients to refuse the administration of medication from a rich array of perspectives, including, but not limited to, clinical perspectives, civil libertarian perspectives, philosophical perspectives, and political perspectives. Yet, virtually all of this - remarkably - passes over what I believe is the single most important issue in real life. This issue is the most relevant to the actual (as opposed to paper) existence of theright and the actual (as opposed to paper) implementation of that right: the availability and adequacy ofcounsel to represent ...


Limited In Sex, They Dare: Attitudes Toward Issues Of Patient Sexuality, Michael L. Perlin Jan 2005

Limited In Sex, They Dare: Attitudes Toward Issues Of Patient Sexuality, Michael L. Perlin

Articles & Chapters

The author frequently speaks on issues involving the sexuality rights of persons with mental disabilities who are institutionalized. In this article, he discusses the prevalent attitudes of audience members to these presentations, attitudes ranging from anger to denial to projection to transference/countertransference to fear to expressions of religiosity. In some cases, an important connection is made between the speaker and audience members. The article considers these attitudes and seeks to offer explanations for why this is such a threatening topic to so many listeners.


May You Stay Forever Young: Robert Sadoff And The History Of Mental Disability Law, Michael L. Perlin Jan 2005

May You Stay Forever Young: Robert Sadoff And The History Of Mental Disability Law, Michael L. Perlin

Articles & Chapters

The path of mental disability law over the past 35 years bears the stamp of the work of Dr. Robert L. Sadoff, one of the leading forensic psychiatrists in the nation. This article tracks the development of civil commitment law, right to treatment law, and right to refuse treatment law, and demonstrates the crucial roles that Dr. Sadoff has played in each of these.


Credible Coercion, Oren Bar-Gill, Omri Ben-Shahar Jan 2005

Credible Coercion, Oren Bar-Gill, Omri Ben-Shahar

Articles

The ideal of individual freedom and autonomy requires that society provide relief against coercion. In the law, this requirement is often translated into rules that operate "postcoercion" to undo the legal consequences of acts and promises extracted under duress. This Article argues that these ex post antiduress measures, rather than helping the coerced party, might in fact hurt her. When coercion is credible-when a credible threat to inflict an even worse outcome underlies the surrender of the coerced party-ex post relief will only induce the strong party to execute the threatened outcome ex ante, without offering the choice to surrender ...


Developmental Incompetence, Due Process, And Juvenile Justice Policy, Elizabeth S. Scott, Thomas Grisso Jan 2005

Developmental Incompetence, Due Process, And Juvenile Justice Policy, Elizabeth S. Scott, Thomas Grisso

Faculty Scholarship

In 2003, the Florida District Court of Appeal reversed the murder conviction and life sentence imposed on Lionel Tate, who was twelve years old when he killed his six-year-old neighbor. Since Lionel was reported to be the youngest person in modern times to be sent to prison for life, the case had generated considerable debate, and the decision was appealed on several grounds. What persuaded the appellate court that the conviction could not stand, however, was the trial court's rejection of a petition by Lionel's attorney for an evaluation of his client's competence to assist counsel and ...