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Acquittals

Evidence

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The Cognitive Psychology Of Circumstantial Evidence, Kevin Jon Heller Nov 2006

The Cognitive Psychology Of Circumstantial Evidence, Kevin Jon Heller

Michigan Law Review

Empirical research indicates that jurors routinely undervalue circumstantial evidence (DNA, fingerprints, and the like) and overvalue direct evidence (eyewitness identifications and confessions) when making verdict choices, even though false-conviction statistics indicate that the former is normally more probative and more reliable than the latter The traditional explanation of this paradox, based on the probability-threshold model of jury decision-making, is that jurors simply do not understand circumstantial evidence and thus routinely underestimate its effect on the objective probability of the defendant's guilt. That may be true in some situations, but it fails to account for what is known in cognitive psychology …


Crimes-Alibi-Instructions As To Particular Evidence Mar 1929

Crimes-Alibi-Instructions As To Particular Evidence

Michigan Law Review

In a prosecution for robbery the defendants introduced evidence as to an alibi and requested a charge which contained the proposition that the evidence on this point had merely to raise a reasonable doubt as to their presence at the scene of the crime to entitle them to an acquittal. The court refused this request, but had previously instructed the jury that the burden rested with the state to prove the guilt of the. defendants beyond a reasonable doubt. Held, that it was reversible error to refuse the charge requested. People v. Vasquez (Cal. App. r928) 26g Pac. 549.