Psychology of the Courtroom

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Psychology of the Courtroom Works Cited Missing 'While the jury can contribute nothing of value so far as the law is concerned, it has infinite capacity for mischief, for twelve men (sic) can easily misunderstand more law in a minute than the judge can explain in an hour.' Judge Jerome Frank (USA) 1948. Juries listen to evidence sometimes over considerable period of time without having a legal context in which to place it. By the time and explanation of its legal relevance is provided - when the judge gives the final summing up - the evidence has all been heard and must be recalled to mind and fitted within the legal framework. It is scarcely surprising, therefore, to find that if a judicial summing up simultaneously reminds jurors of some evidence they heard but instructs them to disregard it, the admonishment appears to be counter productive (Hastie et al 1983). Studies of juror comprehension of legal instructions have produced conflicting results. In a study by Heuer and Penrod (1995) who questioned jurors who had participated in real trials, the jurors became less confident that the verdict complied with judicial instructions as the quantity of information increased. However, they were still content with the fairness of the proceedings, although they were more confident of that where they were able to question witnesses. Work of Prosecution and Defence Lawyers Lawyers will attempt to use psychological techniques to support the jury accepting their case. Frederick (1990) has detailed some of the ... ... middle of paper ... ...iewers. Thus who the researcher is and where the study takes place may have more of an effect on child Ps than we may suspect. Again these factors reduce both the reliability and the validity of studies which use children as Ps. Point 3: Ethical Concerns Children can not give informed consent so their parent(s)/gaurdians need to, but even then are they aware of what may upset their child? Children are also more vulnerable due to their status as minors. Thus they are more vunerable to potential harm and may not understand their right to withdraw, indeed they may be so intimidated by the authority of the researcher that they would never ask to leave. All of these are very important considerations due to the often controversial and potentially anxiety provoking settings and issues that this area is concerned with.
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