Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Latest Edition of the Jury Expert

Here is the latest edition of the Jury Expert from the ASTC.

“Only the Guilty Would Confess to Crimes”
: Understanding the Mystery of False Confessions

by Douglas L. Keene, PhD and Rita R. Handrich, PhD of Keene Trial Consulting Why on earth would anyone, anywhere, ever confess to a serious crime they did not commit? Especially something like murder? Seriously? Our mock jurors find it hard to believe and, in truth, it ticks them off. Two trial consultants present the research on why people falsely confess and the cascade of errors presented by a false confession. Saul Kassin, Walter Katz, Karen Franklin and Larry Barksdale respond to this important paper.

False Confessions: “I Can’t Believe I Said That”

by Diane Wiley of National Jury Project
Given the skepticism as to why anyone would confess to serious crimes when they were innocent--it is important to know how to identify biases prior to seating jurors. Here's a supplemental jury questionnaire (SJQ) covering all the issues you need to address in a false confessions case.

Book Review: Police Interrogations and False Confessions: Current Research, Practice, and Policy Recommendations

by Rita R. Handrich, PhD of Keene Trial Consulting
Here's a quick and thorough way to review the research on false confessions and learn a few things you didn't know before. Multiple areas are covered and you are sure to be surprised by some of the content!

Disability Wrongs-Disability Rights

by Steven E. Perkel, DSW, LCSW, of Archer Law and Paul J. Tobin, MSW and James Weisman, JD of the United Spinal Organization
This article is eye-opening. It recounts truthy biases about people with disabilities based on the pseudoscience of eugenics and how these biases were supported by laws and court rulings resulting in thousands of people undergoing involuntary sterilization. The article also describes how decisions continue to be made that put people with disabilities at risk.

Abstract Thinking Reduces Conservatives’ Prejudice Against Stigmatized Groups

by Jamie Luguri, Jaime Napier, PhD and John Dovidio, PhD all of Yale University
How does a conservative juror view a "non-normative" group member differently than a more liberal juror and what, if anything, can you do to change that view? New research out of Yale University tells us there may well be ways to modify pre-existing perspectives and James McGee and Charli Morris offer their thoughts as well.

Favorite Things: The Mona iPad Stand and Evernote

by Two ASTC Member Trial Consultants
Remember everything and practice more effectively, comfortably and attractively. How could these two not make our Favorite Thing lists?

Musings from the Deliberation Room: The Impact of Humor on Juror Decision-Making

by Jaime Bochantin, PhD of Tara Trask & Associates
A horse walks into a bar and the bartender says "Why the long face?". Okay. So we all find different things funny. This article looks at how humor helps and hinders the deliberative process (using examples from mock trial research) and gives pointers on how you can both assess and use juror humor style in voir dire decisions.

Media Exposure, Juror Decision-Making, and the Availability Heuristic

by Judith Platania, PhD of Roger Williams University and Jessica Crawford of the Milford, Massachusetts Police Department
How do the general bits and pieces of information about lawsuit damages jurors pick up from the media enter into the deliberation room? Jurors don't "set aside" that knowledge simply because they are told to do so--but you knew that. Take a look at how that pre-existing knowledge is related to verdict and damages.

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